Thursday, 15 August 2013

Caragh Reviews - The Picture of Dorian Gray by Ian Edginton

Published - 2009
Publisher - Eye Classics
Synopsis - “Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world worth having but youth!” The Picture of Dorian Gray is a graphic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic work, stunningly re-imagined by writer Ian Edginton and artist I.N.J. Culbard. This Gothic morality tale is the story of a man who, taken by his own beauty, pledges his soul in a desperate bid for eternal youth. But when his wish is granted, things go terribly wrong. A painting of Dorian begins to age in his place, while Dorian himself becomes a dangerous narcissist who destroys everyone standing in his way until the day he is forced to come face to face with the ugliness of his own conscience.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (orig: Oscar Wilde) is my all-time favourite book, and so when I spotted this I just HAD to see if it was everything I imagined.  

The text itself was great. It kept the essence of the book and the story was easy to follow and captured the characterisations of most of the characters. I was somewhat surprised and disappointed that the more gruesome and disturbing elements of Oscar Wilde's original version were left out but it didn't especially take away anything away from the graphic novel. 

The biggest problem I had with the graphic novel was the actual graphic section. The artwork just didn't work for me at all. The faces seemed distorted and it was really difficult to tell the difference between Harry and Basil. The text compensated for that but I feel like the entire thing was let down by it. The artwork is really important to a graphic novel or manga and it should flow seamlessly and compliment the text etc but honestly, I didn't feel it. 

Overall it was a fun, quick read that I did partly enjoy but I feel like perhaps most of my enjoyment came from the fact that it was an adaptation of my favourite book. On the other hand that could also be why I feel overly critical of it, too. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good, simple overview of The Picture of Dorian Gray without actually reading the book, or to those who would like an easy way to refresh their memory.


Josh Caporale said...

I, too, enjoy Oscar Wilde's classic. A graphic novel is what this piece exactly needs. If they did it with Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" against his wishes, then this is perfectly appropriate.

Loaded Shelves said...

I still haven't read anything by Kafka! Do you recommend it?

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