Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray: A Novel

( 7 )

Overview


What If Dorian Gray Faked His Death and Led a Secret Life?

Inspired by Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mitzi Szereto continues where Wilde left off in her Faustian tale of a man with eternal youth and great physical beauty who lives a life of corruption, decadence and hedonism. The story begins in the bordellos of Jazz-Age Paris, moving to the opium dens of Marrakesh and the alluring anonymity of South America. Will love be Dorian's redemption or his ...

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Overview


What If Dorian Gray Faked His Death and Led a Secret Life?

Inspired by Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mitzi Szereto continues where Wilde left off in her Faustian tale of a man with eternal youth and great physical beauty who lives a life of corruption, decadence and hedonism. The story begins in the bordellos of Jazz-Age Paris, moving to the opium dens of Marrakesh and the alluring anonymity of South America. Will love be Dorian's redemption or his final curse? Only Mitzi Szereto, author of Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts, would dare write a sequel to Oscar Wilde's great literary classic.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/03/2014
In Szereto's (Thrones of Desire) unsettling novel of erotic horrors, she reimagines the ending of Oscar Wilde's classic and takes Dorian Gray from Paris in the ‘20s to modern day New Orleans, with stops in Marrakesh and Peru along the way. The author clearly knows and understands the source material—each section begins with a quote from the original, but the journey she imagines for her anti-hero is not for the squeamish. Gray's god is hedonism, and like an addict, each high requires that he pursue greater and greater extremes. By the time he arrives in New Orleans and takes up with the Night People, he has but a tenuous hold on humanity. His sexual exploits include turning himself into prey to experience the degradation he generally reserves for others, and seducing an innocent for the thrill of it. The author's writing is both purple and raw when describing various acts involving sex; it is simply raw when describing murder and suicide. There's plenty of all three in Szereto's story. Her imagination is vast—the same cannot be said about the audience for her book. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

"Mitzi Szereto writes this compelling story with poetic fluency. Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray is a hedonistic rush that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of passion. I loved it!"
—Sam Stone (author of The Vampire Gene Series)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573449656
  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication date: 11/19/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,374,802
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author


Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of erotic and multi-genre fiction and nonfiction. She has her own blog, “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” (mitziszereto.com/blog), and a Web TV channel, Mitzi TV (mitziszereto.com/tv), which covers the “quirky” side of London.

Her books include the controversial Jane Austen sex parody Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; Dying For It: Tales of Sex and Death; and the Erotic Travel Tales anthologies. A popular social media personality and frequent interviewee, she has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe and lectured in creative writing at several British universities. She divides her time between England and Atlanta, GA.

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Read an Excerpt


Excerpt from the prologue of:
Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray by Mitzi Szereto

