For my summer classic read, I chose Oscar Wilde’s only novel because I was intrigued by the concept and the author. Dorian Gray, a beautiful English gentleman, is having his portrait painted by his friend and admirer, Basil Hallward. Another English gentleman, the cynical and corrupt Lord Henry Wooten, is espousing his theories on life and nature while the portrait is being finished. As the dark, Gothic novel progresses, Dorian goes from innocence to complete depravity. While he stays as handsome and youthful as ever, his portrait takes on the true aging and abuse he heaves on himself and others. Dorian keeps the frightening picture locked in a room in his attic, but there is always a chance that someone will find it as well as discover all the foul acts he has committed.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fast paced, sometimes exciting read with clever ideas verbalized by Henry Wooten. One can see Wilde in all three of the main characters, and for me, his life was as exciting and horrifying as his novel.