Too clever by half

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
3
words: flippant, uneven, cautionary
Our
book club read Dorian Gray this
month, and man, we had a great discussion. We’d all done some research and
found different things, plus we weren’t lacking in our own opinions.
My
observations: I listened to the audiobook, and the thing was nicely read by
Simon Prebble. But I gotta tell you, I rolled my eyes so often, I was
practically a menace to others on the road. Because the thing was so darn Oscar Wilde. All the quips and
cleverness. At first it was delightful, but by about the 15th flip
remark, I was ready to be done. Enough, already!
But
then my wish for seriousness was fulfilled. And I desired only for the
snarkiness to return. When Dorian became obsessed with jewels, there were
paragraphs after paragraphs about jewelry lore. (Deliver me…) And then he moved
on to embroidery. And ecclesiastical vestments. I was ready to hit fast-forward
and hold my finger there for a very long time.
But
then the book picked up again, because Dorian had become completely debauched.
And this was the interesting part. Since he could get away with murder (quite
literally), the book is an interesting study in absolute power corrupting
absolutely.
At
book club, we also had a discussion about Wilde stating that the three main
characters—Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, and Basil Hallward—each represent a
facet of himself. So that’s some interesting stuff.
As with
many assigned reading books, this one goes in the list “Glad I Read It / Glad I’m
Done With It.”

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