Tuesday, April 19, 2016
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This is one of the first few audio books I ever listened to, when I had a temp job in a warehouse. I clearly recall listening intently to a serious part of the story when suddenly the narrator said "The end." I may have gasped out loud! I had no idea the book was near the end and was caught completely off guard. (This same thing happened with Of Mice and Men, yuck.)
I'm sure being socked by the dramatic ending is partly why TPODG made my list, but it's not the only reason. This book had been recommended to me a few times over the years but I'd avoided it because I previously wasn't much interested in reading classics. I figured audio would be a good way to get through some of them and I was right!
When I read classics, I'm surprised at how universal the themes are. Even if the language is "old fashioned," the concepts are often relate-able. TPODG struck me in that way, because even though Dorian is vain and kind of a jerk, I can understand why he did what he did and I felt bad for him toward the end.
This book contains one of my favorite literary quotes, “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” The first time I heard it, I stopped the audio book so I could write it down! I don't necessarily believe that for myself, but I can see the truth in it for others and especially as part of this story.
I guess this book is also dear to my heart because it changed my opinions about the classics and led me to read others. And even though I hated Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies, I am glad I am pushing myself to get through the books that paved the way for the contemporary writers and novels I love.