Download The Picture Dorian Gray Audiobook

The Picture Dorian Gray Audiobook, by Oscar Wilde Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Oscar Wilde Narrator: Don Hagen Publisher: Recorded Books: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781596595187
4.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 54.2 out of 5 4.20 (5 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $15.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is the only novel ever written by Oscar Wilde and, like other classic authors who only wrote one novel in their time, Wilde produced a real gem. The Picture of Dorian Gray is taut, tense and tragic, rather like Wilde's own life. At the same time, the prose is beautiful and flowing, with an intricate and haunting plotline.

The story begins with Dorian Gray sitting for a portrait for a popular artist named Basil Hallward. Dorian is an incredibly handsome young man and Hallward regards him in the light of a Greek hero, idealizing him. At the same time, he's afraid that the friend he has introduced Dorian to, Lord Henry Wotton, will be a bad influence on the innocent youth. This fear turns out to be justified because Lord Henry often talks about being "amoral" and living a hedonistic lifestyle, without caring for society's norms and customs. Although Lord Henry himself is all talk and no action, he inspires Dorian to start living the kind of life he imagines. Thus begins the downward spiral of Dorian Gray.

However, before indulging in any immoral acts, Dorian makes a fatal wish, expressing his willingness to trade his soul in return for the youth and beauty that Hallward has captured in his portrait. From this point on, Dorian remains beautiful and youthful no matter what he does; the passage of years does not affect him. However, the portrait starts to change, subtly at first, and more drastically as time passes, with each immoral act that Dorian commits. His first misdeed is to make an innocent actress fall in love with him and then leave her, causing her to commit suicide. After this, Dorian goes wild, indulging in all kinds of debauchery, but his outward appearance is so benign that he still manages to remain a member of society.

In a tension-filled scene, Dorian finally shows Hallward how hideous and old the portrait has become. He blames Hallward for his corruption and, in a fit of rage, kills him, disposing of the body. As the story continues, Dorian escapes a murder attempt and finally attempts to change who he has become. He decides to be good to his latest conquest, Hetty Morton, but the portrait reveals to him that what he thinks of as goodness is really vanity and hypocrisy. Eventually, he attacks the portrait and, in doing so, kills himself. When his body is discovered, it is found to have aged and become hideous while the portrait has reverted to its original beautiful state.

The Picture of Dorian Gray created a great furor when it was published and many people thought it to be indecent and immoral. However, Wilde wrote a preface defending his book, saying that art should be appreciated for itself and not for any moral values it might reinforce. To us, of course, The Picture of Dorian Gray is not that scandalous but in Victorian society, the debauchery of Dorian Gray and the hints of a homoerotic nature were shocking to a straitlaced audience. In a sense, Dorian Gray is a representation of Victorian society itself - beautiful on the outside but with an underbelly of sin and hypocrisy.

Oscar Wilde was born in Ireland and studied at Trinity College in Dublin and later, Magdalen College in Oxford. He settled in London where he got married and started writing plays. His comedic plays, the most popular of which was "The Importance of Being Earnest", were quite popular but "The Picture of Dorian Gray", now accepted as a classic, was greeted with widespread criticism. The same year that he published this novel, Wilde also became involved in a homosexual relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, which led to a scandal and Wilde's imprisonment for two years. After being released from prison, Wilde left England and never wrote under his name again.

Download The Picture of Dorian Gray now from The Audio Bookstore and immerse yourself in this fantastic tale about the darker side of human nature.

With a dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty, Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for sparkling prose and astute social observation to The Picture of Dorian Gray. After the artist, Basil Hallward, paints his portrait, Dorian Gray frivolously wishes that the picture change, yet he remain the same. Allured by his perverted friend, Henry Wotton, Gray jumps into a life of depravity and sin. With each sin Dorian commits, the painting of him grows increasingly hideous, showing him what is happening to his soul. Taking the listener in and out of London drawing rooms through a life of sex, lies, murder and crime, this melodrama about moral corruption has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than a hundred years. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • More than a century after its publication, Oscar Wilde’s novella The Picture of Dorian Gray is recognized as one of the classics of English literature, a masterpiece of fin-de-siècle aestheticism and in many respects a harbinger of the Modernist movement.”

    Brooke Allen, author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes 

  • “The book seems more modern than one would imagine. Rather than merely a potboiler from two centuries back, Wilde’s genius imbues the story with a strange and haunting immediacy, and a cautionary tale for us all: be careful what you wish for.” 

    Pittsburgh Examiner

  • “Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, seems—in an age devoted to youth—unsettlingly modern.” 

    Kirkus Reviews 

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nina | 1/30/2014

    " Uno de mis libros favoritos. la prosa de Oscar era como el era, rimbombante, decorada, reflexiva, hermosa. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ele | 1/4/2014

    " An absolutely tantalizing book. I was caught in it since the beginning! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 10/27/2011

    " I skimmed the boring parts and also read the cliff notes, does that count? I liked it, because it made me think. I also was able to boast when I heard a TV show refer to Dorain Gray, I knew what they were talking about. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drucilla | 5/20/2011

    " This novel isn't as well known as Dracula or Frankenstein but it is just as good. In some ways, it is darker than those two as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wilde | 5/19/2011

    " I've read this book a couple of times over the years and have always enjoyed it. "

About the Author

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born in Dublin. He won scholarships to both Trinity College, Dublin, and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was heavily influenced by the radical aesthetics of Walter Pater. Flamboyant wit and man-about-town, Wilde had a reputation that preceded him, especially in his early career. After publishing two volumes of short stories between 1887 and 1891, his social-comedy plays such as Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest established his critical and commercial success. In 1895 Wilde was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for homosexual conduct and died in Paris in obscurity a few years after his release.

About the Narrator

Don Hagen has been behind the microphone since fifth grade. He is a nine-time winner of the Peer Award for narration/voice-over and twice winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has also been heard in radio and television commercials and documentaries. In addition to his freelance voice work, he is a member of the audiobook narration team at the Library of Congress.