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review 2018-09-12 16:12
"The Picture Of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
The Picture Of Dorian Gary - Oscar Wilde

I was quite excited when I started this book. I've always enjoyed Oscar Wilde's plays and Stephen Fry seemed the perfect narrator for his work.

 

I'd expected a few hours of entertainment and stimulation but I was very disappointed with what I heard.

 

Stephen Fry's performance is first-rate. Without him bringing the text to life, I doubt I would have made it through this short novel.

 

The text was very disappointing. I realise that the impact of the story is dulled because the central conceit of Dorian Gray's picture is as surprising as finding out that the Count living in Castle Dracula is a vampire but even so, I was had expected to enjoy how the story was told, rather than flipping from boredom with what I mentally labelled "A Single Shade Of Gray" to annoyance at just about every attribute and utterance of the main characters.

 

According to the publisher's summary, Oscar Wilde noted in a letter that:

 

“Basil Hallward  is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

 

Basil Hallward is the artist who paints the picture of Dorian Gray. Lord Henry is Dorian's corruptor. Basil Hallward was a dull but worthy man who seemed to be in denial about the nature of his attraction to Dorian Gray. He's described by Lord Henry (an alleged friend) as a man who produces bad art with good intentions.

 

Dorian Gray starts as an entitled, over-privileged air-head, mainly notable for his cluelessness and his pretty face. He ends up as an even more over-privileged hedonist, mainly notable for his endless capacity to blame other people for the consequences of his own decadent choices.

 

Lord Henry suffers from verbal incontinence. The man ceaselessly spews out tiresome epigrams, the meretricious sparkle of which he uses both to prop up his ego and to sustain his endless self-deceit about his engagement with the world.

 

As is probably clear by now, I found myself entirely unsympathetic to this book and the people in it. I was irritated by the self-dramatising privileged young men the story centre around, worn down by the constant flow of over-worked wit and unpleasantly surprised by how ponderously the action moved forward.

 

My main reaction to reaching the end of the novel was relief that I'd no longer have to spend any time in the company of these narcissistic parasitic men.

 

I endured this book to fill the Darkest London square on Halloween Bingo

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text 2018-09-11 23:34
Reading progress update: I've read 60%. - the most horrifying thing about this book is that I still have 40% of it to read
The Picture Of Dorian Gary - Oscar Wilde

I love Oscar Wilde's plays so I assumed I'd enjoy his novel. Instead, I find myself entirely unsympathetic to this book. I'm irritated by the self-dramatising privileged young men the story centre around, worn down by the constant flow of over-worked wit and unpleasantly surprised by how ponderously the action moves forward.

 

If I had a picture in my attic, it would be pulling its hair out and screaming silently at this point.

 

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text 2018-09-10 14:18
Reading progress update: I've read 20%. - epigrams quickly become tiresome
The Picture Of Dorian Gary - Oscar Wilde

According to the publisher's summary, Oscar Wilde noted in a letter that:

“Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

 

Basil Hallward is the artist who paints the picture of Dorian Gray. Lord Henry is Dorian's corrupter. 

 

I'm only 20% in and I'm already finding Lord Henry's company tiresome. He never met an epigram he didn't like, as long as it was his own. His opinions are clever but facile, flashy rather than substantive and mask the fundamental dishonesty of his interior monologue.

 

Epigrams are fine in a play but having to listen to them all day long would be enough to make you shun a man.

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review 2018-09-10 02:45
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy
Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum - Meghan Mccarthy

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy is a level 740L on the Lexile reading level scale. Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum is about not only the invention of gum because that has been around for centuries, but the invention of the best gum ever, bubble gum. It all started with an accountant at Fleer Gum and Candy started to mess around with different recipes. Students will be so engaged by this book, and maybe you can use this in science to learn how bubble gum is made. If it's not too complicated, maybe you could create some bubble gum in class.

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review 2018-09-10 02:18
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! - Mo Willems

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems is a level I on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. In the beginning of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, the bus driver specifically says do not let the pigeon drive the bus, but the pigeon tries to trick you the whole time into letting him drive the bus. This is the cutest book of all time! What you could do in your classroom is tell the students to write a persuasive piece of why you should or should not let the pigeon drive the bus, and why.

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