The Barbarian Book Club’s Book of the Month (May): The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

What would you give to remain beautiful forever? One cannot help but ask that question whenever The Picture of Dorian Gray comes into mind. First published in July of 1890. The book has offended moral sensitivities from the very beginning. It was the only novel published by Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet, and playwright. The book was deeply philosophical, with allusions to themes of aestheticism and morality.

A no stranger to scandals, Oscar Wilde bravely tackles topics that are way ahead of its time. It contains topics deemed to be offensive for its time. But has been able to unsettle and captivate the next generation of readers. And there is no denying that exceptional books are those that challenge one’s view of the world.

A tale of beauty and duplicity, that is what’s best to describe Oscar Wilde’s Faustian masterpiece. The story revolves around a handsome Dorian Gray, who desired for his beauty to never fade. With his wish granted, he embarks on a decadent journey towards self-indulgence. And ultimately, to his path to absolution.

Are the things we covet, worthy of abandoning our values? One cannot help but reflect at such questions as we traverse the path of our calling. For Dorian, it was beauty and self-indulgence and for us, it might something else. It might one’s search for wealth, fortune, or perhaps the affection of a woman. Regardless of our reasons, where to do we draw the line in our pursuits?

We get easily caught up in our pursuit of whatever that made sense to us. We give our best, for better or worse because that is what we do. As men, we pour our hearts out not to in words but within actions. The book poses the question of how much of ourselves are we willing to lose in achieving what we believed in. Much can be learned from this book for its views on aesthetics and morality. It has the right amount of flair and flamboyance expected from non-other than Oscar Wilde. It was dazzling, breathtaking, exquisite, and I recommend it with the highest regard.

Despite the scandals, there is no denying that The Picture of Dorian Gray is deserving of its acclaim. It is critical and very thought-provoking, worthy of its place in our consciousness. With that said, let me ask you this; How much does your soul worth for?

Get it on Amazon, The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (

48 thoughts on “The Barbarian Book Club’s Book of the Month (May): The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

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  1. Wow… You continue to surprise us Mr. A! This is beautifully weaved. Congratulations, another great read! Definitely inviting to read the book.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Crystal! Thanks for commenting!
      I really think it is a great book, yes there might some depictions that some might say distasteful. But it is philisophical underneath.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh the search of perfection in vanity. Trust me no wants to be ugly simply because they know how they will be treated. Even back then Oscar knew the value of being attracted. If you have ever been on the other side of attraction perhaps you to would be willing to give your soul at any price just to be admired, cherished, thought about,or even acknowledged. Most people think they would value something more,i.e. Their soul until they are on the other side of attraction. Despite what people say, beauty is important,even though it fades. Great post

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi hmaxwell! I’m definitely with you on this one.
      No one really wants to be ugly, no one really wants to outcast. I think, us humans seek appreciation. Suffice to say that one would go great lengths to achieve beauty, power, money, or whatever they found meaningful in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Oscar Wilde. He was in my top three growing up. I’ve read everything, even his obscure poetry. Which in my opinion is not as good and tantalizing as his plays and novel. Plus he himself had such an interesting life. He is well worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. really enjoyed your discussion on this. how far, how much, how long? all questions on how we struggle with the self, why is there a constant focus on what we cannot have is crux to me. we chase elusive dreams when we can focus on the tangible we don’t. i believe we stumble others when we are too focused on ourselves. but one good thing that comes out of books like these are we humans see our own true selves through another’s eyes and discover we are much the same. is that then a call to change or just accept the horror we are? love your books choices and how your mind delves into it. well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gina! I guess that will always be the question =) But to be honest, I never see anything wrong for shooting for the stars even when you can’t reach it. But for Dorian, it started with beauty but ended up with depravity. I’m guessing the road to hell really is paved from good intentions.

      Cheers Gina! =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. there comes a fork in the road Mr A, we decide how it happens, never chance, just depends how much we willing to give up in return. shooting for the stars within limits and not hurting others is what I’d subscribe to. including not hurting myself. thank you for your thoughts, always something to think about. have a good week ahead


      2. Indeed! I think that is why it is very important to establish you values first and foremost. As it will be that ones that will determine one’s course of action.
        It is always great to have you here Gina! Have a good weekend too! =)

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I always remind myself of these things. For example, I value strength above all.
        So everyday I ask myself “How can I be strong today?”. I guess it is good practice as it allows you to be active on the things you wanted to achieve. =)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. a wonderful quality for a man, someone men or women can depend on, I detest weak men who gripe about their lot in life, its totally unattractive!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I know, believe it or not, I consider myself socially awkward. But I constantly try to engage people as much as I could. Through experience I was able to mask out or learn through my awkward personality! =)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. you awkward…nah! call it boyish shyness my friend, its endearing! you are naturally friendly just a little reserved perhaps. haha i am taking liberties describing you arent i?!!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Nah, I think I well passed my boyish charms! But seriously, I still feel awkward at social situations, I guess I’ve gotten good at hiding it! =)

        Liked by 1 person

      8. know what i dislike those social situations too, i am usually with a book, small talk bores me and people can be so shallow. you still have the charm!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Very stimulating topic. I honestly cannot determine when can I stop my pursuit, or what I am looking for in the first place. The question is though: when will we see our results? And when will it be too late?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nour Lee! Thank you for joining in!
      For your question, I think it doesn’t matter what the results are and if it’s too late if one doesn’t have clear idea of what he wants in the first place. I think that you really get what you pay for.
      I hope that sufficed! Cheers! =)


  6. Heh! Dorian Grey. A study in NPD abuse if ever I saw one. In exchange for abusing his victims, a peculiar ‘trick’ happens when it is the picture takes the rap; not him.

    Take about fuel, facade and residual benefits, eh? Tudor would have a field day! Locked up in the attic? Makes me wonder very much if Wilde was as brilliant as he was self-aware.

    Too bad he was Irish, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, reminds me of some Metallica song.

      Beauty certainly has its value, but much like everything in life; there is a need for balance.


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