Title: Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray: A Novel
Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mitzi Szereto’s Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray continues where Wilde left off with the Faustian tale of a man of eternal youth and great physical beauty who lives a life of corruption, decadence and hedonism. The story begins in the bordellos of Jazz-Age Paris, moving to the opium dens of Marrakesh and the alluring anonymity of South America. In his pursuit of sensation and carnal thrills, Dorian’s desires turn increasingly extreme and he leaves behind yet more devastation and death. He ultimately settles in present-day New Orleans, joining with a group of like-minded beings known as The Night People. They inadvertently return to Dorian his humanity when he falls in love with a young woman he rescues from becoming their victim. She will be his redemption, but she will also be his final curse.
Author: Mitzi Szereto
Published by Cleis Press Source: Publisher
Published: 19 November, 2013
Genres: BDSM, Dark Erotica, M/M Erotica, Menage
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
Far from a typical reworking of the original, Mitzi Szereto uses her love of Wilde’s book to reimagine a life for Dorian Gray that explores so much more than Wilde’s intentions. As such, this was a moderately successful venture, with a few difficulties for me as a reader.
Szereto has a deft hand with a pen, she captures the feel of Wilde’s mastery of words but brings us into the head of a man who has forsaken his humanity and morality as he pursues his singular desire to live life to its fullest. From mildly erotic scenes that are well within the norm for most readers, there is a steady decline into borderline acts of violence and questionable consent: and this is where I had problem with the direction. Pursuits of life and experience do not need to berate, degrade or abuse others physically.
If you are able to ignore those moments, the trajectory is really a downward spiral for Dorian, needing new and different becomes an ever-strengthening obsession and we follow him through various cities and settings. Always taking time to define the place and feel of the scene, the story carries a vibrancy that is redolent with the experiences and places that we travel with Dorian on his search.
While I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this to all readers who are curious about an erotically charged reinvention utilizing a classic character specifically because of the questionable consent and overtly violent moments, the story was well written and well presented with solid pacing and descriptions that felt true to the original classic.