The young adult genre has now set its sights on Oscar Wilde.
We are in the era of adaptions, re-releases, re-imaginings, covers, and more in film and television. Turns out there is another format that has been laying low under the surface for awhile: Young adult adaptions of classic literature. Playing host to a variety of dramatic teen aliases, the source materials range from Oliver Twist—who get’s a gender flip and a hacker twist—to The Great Gatsby, which turned an oft considered stale classic into a true millennial novel, where fluid and open performance of sexuality spill across the text. These books fill a certain niche now, with teens growing up on the jump-cut laden YouTube. With a quicker pace and more relatable subject (thankfully, we’ve moved on from only reading about the plaintive exploits of straight, white, male protagonists) these are easily digestible, relatable and flirtatious reads, crammed full of longing, lusting, technology, and cultural references. Now, The Picture of Dorian Gray can be added to that young adult list. With a television show, graphic novel, and now novel, the Oscar Wilde tale of the vanity and hubris of man has been made into a dramatic battle between supernatural forces that takes the turmoil from contained within the self—and Gray’s portrait—to a fight of demonic proportions. After flipping randomly to five pages, we chose our favorite quotes below.
Prologue – Page 16
“‘I am jealous of everything whose beauty does not die,’ said Dorian bitterly. ‘I know now that when one loses one’s good looks, one loses everything. Your picture has taught me that. Lord Wotton is right. Youth is the only thing worth having. I find that I am growing old,’ he cried, ‘I shall kill myself!’”
Chapter One – Page 28
“He had gone to many places, done many things, a lot of them ugly, one or two perhaps unforgivable. But he’d succeeded in what he wanted to accomplish; he’d learned, and equipped himself.”
Chapter Ten – Page 121
“Sybil had sculpted features and piercing blue eyes that a man could take a headfirst drive into and never want to emerge. Add to that the fact that she not only had a body that wouldn’t quit, but a body that no one would ever think of ring once it was in their employ. A couple of guys were standing o to the side, eyeing her with a drunken longing, although it was impossible to determine whether they would wind up hitting on her or just admiring her from afar.”
Chapter Thirteen – Page 173
“Watching Henry’s boyish grin as he stood eagerly in front of the microwave door, counting down the seconds when it would be pizza time made Dorian forget about the vivid nightmares. For the first time tonight, Dorian smiled.”
Interlude Five – Page 250
“He had told the girl with whom he made love he was poor and she had believed him. He had told her once that he was wicked, and she laughed at him, and told him that wicked people were always very old and ugly. What a laugh she had. She knew nothing, but she had everything that he had lost.”
Dorian Gray by John Garavaglia is out now on Markosia Enterprises.