Dorian Gray awakens as if from the grave. A great weight presses down on him from above, but when he looks up to determine the cause, realizes it’s his head, which feels so heavy upon the stem of his neck that he expects it to tumble off and land on the crumpled bedding beneath him. Even the air itself is heavy, as if he were trying to breathe through cotton wool.
He blinks several times to clear his vision, the effort of moving his lids far too strenuous an endeavor to undertake without discomfort; the upper lids feel as if cast-iron window weights have been attached to them. The bluish haze that blurs the objects in the lavishly appointed bedroom make him wonder if he has somehow developed shortsightedness as his puffy and burning eyes struggle to focus and make sense of his surroundings. He hears the sound of breaths being drawn in and then released in a steady rhythm that might have been soothing if not for his disorientation. Are they his or someone else’s?
Red velvet draperies cover the tall windows and they move sluggishly in the breeze as if they too, are affected by this overwhelming sense of heaviness that afflicts him. They remind Dorian of curtains in a theater and he expects them to swing open, revealing players on a stage. Instead they reveal irregular chinks of yellow light, which insinuate themselves inside the room, informing him that it’s morning.
The clarity of his vision slowly returns, bringing with it more detail. Embroidered silk cushions lie scattered across the wooden floorboards, as do overturned glasses and random bits of gray ash. The bed upon which he finds himself appears to be a tangled heap of arms and legs, the more slender among them of female origin. They crisscross each other in a haphazard pattern. Arms as white as the first winter snow. Arms as black as polished ebony. Some look as if they belong to the same body, though Dorian knows this to be physically impossible. Lying amid the jumble he detects the gentle curve of a woman’s breast and, unless he’s mistaken, the graceless wedge of a man’s foot.
That Dorian is inside a bedchamber becomes obvious to him. It might be his, though he can’t be certain. He seems to recollect a small man with a pencil-thin moustache and a worn yellow tape around his neck measuring the window frames with extravagant meticulousness, then afterward producing several swatches of fabric, one of which was red velvet. The memory’s returning to him in more clarity now. Monsieur Larouche, the curtain maker. His men finished hanging the red velvet draperies a few weeks ago.
As for the hours that have just gone past, they continue to remain a confused jumble of images in Dorian’s mind, though the fragrant after-scents of smoked opium and female pleasure tease at the edges of his memory like a tickling finger, gradually bringing him back to consciousness. Painted scarlet lips pulling on the tip of an opium pipe, then later, pulling on the tip of his manhood. Secretive openings being filled by inquisitive fingers as well as other objects not generally suited for the purpose. Yes, the mislaid hours of the night are finally being located!
At some point Dorian lost count of the number of times he spent himself, though he suspects it transpired at least once with each person present in the room and likewise with those who already departed to seek out the familiarity of their own beds. He squeezes his eyes shut and reopens them, the burning less troublesome now. Despite the tiny veins of red marring the sclera, their blue is as pure as the sky on a perfect spring day. Yet the tableau laid out before him is anything but pure.
Is that a young man lying unconscious on a heap of silk cushions by the window or a young woman with short-cropped hair? He’ll never grow accustomed to these young ladies who sheer off their pretty locks in this masculine manner. He prefers men to look like men and women to look like women; at least then one can always tell who the players are. The figure on the cushions moves ever so perceptively, yet it is enough. It offers Dorian a pleasing vista of two well-formed hind cheeks that remind him of hot cross buns. The sight of them makes him hungry, though it’s not a meal he hungers for. On the contrary, his is a hunger that never ceases—and it cannot be appeased with anything so mundane as food.
He blinks again to clear away the last of the fog from his eyes to better enjoy the visual feast draped across the cushions. The figure now moves in earnest, curling into a fetal ball, at which point Dorian’s breath catches in his throat. Although the shifting of position has not provided absolute confirmation of the sleeper’s gender, what it has done is provide confirmation of the activities that have been engaged in. The opening brought into view gives every indication of its frequent usage over the last few hours—and very likely by Dorian. Perhaps the slumbering figure is that of a male, after all. Then again, perhaps not. The ladies of Dorian’s society have rarely denied him anything. Nor, for that matter, have the gentlemen.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    A great sequel! He's back! And still up to his old ways. I loved

    A great sequel! He's back! And still up to his old ways. I loved the first chapter where Dorian wakes up confused, surrounded by lovers. Hilariously, he's trying to figure out if one of them is a man or a woman. It's great! Szereto really captures the cleverness of Oscar Wilde, but makes the book entirely his own. It's fun, sexy, and a fantastic twist on a beloved classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2014

    First of all, I love the concept for this book! I adored Wilde's

    First of all, I love the concept for this book! I adored Wilde's original, and Szereto takes it in a totally different but completely plausible direction. I especially enjoyed the quotes from Lord Henry Wotton at the beginning of each chapter. That added a nice touch to my readership experience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Perfect companion to Dorian Gray, especially if you're obsessed

