[Book Talk] The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Book Details:

Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Read: November 2017


“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it”.

When Basil Hallward paints the portrait of young handsome Dorian Gray, he falls prey to his dazzling beauty. Afraid that his youth and looks will waste away, Dorian expresses a wish that his portrait, and not he, will age and fade over time. His wish is granted, and over the ensuing years, Dorian indulges in every kind of vice and pleasure, never aging nor disfiguring. Only his portrait, hidden to the world, bears the marks of his actions, and as his soul grows ever more wasted and corrupted, devastating consequences lie in wait.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is an exploration of the purpose of art, the superficial nature of youth and beauty, and the conflict between morality and intemperance. First published in its complete, uncensored form in 1891, it is Oscar Wilde’s only novel.

My Thoughts

I was under the impression that I had already read this book in university but as I started reading it, I didn’t remember anything about it so this was a brand new classic read to me! I picked this up because Halloween was coming and I wanted a good Gothic read for the occasion. It was my first time delving into Oscar Wilde’s work and I really liked how accessible the writing was. It was perfectly haunting and I loved the idea of almost magic coming over a picture and the picture growing old while the real life portrait sitter did not.

Even though this book is pretty short at just over 200 pages, I felt like I slogged through it a bit while reading. It took me at least a good hour and a half to read 30 pages so it took me a while to get through, but even though it was a slower read, that’s something I’ve come to realize while reading classics, and it really didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story. I’ve also learned that Gothic horror doesn’t really jump out as I’M TRYING TO SCARE YOU but instead it’s almost minimalist in the scares and I personally didn’t feel like there should have been more, though I would’ve loved more of the main character’s dissent into madness. At any rate, I loved his relationship with the portrait and the “magic” behind it.

My only real complaint about the story is about Lord Henry who was QUITE the character. I felt like he had so many opinions and had great long paragraphs of them to put upon Dorian that he was quite an irritating character. I loved Dorian and Basil but I almost felt like had this been real life, Lord Henry wouldn’t have gotten through a 10 minute speech whenever he had a reply to a conversation without someone interrupting him. But that’s probably just me.

I really enjoyed this story and I’m almost sad that this was Oscar Wilde’s only novel because I would’ve loved to read more of his stories. This will definitely be one I recommend when the Halloween season rolls around again. It’s the perfect book to read in front of a roaring fire in the evening!

What did you think of this book? Do you have any Gothic horror books to recommend? 


October Scary Book Recommendation: Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper (Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper, #1) by J. L. Bryan

October is one of my favourite months! With the cooler weather, the leaves falling from the trees, the furnace coming on, AND the scary books and movies! This month I’ll be sharing some of my favourite spoooooky books with you!  


Self-Published | August 27, 2014

Ellie Jordan’s job is to catch and remove unwanted ghosts. Part detective, part paranormal exterminator, Ellie operates out of Savannah, Georgia, one of the oldest and most haunted cities in North America.

When a family contacts her to deal with a disturbing presence in the old mansion they’ve recently purchased, Ellie first believes it to be a typical, by-the-book specter, a residual haunting by a restless spirit. Instead, she finds herself confronting an evil older and more powerful than she’d ever expected, rooted in the house’s long and sordid history of luxury, sin, and murder. The dangerous entity seems particularly interested in her clients’ ten-year-old daughter.

Soon her own life is in danger, and Ellie must find a way to exorcise the darkness of the house before it can kill her, her clients, or their frightened young child.

I fell in love with J. L. Bryans books after reading his Paranormals series so when I saw he had a new series out about ghost hunters I had to start reading it because I LOVE ghost hunter shows. This book was so good and definitely creeped me out. I don’t scare easily with books but I find with this series I get scared when I read it – especially at night! This is one series that I actually had to put down while reading at night because I couldn’t read it in bed, in the dark, on my kindle because it was just too spooky – and I don’t spook easily with books so that says a lot!

What is one of your favourite spooky books? 

October Scary Book Recommendation: I See You by Clare Mackintosh

October is one of my favourite months! With the cooler weather, the leaves falling from the trees, the furnace coming on, AND the scary books and movies! This month I’ll be sharing some of my favourite spoooooky books with you!  


Berkley Books | November 29, 2016

“[A] well-told suspense story…refreshingly realistic.”–The New York Times Book Review

“Danger feels real in the brilliant I See You…Mackintosh seems destined to do important work for many years to come.”–The Washington Post

“Mackintosh allots her characters the perfect amount of back story, allowing them to carry their own weight throughout the investigation. She also casts enough extras to keep readers guessing who could be behind these attacks…readers may find themselves wanting to reread this one.”–Associated Press

“[A] deliciously creepy tale of urban paranoia.”–Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10

The author of the New York Times bestseller I Let You Go propels readers into a dark and claustrophobic thriller, in which a normal, everyday woman becomes trapped in the confines of her normal, everyday world…

Every morning and evening, Zoe Walker takes the same route to the train station, waits at a certain place on the platform, finds her favorite spot in the car, never suspecting that someone is watching her…

It all starts with a classified ad. During her commute home one night, while glancing through her local paper, Zoe sees her own face staring back at her; a grainy photo along with a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

Other women begin appearing in the same ad, a different one every day, and Zoe realizes they’ve become the victims of increasingly violent crimes–including murder. With the help of a determined cop, she uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…A discovery that turns her paranoia into full-blown panic. Zoe is sure that someone close to her has set her up as the next target.

And now that man on the train–the one smiling at Zoe from across the car–could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

One kind of book I love to read in October is thrillers! I’ve grown so fond of thrillers this year and this book was just so good and so freaking creepy! Normally when I think of a horror book I think about books with monsters or vampires, but this book is one of those books that’s scary because it’s something that could happen in real life and it’s a book that makes you want to look over your shoulder more while you’re out and maybe think about changing up your routine. Such a good book!

What is one of your favourite spooky books?