The Picture of Dorian Gray

Written by:
Oscar Wilde
Narrated by:
Simon Prebble

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2008
8 hours 0 minutes
Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, his dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged-petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral-while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years.

Taking the reader in and out of London drawing rooms, to the heights of aestheticism, and to the depths of decadence, The Picture of Dorian Gray is not simply a melodrama about moral corruption. Laced with bon mots and vivid depictions of upper-class refinement, it is also a fascinating look at the milieu of Wilde's fin-de-siècle world and a manifesto of the creed 'Art for Art's Sake.'

The ever-quotable Wilde, who once delighted London with his scintillating plays, scandalized readers with this, his only novel. Upon publication, Dorian was condemned as dangerous, poisonous, stupid, vulgar, and immoral, and Wilde as a 'driveling pedant.' The novel, in fact, was used against Wilde at his much-publicized trials for 'gross indecency,' which led to his imprisonment and exile on the European continent. Even so, The Picture of Dorian Gray firmly established Wilde as one of the great voices of the Aesthetic movement and endures as a classic that is as timeless as its hero.
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Ian Martin

This classic is not over-hyped. Indeed, it's far more intriguing and complex than the shallow references in modern cinema would lead one to believe. The characters are entertaining and the story engaging. The narrative is vivid and poetic. It is sometimes billed as an amoral piece and the introduction seems to advertise it as such. While this story is not for small children, it is ultimately a morality tale complete with a Christ figure and musings on sin, temptation, and redemption. So, if you're being scared away by the amorality, don't be. If you're being scared away by the moralizing, don't be. There are still enough irreverent shenanigans to hold your attention. Oscar Wilde was clearly a great mind. As this was his only novel he poured his genius into, it is worth the reader's time to hear him out. The reader does a very good job with the accents and characters but has difficulty with his French pronunciation. Be wary of that.

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Kassandra G

Such an amazing voice, without that I would not have continued with this book. So beautifully read

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Dawn Shovestull

Very interesting listen.

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Angela M.

Oscar Wilde writes so cleverly. Loved the book.

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