    Perfect companion to Dorian Gray, especially if you're obsessed with erotica like I am. This book is a perfect combination of amazing writing, insanely sexy erotic content, and the character and other elements that made me fall in love with the original story in the first place, but with a modern, almost disturbingly dark twist (just like the original, but I won't spoil anything).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2014

    So this book takes place after the original "The Picture of

    So this book takes place after the original "The Picture of Dorian Gray". For those who are hoping for this one to imitate Oscar Wilde's style, you're going to be disappointed. Szereto writes prose with the sense of urgency that is more common to present day literature than to the languid beauty of Wilde's time. All in all, a compelling read. Szereto is a writer who can hold her own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    Like the author, I read Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture

    Like the author, I read Oscar Wilde's classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray as a precocious child. Also like the author, I picked up on the erotic content so skillfully buried and hinted at in the prose. Later, I read that Mr. Wilde had been forced to edit the story, and I wondered how he would have written had he lived in a different age and had been free to share more of his wildly exuberant intellect and varied proclivities. Reading Mitzi Szereto's Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray, I was pleased to be in the hands of a writer who respected and admired Mr. Wilde and his work as much as I do. I was pleased we live in a time where Dorian Gray's story could come to its logical and more satisfying conclusion. I was delighted every step of the way because, as horrific as some of his actions were to read, they were logical and right. Ms. Szereto pulls no punches, and I applaud her for it. If you're after a sweet romance, look elsewhere. This is the story of a man's slide into his own personal hell, made more awful because it starts out being his idea of heaven on earth and made more beautiful by the lyrical writing that fans of Mr. Wilde's writing will treasure.

    The premise is simple. Dorian Gray (he who vowed to live a life of unapologetic decadence and depravity, somehow gaining eternal youth while his portrait aged and decayed) did not die as he had to during Oscar Wilde's time, a time when this final punishment was demanded to offset the rest of the titillating story. Instead, it's explained, his death was faked so he could go on delving ever deeper into his twisted desires. Few things are left out here as Dorian revels in his freedom to be just as bad as he wants to be. Some of it turned me on. Some of it turned my stomach. But, like all truly great erotica, everything contributed to the story, and it all had a purpose. It all fit. Where the original book had the cadence of a carriage ride through the countryside, this one was more like a ride on the Orient Express, a ride where the devil took the wheel a few times.

    The settings are lush and varied. Paris. New Orleans. Marrakesh. Peru. Again, this plays into the sense of diving headfirst into something strange and exotic, a foreign place for most of us where anything can happen next, and nothing is off limits. There's a lack of control for the reader that plays into the experiences had by Dorian. And then, Dorian meets creatures even more depraved and soulless than he has become, and the story offers hope as it seems Dorian (who started off in Oscar's tale as such a likable chap, don't forget) might still redeem himself.

    I won't give away the ending, but will say that it was perfect. Exactly what needed to happen to this great literary character. Oscar Wilde would raise a glass to Ms. Szereto for penning such a fine continuation to his classic story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2013

    An exceptional sequel to a literary classic! You don't have to b

    An exceptional sequel to a literary classic! You don't have to be a literary scholar to appreciate Szereto's respect of the written word or of Oscar Wilde himself. If Wilde had been alive to pen a sequel to his novel, I bet it would read very close to this. Seamless writing that shocks, titillates and isn't afraid to explore the dark side of desire. I was both excited and appalled by Dorian Gray' and loved every minute, hoping the book would never end. Just a warning - there is some violent content and explicit sexual content in the novel, but that is to be expected - we are talking about Dorian Gray! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 4, 2014

    Go "WIlde" with MItzi Szereto's brilliant novel! This

    Go "WIlde" with MItzi Szereto's brilliant novel!

    This is SO fascinating- i love that Mitzi Szereto has taken up Oscar Wilde's pen and has carried the legacy on. How daring she is and "wildely" imaginative in that Dorian Gray fakes his death and goes on to lead a secret life. A delicious read I highly recommend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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