The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
I knew I would like this book if only because of its author, Oscar Wilde, and he did not disappoint. In what is truly a commentary on the moral bankruptcy of the aristocracy of the Britain in which Wilde lived, we have a little gem of literature. It is difficult, these days, to find a book in which philosophizing plays as large a role as plot, and in which neither outweighs the other. No one is likable; Basil is sycophantic, Harry is contemptible and corrupting, Dorian is narcissistic in the extreme. There are no heroes here, only fallen angels. Self-love seeps like opium smoke into the nooks and crannies of aristocratic life, covering all with a superficial sheen. Wilde truly was a master of the English language, and it is a joy to read his words.