Since I’m rereading old classics, and this was one of the great American Reading Books on the list I decided to work from that list for my classic reviews. Though Oscar Wilde is known for his plays, this is his only novel, first published in 1890. You will find earlier books under the name of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Dorian Gray first published this novel as a magazine series, and it was thought to be so immoral that the publisher cut 500 pages from the manuscript. It comes in many covers and you may want to be sure you get what you wanted, the cut addition or the whole book as written by Wilde.
It is a story about beauty and conceit and vanity. It focuses on a young man known for his beauty. The young man, Dorian Gray is told every day that he has exceptional beauty. At first he was modest and accepted these compliments humbly.
Later, when an artist friend, asked to paint his portrait, he finally agrees to sit for his friend. When finished and he had last taken on ownership he is enthralled with it. It is just what he needed to reconfirm, his amazing beauty.
The young man soon discovers the painting holds a dark secret. Eventually he must hide the painting from other eyes. He does this in order that others cannot see the secret the painting reveals.
This is a great story, whether you consider it has as a sci-fi or horror book, it is a classic everyone can enjoy. I highly recommend it. Others evidentially agree as it was one of 100 picked as the favorite books of the American readers.