Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review Wednesday By Kim

The Picture Of Dorian Gray
By Oscar Wilde (1890)

Review by Kim

I like to call this my favorite book when I'm feeling literary, but I'm usually severely undermined by the fact I can never remember whether it's "Picture" or "Portrait" in the title. Google tells me it's "Picture."

If you haven't read it, I really do recommend it, except for chapter 12, which I found extremely boring. Or possibly it was 11. The rest was sensational, though.

Oscar Wilde would be amusing enough if he did nothing besides sit around and spout couplets all day, and Dorian shows he's certainly capable of that. However, it also manages to tell one of those legendary stories you feel certain must have been around for centuries, yet wasn't. It seems classic without having stolen its plot, which is way more than you could ever say for Shakespeare.

The premise is that a painting of Dorian Gray from his young adulthood takes on all his physical, mental and spiritual scars from that point in his life forward. He himself remains utterly unscathed and unaged, which allows him to live a life remarkably unhindered by concerns about what Jesus would do. Or even Clinton for that matter.

It's a compelling story cleverly told, and the only non-academic book I've ever allowed myself to underline in. "It is rather fashionable to marry Americans just now," you know. You didn't? Now you do.

Thanks again, Kim, great job! Read more Kim-ness over yonder.


Pedro said...

Nice review Kim. I had just watched the newly released film, hoping to be rewarded in the same way as the book but alas, no.
More pulp from the Hollywood mill.
Great story though.

KIM said...

thanks, ben and pedro! haven't seen the film; too bad it wasn't up to snuff ...