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A novel that disturbs you 160 years after it first appeared in print, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, has so much relevance and resonance even today. Dorian Gray is a strikingly handsome young man whose beauty attracts a debauched aristocrat Sir Henry Wotton. Dorian's picture has been painted by a talented artist Basil Hallward and Sir Henry becomes desperate to meet Dorian, though Basil himself is against it. Sir Henry persuades Dorian to pose for a picture painted by Basil and during the painting sessions, Henry “educates” the young and impressionable Dorian about life. Sir Henry's vicious nature, his obsession with youth and his cynical, materialistic outlook on everything begin to slowly affect Dorian. Dorian descends into a horrifying world, where he commits all manner of abhorrent deeds with all round him feeling the effects. Lives are destroyed, crimes are committed but Dorian's self-indulgent and depraved life continues. The story takes a bizarre and terrifying twist from here onwards as the picture begins to develop a life of its own. The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published as a serial in Lippincott's Magazine in 1890 with much apprehension by the editors who feared that it was too corrupt and depraved for readers. Wilde's own scandalous private life was already creating an uproar in society. Finally the novel was published in the magazine but with large-scale censorship without Wilde's permission. As predicted, it caused widespread outrage and condemnation. However, Wilde remained unfazed and proceeded to publish it in book form with a wonderful preface which he called an Apologia, in which he talks about art, philosophy and creativity. Controversy apart, the story is gripping in its Gothic atmosphere, making it a literary masterpiece, with Wilde's brilliant touches of characterization, emotional sensitivity and understanding of human nature. Today's modern emphasis on youthfulness, fighting age and obsession with external appearance finds echoes in this richly evocative novel. It has been extensively adapted for film, stage and television, with references to Dorian Gray appearing in a wide variety of works of art. Radio adaptations, plays and musicals have been continuously appearing right down to the present day. The Picture of Dorian Gray has fascinated readers the world over, with its eternal themes of art, youth, beauty, morality and immortality. Dorian Gray remains the symbol of what all mankind seeks even today – the Fountain of Youth - even though it comes with a price tag.
This was a great book. And the reader was amazing. I would probably listen to just about anything he was reading.
Excellent story! I love the fact that it was read by one reader and a very good reader. Had no problem understanding or following the story. Thank you Bob for reading so grand. He was the perfect reader for this story.
Clear and dramatic reading. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!
Both reading and the book are very well done. Enjoyed every second of it.
Great reader. Fantastic book - lots to think over
Reader is well versed, easy to follow and lends character to his reading. Story is intriguing enough.
Always enjoy a reading by Bob Neufeld
I liked the reading by Bob Neufeld very much. Before listening, I would have supposed that a British reader would have been more appropriate, but I think Bob is just right. His pacing is slow enough for us to be able to think about what is being said, a nice quality when listening to a recording. Especially worthwhile when thinking through the epigrams of Oscar Wilde.
The book (story) is absolutely amazing, but I disagree with other reviewers. The narrator does not do it justice. I find the choice of an American man with a slightly raspy, rough voice (don't get me wrong, his voice isn't unpleasant; very soothing) to be an inappropriate choice for a British novel about youth and beauty. Additionally, very little attempt is made to differentiate the voices so I often get lost in the longer conversation passages. But I still recommend it. Just be prepared to listen to it a couple of times before you really get everything that happens.
I'm with everyone else on this one, by far the best reading from this provider I've found so far. Very well done!
Interesting topic for a book with a lot of dark humour, but the great voice of Deckard Cain (or so I thought at first) was giving it more oomph.
This book has become my favourite on the website! It totally gave me the chills. Also many thanks to the reader.
An absolutely amazing performance from the reader.
The reader really brought the story to life. Listened to it over two days and enjoyed it very much.
Great reader :) love the story
Love the book. Don't think it should be in the "history" section, however.
Excellent reader. Great story.
Very Enjoyable Book and a Briliiant Reader!!!
Very beautifully read! Thanks so much...
He did read the book very well. :) I agree with the other reviewers.
Fantastic! Really loved this book. A great book read by an excellent reader!
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The reader was excellent.
Very expertly read.
Really good ,bravo to the reader.