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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wordsworth Classing Reading Challenge: January Update

January is heading toward the end, we've been in 2011 for almost a month now, and I'm able to finish two classic books. One of them unfortunately not part of Wordsworth Classic so I can't add it as my list but if you're curious, you can read my review on Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Title: Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde

Publisher: Wordsworth Classic

Rate: 3 and a half stars

"...In this country it is enough have distinction and brains for every common tongue to wag against him. And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite."

Picture of Dorian Gray tells a story about a very beautiful man who was gifted (or was cursed, depend on which side you're on) with eternal youthfulness. Not even one wrinkle or line landed on his face; even when he grew older he still had his boyish face. On the contrary, it was a painting of him that became older and more wicked by the time, bore the mark of every crime he committed; a girl committed suicide, a young man fell intoxicated by drug, and many more. It seems everything he touched were crumbled, while himself stayed pure and beautiful.

First time I read this story was years ago; it was abridged version and I really like it. The horror in the painting and how it changed the way Dorian thinks about himself. Now, after reading the original version, I must admit I didn't like it they way I liked it before. It was too much distractions, too much details, too much description that made me bored. I understood that some of those descriptions were necessary, but it was just too much.

However the characters were interesting. Though I didn't like them, I was fascinated by them. This kind of remind me of one scene in this book where Lord Henry lent a book to Dorian Gray, and asked about the book.

"I didn't say I liked it, Harry. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference."

That is exactly how I feel about the characters in this book. I didn't like Dorian Gray, Lord Henry, or even Basil Hallwark. Most of them were too in love with vanity; it was boring for me. But I quite enjoyed reading Lord Henry and Dorian Gray's conversation, especially when they were joined by woman; they were charming, I got to admit that.

So, what about you? Have you read any classic book on January? You can link your review or tell me your progress in comment.



Michelle Flick said...

http://flickspicks1.blogspot.com/2011/01/frankenstein-by-mary-shelley.html Here's my first one!

Anonymous said...

i love this one, i think it's time to read it again. :D

Naj said...

I haven't read a classic this month but I will soon. I read half of Dorian Gray. I didn't like it much but the other books Oscar Wilde wrote were great! :D

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I loved The Picture of Dorian Gray the first and only time I read it. I'm a bit scared of reading it again after your review!

I've read one classic this month, Jane Eyre:

Lynossa (Deranged Book Lovers) said...

@Sam, try it! It's always interesting to re-read a book. You could like it less or even more!

Liz Tea said...

I didn't notice a post up yet for February, so I figure I'd post this here. February's not that far advanced anyway. ;D I just finished Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence, and it was fantastic! One down, five to go for me.


Mandy W. said...

I just finished my review of the Great Gatsby:


Ellie said...

I finished my first book during a read-a-thon - The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. A small one, admittedly, to start me off, but it's been languishing on my shelves for far too long!


P.S. 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is maybe my favourite book ever. I've read it about four times and always hope that Dorian will redeem himself before it's too late!

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