The Picture of Dorian Gray: a book so famously criticized that it was nearly unbearable to carry it around in public at the time of its release. This philosophical novel follows the story of young Dorian Gray, a man who is terribly beautiful to Basil Hallward, his dear friend who is painting him. One day, as Dorian is being painted, Basil’s so-called friend arrives, Lord Henry Wotton. Although none of the three men know how Henry will change their lives, they soon will. Over the next some time, Henry starts to treat Dorian as his personal experiment and starts to corrupt his young, innocent mind. He tells Dorian of how he will grow old, and of how he will never be as beautiful again. Dorian, now obsessed with youth, declares how he wishes he could trade his soul for the youth of his finished portrait, so that he can stay forever young. In a supernatural turn of events, his wish comes true. As Henry Wotton continues to corrupt Dorian, his soul (which is in the painting) grows uglier and uglier, until it is almost unbearable to look at. Oscar Wilde portrays a man’s life story almost poetically, showing his soul’s journey from riches to rags. Rating: 5/5
- @thesoundofcolours of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
This is another classic for a reason. It is a beautiful study on vanity and hedonistic selfishness. The writing is flowery, yet snappy, and pleasant to hear in your mind, which makes the depressing despair that sets in as you read the book all the more savory. More than the very interesting premise, and extremely unique story, exploring subjects rarely covered in literature, Wilde’s writing is just a treat to enjoy. What this book means to Wilde makes the subjects it covers that much more inimitably rich and fascinating: this is a book that everyone must read at least once.
- @FalcoLombardi of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library