Friday, August 24, 2012

Summer is time to catch up on the classics

I just got done reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I'd only ever seen the movie and thought I'd pick up the book. It's different. And by different I mean wordy. Oscar's motto seems to be: Why say two words when you can say 50 instead? I mean really.

Oscar Wilde came up with a lot of expressions that we use today. Like "I can resist anything except temptation" and "Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing". I think this book was just an excuse to spout off his way of thinking. He used the sympathetic characters to say the more PC of his thoughts and the evil ones to say what would have been shocking in his day. My favourite quotes were: "Her dresses looked like they were designed in a rage and put on in a tempest" (oooh... burn!) and "I'd do anything to bring back my youth except get up early, take exercise or be respectable" (you and me both, brother). What a writer.

When I read this book, I realized that he was a bit of a misogynist and an egotist with a touch of xenophobia thrown in for flavour. And so hilarious. This is supposed to be a "horror" book but it was so talky and clever that I couldn't help but look past the scary bits. Which, for a book that was written in the 1890s, wasn't really all that scary to begin with. So I recommend that you read it. I was surprised by how many times I laughed out loud. If you read it, be prepared for some flowery language and some meandering around the plot but you'll enjoy it.


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