Dorian Gray is having his picture painted by Basil Hallward, who is charmed by his looks. But when Sir Henry Wotton visits and seduces Dorian into the worship of youthful beauty with an intoxicating speech, Dorian makes a wish he will live to regret: that all the marks of age will now be reflected in the portrait rather than on Dorian's own face. The stage is now set for a masterful tale about appearance, reality, art, life, truth, fiction and the burden of conscience. Oscar Wilde's only full-length novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a lasting gem of sophisticated wit and playfulness, which brings together all the best elements of his talent in a reinterpretation of the Faustian myth.
Reading and rereading Wilde throughout the years, I noticed something that his panegyrists had not, it seems, suspected: namely the verifiable, elementary fact that Wilde was virtually always right. -- Jorge Luis Borges Wilde stood for art. He stood for nothing less all his life... He is still enormously underestimated as an artist and thinker... Wilde was a great writer and a great man. -- Stephen Fry Every line that Wilde ever wrote affected me so enormously. -- Morrissey I think The Picture of Dorian Gray stands as high as it ever has. -- Will Self A heady late-Victorian tale of double-living, in which Dorian's fatal, corruptive influence over women and men alike is left suggestively indistinct. -- Sarah Waters