The Picture of Dorian GrayPaperback - 1999
Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each title-offering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords.
This edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray includes a Foreword, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Nancy Springer.
When Dorian Gray, a wealthy but naïve and irresistible young man, has his portrait pointed, he rashly wishes that he could remain as beautiful, youthful, and alluring as the handsome face in the portrait. Little does he know that his wish will come true. When encouraged by the decadent Lord Henry Wotton into a life of depravity and self-indulgence, Gray is stunned to discover that while the face in the painting is aging grotesquely, he is not! In fact, he remains as beautiful as ever.Nothing ages him.
But Gray's wanton lifestyle will eventually catch up with him, and the consequences of his reckless behavior will come to haunt him.
From the critics
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"The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. That is all."
"Oh, brothers! I don't care for brothers. My elder brother won't die, and my younger bothers seem to do nothing else."
"When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was."
"When I like someone immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it."
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Written and set in 19th century England, this gothic psychological thriller is a classic horror story, refreshingly free of the graphic blood and gore that seems to be the standard horror theme these days.
The story begins with Dorian Gray, a young man of extraordinary good looks, having his portrait painted by his friend Basil Hallward. In the midst of posing for the portrait enters Lord Henry, a pompous and self-important character that convinces an innocent Dorian that his looks are his most important characteristic and that he will have tremendous power over people because of them. He tells Dorian that he should enjoy them while they last as like everything else they will fade with time and so will the power that comes with them.
Taking his words seriously, a naïve and melancholy Dorian wishes that his looks would last forever and instead of time ravaging his face and body, his portrait would age instead, leaving him forever young. As the story moves along and to Dorian’s increasing dismay, he starts noticing that his wish has been granted… with a twist. The portrait is noticeably growing more hideous as Dorian’s behaviour becomes progressively more callous and contemptible.
Though dated, the story is fast-paced, well written and an easy read. Its lighter side pokes fun at the aristocracy and their total uselessness while its darker side reveals the level of shallowness and depravity of human nature.
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