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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Narrated by: Michael Page
Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

  Featured title in the 2018 PBS Great American Reads 

When The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1891, it evoked a tremendous amount of hostile criticism, in most part due to its immoral content. Oscar Wilde was identified with the "art for art's sake" movement of the 19th century which did not subordinate art to ethical instruction. However, this novel is indeed a morality tale about the hazards of egotistical self-indulgence.  

"If it were I," exclaims Dorian, "who were always to be young and that picture that was to grow old . . . I would give my soul for that."

With that spoken, the tale of this young hero of amazing beauty, Dorian Gray, begins. His pact with evil allows his portrait to take on his many sins and degradations while his physical appearance remains youthful. Over the years as he becomes cruel and vicious, even murderous, Dorian's young and perfect body is no longer enough to salvage his deteriorating mind and morality. Will justice and good prevail?

Public Domain (P)2005 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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Profile Image for Cindy Hill
  • Cindy Hill
  • 04-04-15

One of my faves!!!

The narrator takes the experience to new heights! very gifted indeed : ) I have read this book several times and very much prefer the audible version. So into it!!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Dulce
  • Dulce
  • 14-09-13

Creepy Gothic Story

What did you love best about The Picture of Dorian Gray?

The fact that the writer directly engaged the moral issue, which can be summed up as, "Is it better to be beautiful than good?" Oddly he answers his own question in the conventional way, which is not what I was prepared for. It seems Gray gets his just punishment at the end. But along the way there is the idea that fate, accident, random occurrences also can determine one's outcomes. So this isn't a straightforward justification of the "wages of sin." I think Wilde was more subtle than that in his contemplation of art and aesthetic appreciation and their effects on human life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There isn't a single likeable character in the story. Dorian is immorality incarnate, Basil allows his appreciation of aesthetics to get in the way of his judgment, Sir Henry is a loathsome upper class idiot, and Sybil is a fool. But Dorian's development from a beautiful young innocent to a decadent monster is fascinating.

Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

The narration was very good and Page did all the characters well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but I learned more about the 19th century foppish British aristocracy--possibily Wilde's own circle--that I might have wanted.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-02-15

What a story! What a performance!

Love it? Adore it! The decadence of human soul, having been corrupted by humanity. Wilde knew a great deal about it, for he had his own demons (nothing different from what we experience nowadays).
But it's not the novel I would like to commend, but the performance. Indeed, what a performance! Wow! Mr Page, hats off!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew’s wife
  • 08-01-15

Great Classic

Any additional comments?

A very interesting story about vanity and corruption. I really enjoy the works of Oscar Wilde.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Bethany
  • 23-08-17

Classic!

It's been decades since I read this intense story, and this is expertly narrated. So happy that I chose to purchase this version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Calliope
  • 25-06-16

amorality and Hedonism run amok

It's sad that this novel is often summarized or portrayed in movies as a horror novel about some sort of deal with the devil, or an alter ego along the lines of Jekyll and Hyde, because it's really a movie about the perils of unfettered Hedonism and the misguided belief in the purity and goodness of beauty. The eponymous painting is really just the method that allows Dorian to be as selfish and Hedonistic as he chooses, because he remains youthfully "pure" and beautiful in his appearance, allowing him to, at least transiently, charm his way through a series of friends and playmates.

Oscar Wilde wrote some great stuff, and this is one of my favourites.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica
  • 30-12-13

Oscar Wilde was ahead of his time...

Would you consider the audio edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray to be better than the print version?

Not sure I could ever call an audio edition better than the printed version. It was, however, a great way to experience Dorian Gray. I compare an audio edition to a movie, not to a book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Henry - I was guessing at who he truly really was throughout the whole book - was he a devil or just a free spirited Englishman?

Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I certainly will. He made this book come alive.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I hadn't planned it but I did. Well, not sitting, but it was in my robe pocket as I went around the house.

Any additional comments?

Dorian Gray has been sitting in my Audible library for a while. I am so glad I finally listened to it (in less than a 24 hour period, I might add!). The characters hooked me from the start. And Michael Page's narration was fantastic. Great combination of writer and narrator!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 27-06-13

Minus one star for preachiness

Great story idea and fairly well executed. I deducted a star for preachiness. Some of it is essential to the story, but IMHO it's overdone a bit. Michael Page's performance was good, but didn't grasp my attention in any special way. If you like classic SF and Horror, but missed Wilde's contribution to the genre along the way, then it will be worth your time, but probably not a credit. I bought it for $0.99 by getting the Kindle version (free) first under Amazon's offerings of classics at low prices to introduce WhisperSync. At $0.99 for e-book and a-book, you can't go wrong. If you haven't discovered this secret, and read Kindle e-books, check out classics on the Amazon site. You'll find that many are very inexpensive or free and entitle you to the a-book for $0.99. It's a great way to add classics to your library

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-07-19

Definitely worth to listen!

First of all, the narrator, Michael Page, is expressive and allow to fully immerse into the storyline, which is make me listen to it twice - as much I enjoyed some monologues of Herry and other characters. I highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Carlos M. Valdez
  • Carlos M. Valdez
  • 22-06-19

A classic that must be read or listen many times

I enjoyed this classic, to much has been d said about the novella, the narrator does a wonderful job.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful