Sunday, September 25

The Strange Case of Dorian Gray

I sat up last night to read the final chapter of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I feel that sensation of accomplishment for having read something so famous and so commonly referenced, like I was more 'up-to-date' with what everyone was going on about.  But apart from that, I felt nothing more. 

In a  way, I was disappointed.  I read Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island in 2009, and I really enjoyed that.  That book, by the way, I would recommend all older children to read, because it's a wonderful adventure story full of beautifully invented characters, and acts as a bridge to more mature classic novels.  But I didn't feel interested in or excited about these characters, and never really connected to it.  Perhaps it was my mindset.  My mindset emerges the villain behind many of my earlier opinions on books and authors, but I think that there's a good chance that this just isn't quite the book that it's made out to be. 

I feel as though I should be careful with my choice of words so as not to offend anyone who thinks this book is brilliant, but my feelings were that it is drawn-out without stepping into the territory of being 'deep'.  I couldn't make affinities with the characters, or even decide to particularly like certain ones.  Is it just me?

Here's another thought that I haven't thought to mention, though I probably should have said that long ago.  It's about The Picture of Dorian Gray

Within the first few chapters I experienced a very strong revelation about my growing up - the sudden and frightening realisation that I really am going to get old.  I'd never had that before.  For several days, I carried that realisation around like an injured bird, but eventually it began to heal, and before I was half through the book, I had almost forgotten about it.  I don't really have that full on, heart-gripping revelation anymore, but I am so delighted that Oscar Wilde was able to make me have it in the first place.  It's been a long time since anyone has influenced my private throughts so strongly.  It really is a remarkable book. 

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