Joshua Skye – The Theft of Dorian Gray


Author: Joshua Skye
Reviewed by:
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
M/M Futuristic
ISBN 13: 9781935753902

Rating: ★★★★☆ 


In an alternative Victorian London Oscar Wilde, the famous journalist, is given an overdose of absinthe while visiting his favorite brothel. Addled by the drug, he watches helplessly as Frederick the Swede steals his precious Writer’s Tackle. Disaster! The device contains the draft of his latest masterpiece, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and now it’s gone into the stinking alleys of Whitechapel.

His search is almost derailed by the gorgeous rentboy Basil, but their erotic tryst is interrupted by Westborough, a magistrate determined to catch Oscar Wilde in the act and lock him up. Basil and Wilde flee, and with the help of Wilde’s old friend Lord Homeward, they manage to outwit the mad magistrate.

But what of the precious manuscript? When Basil sees a picture of Frederick, he recognises the man. But his name isn’t Frederick. It’s Dorian Gray.


Freaky steampunk that is an alternate universe of Oscar Wilde and his creation of   The Picture of Dorian Gray.The story runs from the moment of its theft and what a delightful if surreal journey.

Flashback to Oscar at Trinity and the onset of his journey into adulthood. There are several uses of the time shifts in the storytelling and while it usually drives me bonkers, I actually enjoyed it here.

There are a whole host of characters that are beyond interesting. It is the secondary characters that really fill in and take the story to the next level. Adam and Eve are awesome. Slightly creepy, but still awesome. Homeward’s basement, very creepy. In fact, there are several inhabitants of his house that are twisted, and yet…not.

This just a fun read. The language, the amusing inventions, and the scathing wit were simply lovely.

Overall, intriguing. I must confess a glaring absence of first hand knowledge of the novel. Terrible, isn’t it? I love the legend of Wilde and never wanted to impinge upon it with the banalities of reality. I fell in love with the gorgeous monstrosity of his Egyptian inspired Art Deco tomb graffittied with garish crimson lips. I’m afraid that my admiration for Wilde was not great enough to kiss the filth of Paris.

Recommended to steampunk fans who enjoy witty repartees and amusing condescension.


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