Dorian Gray is a up-and-coming bachelor in England. He has recently befriended an up-and-coming painter, Basil, who finds inspiration in Dorian's delightful good looks. Lord Henry Wotton is also a friend of Basil, but there is nothing good about him, except perhaps being good at confusing truth for lies. Henry's influence is immediately toxic for Gray, who bemoans the portrait Basil made for him and curses the fact that the portrait shall always remain pure and untainted while he will go on in life and age and become unwholesome to look at in time. If only the case were reversed; if only Dorian could maintain his youth and handsome looks while the portrait receives the brunt of aging.
And just that happens. And that's the end of my disclosure.
At some point during our book club discussions the host usually asks, "Did you like it?" The reactions to this one were largely negative. It's a dark story, and no happy ending. But I liked it for its symbolism. And the book made me ask how much of Dorian Gray can I see in myself? How much of Dorian Gray is in all of us?