The novel is about a handsome young man named Dorian Gray, whose beauty inspired his friend Basil Hallward to create his masterpiece, a portrait of Dorian. Basil becomes infatuated with his youthful appearance and purity of thought, worshipping Dorian to be his muse. Everything changes when Dorian meets the charismatic Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, who suggests that the only things worth pursuing are beauty and fulfilment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian bitterly wishes the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he, even at the cost of his own soul. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, so when he pursues a life of crime and debauchery, the portrait reflects his soul, with each sin manifested as a disfigurement or hideous sign of aging.
This book was truly a delightful experience that targets all the senses through detailed imagery and follows Dorian's deterioration, from cruelty to cold-blooded murder, until he is too far gone to save. The book includes universal themes that are especially applicable in an age obsessed with appearances.
I would recommend this book to book-lovers that love plenty of figurative language and a slow pace, but also some fast-paced action every once in a while. While the beginning may be a little slow, Lord Henry Wotton is always a fun character to read and the second half of the book moves very quickly.
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