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The Picture of Dorian Gray


Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray
average rating is 4 out of 5

Horror, Gothic, Psychological

R. Alex Jenkins

This is a bleak book. Darker than dark. A feeling of hopelessness and depression that never goes away.

I want to believe there's a reason for getting old, for doing good deeds, existing on planet earth, making ends meet and not jumping off a cliff when the going gets bad. Life is exactly what it is - your decision to view it as positive or negative. A chicken and egg situation. Is there a bigger purpose and just reward? Are we going to heaven or hell, or do we fade back into the dust? Oscar Wilde can tell you.

Perhaps the point of life is to be happy, merely through existence. Flowers respond to the sun when it rises, as the bees do to the scent of nectar, too busy to consider the whys or wherefores and how their hair-dos look today, let alone bland details like wealth and status, just busy living and relying on instinct. Life is about living, light and simplicity, while death focuses on sitting in a hole, self-reflecting and doing not a lot. We're only crazy because we think about it too much. We want too much of it ALL. Our worlds cave in rapidly when they don't match up with society's expectations of us, and perpetual life on Instagram or Facebook can be dispiriting.

This is a tale of inner conflict and madness. A world where going forward is more like going in reverse. Everything we know and believe in is in jeopardy. By pushing too much and not being able to handle it, ultimate destruction lies in wait.

As entertainment, this is confusing. Endless soul-searching, meandering down harrowing alleyways, disturbing inner conflicts, shallow friends and deceit, plus one particularly drawn out chapter to show off Oscar Wilde’s writing skills, but it succeeds as a dark and almost morbid study into the mundane affairs of existence. Our reason for being here? To get up and do something. To live forever in our own way, never getting old, to remain forever young.

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