This book is so good on so many levels. Not only is the novel a dark and interesting thriller, but Wilde weaves a moral code throughout which can’t help to change your outlook.
A portrait of a young man, 'Dorian Gray', is painted by artist 'Basil' who finds himself utterly obsessed and incaptivated by the beauty and innocence of Gray. All the while he worries he has put too much of his soul/self in to portriat. As Gray begins to become corrupted by society, his own vanity and the sycophantic behaviour of others, the portrait bares the brunt.
The portrait grows uglier and older with each of his sins, while Gray retains his beauty and youth. I won’t give away anymore, I can’t put it better that Wilde himself.
The obsessive love of Basil for Dorian is believed by many to be a portrayal of Wilde's own obsessive love for a young gentleman at the time. It is easy to draw comparison between this novel and the autobiographical film 'Wilde'. I'd suggest to watch this biographical film first if you can...it gives the novel yet another level.
Any fan of Wilde’s will gain more of an understanding of him through this novel than any biography. Those who are not fans shouldn’t start here though, you will require a good understanding of the British language and older literary works to effectively read and understand this book. Haunting yet uplifting, we all have our Dorian Grays, or see some of ourselves in him.
Regardless 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is one of the cannon’s greatest yarns.