The Picture of Dorian Gray

By Oscar Wilde
Read by Simon Vance

7.73 Hours 01/01/2008 unabridged
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Dorian Gray, a handsome and narcissistic young man, lives thoughtlessly for his own pleasure—an attitude encouraged by the company he keeps. One day, after having his portrait painted, Dorian makes a frivolous Faustian wish: that he should always remain as young and beautiful as he is in that painting, while the portrait grows old in his stead. The wish comes true, and Dorian soon finds that none of his wicked actions have visible consequences. Realizing that he will appear fresh and unspoiled no matter what kind of life he lives, Dorian becomes increasingly corrupt, unchecked by public opinion. Only the portrait grows degenerate and ugly, a powerful symbol of Dorian’s internal ruin. Wilde’s dreamlike exploration of life without limits scandalized its late-Victorian audience and has haunted readers’ imaginations for more than a hundred years.

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Summary

Summary

 Audie Award Finalist

Dorian Gray, a handsome and narcissistic young man, lives thoughtlessly for his own pleasure—an attitude encouraged by the company he keeps. One day, after having his portrait painted, Dorian makes a frivolous Faustian wish: that he should always remain as young and beautiful as he is in that painting, while the portrait grows old in his stead.

The wish comes true, and Dorian soon finds that none of his wicked actions have visible consequences. Realizing that he will appear fresh and unspoiled no matter what kind of life he lives, Dorian becomes increasingly corrupt, unchecked by public opinion. Only the portrait grows degenerate and ugly, a powerful symbol of Dorian’s internal ruin.

Wilde’s dreamlike exploration of life without limits scandalized its late-Victorian audience and has haunted readers’ imaginations for more than a hundred years.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Simon Vance’s portrayal of each character is spot-on. His Lord Henry is casual, dismissive, and haughty. His Basil Hallward, the artist infatuated with Dorian, comes across as timid and pitiful but always endearing. Best of all, Vance’s Dorian Gray exudes youth and impetuousness at the beginning, but quickly darkens once the character’s madness takes hold…Vance...finds the essence of each character, making Wilde’s work a delightfully creepy listen.” AudioFile
“The book seems more modern than one would imagine. Rather than merely a potboiler from two centuries back, Wilde’s genius imbues the story with a strange and haunting immediacy, and a cautionary tale for us all: Be careful what you wish for.” Pittsburg Examiner
“More than a century after its publication, Oscar Wilde’s novella The Picture of Dorian Gray is recognized as one of the classics of English literature, a masterpiece of fin-de-siècle aestheticism and in many respects a harbinger of the Modernist movement.”  Brooke Allen, author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes
“Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, seems—in an age devoted to youth—unsettlingly modern.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born in Dublin. He won scholarships to both Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by the radical aesthetics of Walter Pater. Flamboyant wit and man-about-town, Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. After publishing two volumes of short stories between 1887 and 1891, his social-comedy plays such as Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest established his critical and commercial success. In 1895 Wilde was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for homosexual conduct and died in Paris in obscurity a few years after his release.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 7.73
Audience: Adult
Language: English