The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • by Oscar Wilde
  • Narrated by Dan Lazar
  • 8 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here in its entirety is the classic cautionary tale about the pursuit of eternal youth at the expense of the soul.
When a beautiful portrait is painted of him, young Dorian Gray makes a vain, rash wish to always remain as beautiful as the painting. His wish comes true, and Gray starts a descent deep into moral decay. As he indulges in excesses and corruption, his physical form remains unblemished - but the portrait becomes decrepit and ugly. Gray's evil deeds eventually grow to include murder and lead him further and further toward Wilde's disconcerting conclusion that "ugliness is the only reality".
This classic tale of moral transgression shocked Victorian England and was used against Oscar Wilde when he was tried in court in 1895 for being a homosexual.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Voice Needs to be Better

The Picture of Dorian Gray is an iconic work like, for example, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. It needs a great reader. Unfortunately Dan Janson is not great reader, in fact I am sure I could do better myself. Audible, try again: maybe Jeremy Irons would do it for a grand (he was marvellous in the BBC "A Pair of Blue Eyes").
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- Barry

Great book; Serviciable Narration

The book most certainly gets five stars. Every line is quotable, and the parallels between the book and Wilde's own life are fascinating. Consider for example that Wilde writes about a painter, Basil Hallward, who has just finished creating the best portrait of his life -- that of Dorian Gray -- but is afraid to release it because of what people might think.

"I have put too much of myself into it," Basil comments, which is just another way of saying "If I put this on display, people will think that I'm gay."

Meanwhile, the book itself (as the publisher's summary mentions) does <em> exactly</em> that: It gets used against Wilde to help put him away a few years later. When Wilde emerge from prison, after serving two years, he is a broken man. He is unable to publish books or plays unless he does so anonymously, his wife dies, and he loses visitation rights to his children -- all this because of HIS relationship with a younger man! (Keep in mind that <em>Dorian Gray</em> was written before Wilde had even met Alfred Dougless, the young man in question.)

The book stands on its own even without all of the controversy. It's a hybrid tale -- sort of a cross between a Victorian comedy and a Faustian deal with the devil morality tale (all with a delightful homoerotic subtext). The narration, on the other hand, could have been just a tad better, although it certainly was serviceable. Can't really put my finger on what was wrong actually. Just needed to be <em>better.</em>
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- Charles

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Books on Tape