30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: Least favourite book

First things first, I don’t hate this book. As a rule, I don’t hate any books and always try to find at least one redeeming feature about each book I read. But I was so disappointed by this book that it kind of is my least favourite. There is so much that could have been done, so many ways the plot could have been covered… And it just didn’t get there for me. This book is my least favourite because it didn’t fulfil the promise of its summary.

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

I’ve actually read this book twice. Once, because I loved the idea of it, and the second time because I refused to believe that I hadn’t enjoyed it. Surely, I thought, it must be better! With a plot so brilliant, how could I not have enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray? So I re-read it. And I realised what it is I don’t like about Oscar Wilde’s novel.

There are actually some parts of this novel that I love. I love the premise of it, the whole idea of a painting growing older (and more ‘evil’) while its subject remains unchanged. And if it had been published as a novella, it would have been one of my favourite stories. Therein lies the problem. Short as it is (229 pages), I think Dorian Gray would have done much better even shorter. The storyline would have been so much more powerful if the more rambling and descriptive aspects of Wilde’s writing had been cut out.

To be honest, I skimmed a large portion of the novel when I re-read it earlier this year. Wilde had such a tendency to philosophise and debate that I was losing interest in what is an amazingly interesting story, caught up in the tedium of his descriptions of Dorian’s vanity and arrogance (see Chapter XI, the one I all-but skipped). Perhaps I’m being rather harsh, but I really did have such high hopes for this novel.

And I really did enjoy many aspects of it. I just wished that those aspects had been the whole thing.



Filed under Books

8 responses to “30 Day Book Challenge: Day 2

  1. Thanks for the good review. I have the book downloaded ready to read and I’m going to start this week, so it’ll be interesting to read with your review in mind! I saw the film – which was pretty good – perhaps, like you say, because it is shorter and the medium of film reduces the ability to meander.

    • Which film version did you see? I’ve been wanting to see one but have never been able to decide!
      I hope I haven’t spoiled it for you!! Let me know what you think of it.

      • I saw Dorian Grey, the one with Ben Barnes and Colin Firth. It’s worth a watch. You’ve just reminded me to start reading – looking forward to seeing how it goes.

      • I do have a copy of that one somewhere… Must give it a go then!

      • I’m reading the novel now and you’re right – there are great swaiths that I am cutting out. I have just skim read an entire chapter where is dialogues Sybill’s mother and brother. I can see why they cut that sort of scene out of the films. I shall read on! Enjoy the film.

  2. Aww I love ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ but I admit some of the philosophic ramblings can be slightly tedious! For my 30 day book challenge I chose ‘The Great Gatsby’ as my least favourite book – that’s another one like ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ that gets massively split opinions!

    • Ooh! I’d agree with you on ‘The Great Gatsby’… It was one of my runner-ups! It was just a bit too random and aimless for me, though I’ll probably give it a second chance sometime.
      I’m really disappointed that I didn’t like ‘Dorian Gray’… But that’s why it ended up as my least favourite – I so wanted to like it!!!

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