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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Book Overview: 

The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian’s beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil’s, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry’s world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses his desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I am due at the Athenaeum. It is the hour when we sleep there."

"All of you, Mr. Erskine?"

"Forty of us, in forty arm-chairs. We are practising for an English Academy of Letters."

Lord Henry laughed and rose. "I am going to the park," he cried.

As he was passing out of the door, Dorian Gray touched him on the arm. "Let me come with you," he murmured.

"But I thought you had promised Basil Hallward to go and see him," answered Lord Henry.

"I would sooner come with you; yes, I feel I must come with you. Do let me. And you will promise to talk to me all the time? No one talks so wonderfully as you do."

"Ah! I have talked quite enough for to-day," said Lord Henry, smiling. "All I want now is to look at life. You may come and look at it with me, if you care to."




CHAPTER 4

One afternoon, a month later, Dorian Gray was reclining in a luxurious . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I finished reading this last night, and afterwards I spent an entire hour staring into space so I could contemplate over the majesty of this work. It left me speechless. This book is exquisite; it is an investigation into the human soul, the power of vanity and the problems of living a life with...more

Arguably literature's greatest study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness, Wilde lays it down here with ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!! This was my first experience in reading Oscar Wilde and the man’s gift for prose and dialogue is magical. This story read somewhat like a dar...more

So I read all of Wilde's plays a couple of years ago but for some reason I never read this at the time. This is probably the number one most requested book for me to read. So I read it. Are ya happy now!? ARE YA!?

I really rather enjoyed this. Well, obviously. I mean, did you honestly think I wasn...more

Oh Dorian. Oh Dorian.

When I first read this book in the fruitless years of my youth I was excited, overwhelmed and a blank slate (as Dorian is, upon his first encounter with Lord Henry) easily molded, persuaded, influenced, etc.

Certain Wildisms (Wildeisms?) would take my breath away. Would become...more

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a hard book to review. After reading such eloquent, beautiful, and rich writing, I am at a loss for how to command my comparatively paltry ability to use words to express how I felt about this book.

Forgive me as I go back to AP English for a few moments. I asked myse...more

"The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."
And so begins...more

”He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.”

I think I must have been about fifteen when I read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the very first time and I was totally blown away by it. There was this book, written in such a beauti...more

بسهولة شديدة يستحيل البياض سواد لكن كم هو صعب إعادة البياض لقلب اسود مختوم بالمعاصي..مفتون بالاثام..كقلبك يا دوريان♥
هذا وجهه سمح و ملامحه وضاءة تشع نور
و هذا وجهه فظ غليظ خشن حجب نوره

هل وجوهنا تحمل اثامنا؟
هل تجاعيدنا =خطايانا
بالطبع لا☆ و الا لما كان في اللغة تعبيرات مثل و أسفر عن وجهه. .او اماط...more

This book reminded me why I hate classics.

Like Frankenstein, it starts out with a great premise: what if a portrait bore the brunt of age and sin, while the person remained in the flush of youth? How would that person feel as they watched a constant reminder of their true nature develop? And like...more

ما هو أبشع كابوس تخيلته في حياتك؟
ما الذي تراه أصعب شيء يمكن أن تتعرض له

ماذا لو استطعت تجميع كل خطاياك و تخبئتها في مكان سري لا يعلمه سواك

ماذا لو استطعت أن تنفض يدك عن أي جريمة ارتكبت
وأي شر اقترفت

ماذا لو استطعت تحقيق المستحيل
وضمنت الخلود..؟؟

وماذا لو كان ذلك المكان السري هو وجهك الذي نحته فيلسوف فن...more

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