Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray by Mitzi Szereto is purported to follow the adventures of an iconic character, but I think this novel suffered from a bit of misrepresentation. It was presented as a follow-up to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, so cleverly alluded to in the title, and that’s a workable idea for a novel. I would be interested in what happened to Dorian – what happened to Dorian? What happened to the portrait? What would you do if you were assured that you would never grow old and never have to pay for those sins? But this is really soft-core porn. Not that there is anything wrong with that – I like a bit of raunch now and then. It just wasn’t what I was expecting when I agreed to review it.
Basically, this book follows Dorian Gray as he leaves England in search of new “sensations.” First, he goes to Paris where he frequents brothels and stages elaborate orgies in his apartments. But Paris is a little too close to England and he begins to run into reminders of his past. He travels to Marrakesh and dabbles in a bit of brutality – on the receiving end. Eventually, he has to dispose of his lover and find a new playground.
That’s really the gist of the book – Dorian travels from city to city, fucking and killing people. (More of the former than the latter.) Eventually, he lands in New Orleans and takes up with some vampire wannabes. It’s a pleasant enough erotic romp, but it doesn’t really work for me. This kind of novel, with its Victorian language, is not explicit enough to really be erotic for me, but isn’t meaty enough from a literature standpoint to really satisfy my reading appetite. An amuse-bouche, perhaps, but definitely not a main course.
My copy of Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge. If this sounds like your sort of book, I suggest you check out the author’s website for similar works – she’s got quite a variety!