It was written in 1891 by Oscar Wilde, and it is categorized as a philosophical novel although I would add a bit of mystery to that and remove part of the philosophy (as it has to do with some of the dialogues and not the plot itself). It is, of course, mystery as it would be written at the end of the XIX century, so don't expect anything similar to Stephen King or 'Gone Girl'. It was controversial two centuries ago, but no one would really feel that way nowadays.
The main characters are three: Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, and Basil Hallward, a painter. All three are very different, and their morals and thoughts on how society should act and be perceived are diverse. I would dare to say you will relate to one of them, or understand one of them. What about the other two? You won't like them much. I have read Oscar Wilde based them on three reflections of himself, and it totally makes sense.
It is set in Victorian England, which is a particular setting I like, for both books and movies. Also, if you live in London, you would be able to appreciate the naming of areas, parks, and streets. The story starts when Basil and Lord Henry are talking over the first one painting a portrait of Dorian Gray. How does the story follow? You have to read it for yourself!
I will say, some of the dialogue is skippable if you only care about the plot and the storyline, but it's worth the read if you're interested in the time period, or have a real love for literature.
I knew some of the twists of the story before reading it, and it kind of spoiled it for me a little bit. If you're unaware of any of them, and don't know anything about the story at all, don't research it: just trust me, and read it.
(ps. Any worthy photo I could find to go along with the post spoiled the whole thing).
I will say straight away, the main reason why I like dystopian stories is because I like new things. I get bored of the same thing over and over again. This applies to both books and movies, although it usually happens more frequently on the latter.
Even when you read two dystopian novels with a similar concept or hero portrayal, the world tends to change. That change stimulates my creativity and it makes me wonder, who would I be in that world?, what kind of problems would those people face beyond what's written?, how did society get to that point?, what would happen a hundred years after the events in the story?
They make me think, and I like thinking. A lot.
Dystopian stories happen in the future, or at least in a future from the moment it was written (as it happens in '1984'), and I love futuristic stories: with and without sci fi. If you tell me a story is set in the future, there is a 75% chance I will read it. The rest depends on many other factors, but you get the idea.
Young adult dystopias have been very popular recently, leading to many people reading and writing on the subject. Although this is great because it makes people read and think, here's the sad part. Authors have been writing dystopias long before yesterday, long before the internet and even television. A lot of people who call themselves "fans of dystopian stories" nowadays, haven't read any of them. They might not all be Young Adult material, but they are far beyond comparison. The research, the ideas, the characters, the message.
To conclude this post, here are some of my favorite non YA dystopias that are a must read for anyone: '1984' by George Orwell, 'Anthem' by Ayn Rand, 'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury, and 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley.
Not into books? Watch 'Gattaca', 'V for Vendetta', 'Equilibrium', 'Blade Runner', 'The Matrix', and 'The Island'.