Lucky 14, the official Classic Club 'Spin' number, corresponded to a title from my "Quickie" category, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. With only 250 pages, I was able to finish several days ahead of the April 1 deadline.
Most readers are probably familiar with the basic premise of this 1890 novel. A beautiful young man remains forever youthful while his portrait ages and reflects the degradation of his soul. The Picture of Dorian Gray is an exploration of beauty, youth, vanity, and sin. In other words, not what I was expecting.
My daughter has enjoyed Wilde's plays and says they are quite funny, but that humor is not at all apparent in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel is very dark and full of philosophical nuggets that beg the reader to pause and ponder. Dealing with similar themes, it was an especially good follow-up to my recent reading of Vanity Fair.
So, did I like The Picture of Dorian Gray? Judging from all the post-it flags in my book, you would have thought I loved it. But let's just say I didn't dislike it... yet I can't whole-heartedly recommend it either. Wilde does have a beautifully visual, sensual quality to his writing that makes me want to read some of his other works.
I should also mention that around St. Patrick's Day, Audible treated its members to a free download of The Picture of Dorian Gray narrated by Steven Crossley. You may recall that I loved Crossley's reading of In the Woods by Tana French, so was thrilled with this offer and more than happy to make this another read/listen combination.
Finally, is it just me or do you think the cover of the Oxford World Classics edition pictured above bears a striking resemblance to Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey)?
Thank you, Classics Club, for hosting this event. I'm hoping for a fall edition of The Classics Club Spin!