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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

28 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

SPECTACULAR NOVEL, but buy a different edition

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a fantastic book, mixing excellent wit with poignant commentary on society, intertwined around a spiritual story about a man who sold his soul unwittingly, but unrepentantly. Make sure you read this book, BUT ... buy a different edition....
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a fantastic book, mixing excellent wit with poignant commentary on society, intertwined around a spiritual story about a man who sold his soul unwittingly, but unrepentantly. Make sure you read this book, BUT ... buy a different edition.

The editor of this book, Cauti, included many intelligent and spectacular notes throughout the book, but he includes asterisks and cross-marks throughout the book so that you will check his footnotes. These appear on 90% of the pages, and they ruin the flow of Wilde's prose because the reader is compelled to stop reading, check the footnote, and return to their previous position. The rhythm of the writing is totaly disrupted whenever this happens, and it is fair to say that this happens often. Often enough, in fact, that I recommend you buy another edition. Not this one.

posted by MDC_ColumbiaU on June 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Very Bad

This is a very poorly copied version of a great book and to my knowledge the only free version available. You are better off just buying a cheap copy of the ebook.

posted by Anonymous on December 26, 2011

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  • Posted July 15, 2013

    This was an interesting book. It's the first work of Wilde's tha

    This was an interesting book. It's the first work of Wilde's that I've read, and the first classic I've finished in a long time, probably since high school. I am glad that I read it. There was a part in the middle that I was really bored with, but other than that, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed Dorian Gray as a character, as well as Lord Henry. I thought they were both pretty likable, even though they said and did some not so likable things :) I actually really liked the ending too - as weird as that may seem because of how it unfolds! It wasn't what I really expected, but it fits so perfectly, and that's why I think I enjoyed it so much!

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  • Posted November 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I like the story, but you can tell that Wilde was a playwright f

    I like the story, but you can tell that Wilde was a playwright first. There are all these long speeches that after awhile I kind of lost interest in what point the character was trying to convey. There are some great lines, but at times I was just reading the words to get to the end of the sentence. I think I like the movies better than the novel.

    The eBook was formatted well with no obvious errors.

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  • Posted June 29, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What would do if you could stay young forever? Dorian Gray sells

    What would do if you could stay young forever? Dorian Gray sells his soul in order to maintain his youth. Along the way, he loses his own soul, becoming obsessed with experiencing the pleasures of life, no matter what the cost, even if this pursuit destroys many others. Some say he is a Gothic antihero. I say the book is more than just that. A look at the pressures of society, and the depravity of man. I challenge you to read this tale and decide for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Enjoyed but will not read again.

    The book was a good read, but maybe it was the nature of the content that made it not one of my favorites. It's definitely a darker novel yet uses very descriptive and beautiful language.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good book, quick read

    Not my favorite classic, but only 240 pages, so not a lifetime committment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    An amazing book

    The Picture of Dorian Gray was a truly amazing book. The beginning is a little slow to get through, at first, but once you're past the first four chapters it's a really fun and exiting book to read and it presses you on to read more. Oscar Wilde does take some time to set the story in place, but the book is really a fantastic one, and Wilde is really an excellent author. The story takes place in London, England, somewhere in the 1800's. The characters each have very defined personalities, and each has a very important role, no one is simply there for no reason whatsoever. The book is not overwhelming, in the sense that there aren't many characters and the setting tends to remain in London, unlike some that I've read in the past where there are way to many characters to keep track of. Young Dorian is the picture of beauty and of youth, but fears that he will loose this beauty to age as the years pass, until he finds out something strange about the portrait his friend, Basil, made for him. The portrait takes on everything that makes him age, everything that would hurt his beauty in any way, including taking away the signs each sin he commits leaves behind. The book is full of characters with dark secretes, and even a surprising murder scene! The Picture of Dorian Gray does seem to drag on at some points, though, so it isn't the best option of a book for people like myself, who tend to have minds that wander out the window and into far off places. I wasn't to keen on having to read it when I found out that it was a class assignment, but I soon found that I was hooked and I couldn't help but keep reading even after I'd out-read the class. Oscar Wilde keeps you wanting to read more after the end of every chapter. The Picture of Dorian Gray was also made into many movies, and I think that it helps to know what the original story was before watching the movies or any remake of it. The characters were described so well that I could create a perfect picture in my head of what each and every one looked like. Oscar Wilde ends this tragic story very nicely, a shocking end waiting for anyone who decides to read this excellent novel.

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  • Posted December 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting but slow in places

    While this book and the plot was good and intriguing it was also very laborious to get through. Whole chapters were devoted to listing all the different types of linens Dorian Gray enjoyed, or all of the types of gems he had collected. Yes, he is vain and that is what it was supposed to portray, but it was a bit too much. It made the book hard to get through no matter how good the beginning and end were. Ultimately I enjoyed the moral of the story and the plot itself. I also wish the ending would have been different and it left me feeling incomplete. My ultimate conclusion is that this is a good book but not a great one.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A very old classic story

    This story is quite good, but the language is too ornate and flowery. It takes awhile to get to the interesting part. This would have been a good story for a TV show like "Outer Limits" or "Twilight Zone."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    This book was okay.

    This book definitely wasn't a page turner, but if you're interested in Oscar Wilde or the seedier side of old british high society, then I say give it a shot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2008

    a good book

    This book would be a delight for those who think there is more to life than just the material or those interested in the subject. I give it 3 stars because I enjoyed reading the book but it had some very dry, slow parts throughout it. I guess that is bound to happen with something written over a century ago to a modern brain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2008

    Below expectations!

    I love historical fiction, especially of the Victorian era. I am also a big art lover and read many mysteries. This book sounded like it would be perfect for me! Unfortunately I was disappointed. I was expecting seedy details about the decadent life of a young man and the terror of the ever-changing painting which would reveal the true hidden nature of Dorian Gray. The short book did not spend much time on this subject but spent a great deal of time debating the aesthetic life which the author ascribed to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2000

    Okay but not great

    As soon as Dorian Gray begins, we are immersed in the world of Dorian and Wotton's lives that include extraordinary decadence, and most of all foppishness. I thought that the portrayal of all 3 main characters was good- Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry all had some redeeming values. I think that most would agree that there is a certain appeal to the decadent 'philosophizings' of Dorian and Lord Henry. However, I found the plot relativly worse than the charactarizations- I think it relied on excessive dramatization of the events portrayed. Ultimatly I think that the novel itself suffers from some of the shortcomings of Dorian and Henry themselves, and the book does not completely or effectivly create a perspective from which Dorian and his cronies can be viewed/ridicules. The Portrait of Dorian Gray does not really ever come out from their world. Additionally, although I'm a teenage male, I was disappointed by the total lack of women with developed characters in the novel. I think that varied and colorful women would fit right into Dorian's life, and would greatly enrich the novel.

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