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The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories Here Are Sixteen Of The Best Stories By One Of America S Most Popular Storytellers For Nearly A Century, The Work Of O Henry Has Delighted Readers With Its Humor, Irony And Colorful, Real Life Settings The Writer S Own Life Had Than A Touch Of Color And Irony Born William Sidney Porter In Greensboro, North Carolina In , He Worked On A Texas Ranch, Then As A Bank Teller In Austin, Then As A Reporter For The Houston Post Adversity Struck, However, When He Was Indicted For Embezzlement Of Bank Funds Porter Fled To New Orleans, Then To Honduras Before He Was Tried, Convicted And Imprisoned For The Crime In In Prison He Began Writing Stories Of Central America And The American Southwest That Soon Became Popular With Magazine Readers After His Release Porter Moved To New York City, Where He Continued Writing Stories Under The Pen Name O Henry Though His Work Earned Him An Avid Readership, O Henry Died In Poverty And Oblivion Scarcely Eight Years After His Arrival In New York But In The Treasury Of Stories He Left Behind Are Such Classics Of The Genre As The Gift Of The Magi, The Last Leaf, The Ransom Of Red Chief, The Voice Of The City And The Cop And The Anthem All Included In This Choice Selection A Selection Of The Common Core State Standards Initiative


10 thoughts on “The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories

  1. says:

    This is a collection of 16 short stories by O Henry, a master of the story with the twist ending These stories were written in the early 1900 s, so you can find them all free online with a little searching Many of these stories are set in New York City, and it was fun to get a glimpse of New York society a hundred years ago from someone who lived there O Henry generally writes light fiction, sometimes sentimental, usually with well drawn, appealing characters, and typically with a surprise This is a collection of 16 short stories by O Henry, a master of the story with the twist ending These stories were written in the early 1900 s, so you can find them all free online with a little searching Many of these stories are set in New York City, and it was fun to get a glimpse of New York society a hundred years ago from someone who lived there O Henry generally writes light fiction, sometimes sentimental, usually with well drawn, appealing characters, and typically with a surprise ending.As a collection, this is a mixed bag There are several gems in it, but also some mediocre stories, and a few that I thought were complete duds Given that these stories are all in the public domain, I would recommend picking the best stories and reading them online, or buying a different collection of his stories, rather than this particular set although it was only 50 cents for the Kindle version The Gift of the Magi 5 stars Della and Jim, a young married couple, poor as church mice All Della wants is to buy her beloved Jim a wonderful Christmas present but all she has is 1.87 Is there anyone who doesn t know this story I don t know how many times I ve read or heard it But I still found myself sniffing and wiping my eyes as I read the classic words But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest Everywhere they are the wisest They are the magi The Cop and the Anthem 4 stars Soapy the homeless guy just wants to get arrested so he can spend the cold winter months in a nice warm cell on the Island Why does Fate seem to be conspiring against him Springtime a la Carte 5 stars This was so cute I can t even Sarah is alone in New York City, missing her farmer boyfriend who hasn t written, and dripping tears on the menus she s typing up for the restaurant downstairs because the dandelion salad reminds her of Walter putting a dandelion crown on her head The Green Door 3 stars Another story of romance, with fate and an adventurous spirit teaming up Fine but not really memorable After Twenty Years 4 stars A loitering man tells a passing policeman that he s waiting for his old friend Jimmy, his best chum They agreed twenty years ago to meet again at this exact time and place, no matter what A poignant story of friendship and the changes that can happen over time The Furnished Room 1 star Ugh Maudlin and infused with bathos The Pimienta Pancakes 2.5 stars Old West tale about a cowboy and a sheep man competing for the same woman or are they Humorous but a little silly The Last Leaf 4 stars A very ill young woman takes it into her head that she ll die when the last leaf falls off the vine outside her window Sentimental but touching The Voice of the City 1.5 stars I kind of got the impression O Henry was scraping the bottom of the Inspiration Barrel here While the Auto Waits 4 stars Well played, Mr Henry Way to fake me out view spoiler with the double twist hide spoiler A guy and a girl meet in the park and start chatting, and I was all, yeah, I know where this one is going Well, I was half right A Retrieved Reformation 5 stars Jimmy Valentine, safecracker extraordinaire, gets a pardon from jail and promptly returns to his safecracking ways, until I really liked this one the ending gave me warm fuzzies Although I have to wonder view spoiler what happened immediately after the story ends Does Jimmy s future FIL quiz him about his unexpected skill set Does his fianc e, or would she not even care I like to think he fesses up but they forgive him his past hide spoiler A Municipal Report 3.5 stars After the narrator gets done with some mostly irrelevant drivel at the start about different cities and their personalities, and gets down to the actual plot, it s a pretty good one A literary magazine sends a man to Nashville to try to sign an exclusive contract with a lady to write articles for them The situation turns out to be farcomplicated than he expected A Newspaper Story 2 stars An exercise in imagining how a newspaper could affect lives in unexpected ways Not much of a story The Ransom of Red Chief 5 stars The classic humorous tale of a kidnapping for ransom gone bad The ending totally cracked me up view spoiler You had better come at night, for the neighbors believe he is lost, and I couldn t be responsible for what they would do to anybody they saw bringing him back hide spoiler A Ghost of a Chance 2.5 stars A fluffy story about desirable vs non desirable ghosts, and men, and lost opportunities It sabout social standing and the way people treat each other, and judge each other, than ghosts Makes the Whole World Kin 2 stars Rheumatism makes strange bedfellows Apparently commiserating over shared ailments that have no reliable medical treatment results in instant friendship.My ratings average out to 3.2 stars, so a 3 star rating it is O Henry, whose real name was William Porter, was a prolific author during his short life, writing 400 orshort stories He spent some time in jail for embezzlement, which may explain the sympathetic view he often takes of convicts and criminals in his stories He lived in Texas and Honduras while he was on the lam as well as in New York City.Buddy read with the pantaloons less group


  2. says:

    Hospitality in the prairie country is not limited Even if your enemy pass your way you must feed him before you shoot him You must empty your larder into him before you empty your lead. The Passing of Black Eagle I picked this version of the book as my front because this was the version of the book that the Pantsless Group was reading, but this isn t the TRUE book I read.The true book is the 1962 copy of O Henry that my mother owned It contains 35 O Henry stories and is an excellent book Hospitality in the prairie country is not limited Even if your enemy pass your way you must feed him before you shoot him You must empty your larder into him before you empty your lead. The Passing of Black Eagle I picked this version of the book as my front because this was the version of the book that the Pantsless Group was reading, but this isn t the TRUE book I read.The true book is the 1962 copy of O Henry that my mother owned It contains 35 O Henry stories and is an excellent book.O Henry wrote funny, sad, and sweet stories Almost all his stories have a twist ending He died in 1910 to give you some idea of what time period you are dealing with here, I think he did most of his writing between 1902 and 1910.I hate short stories but I love O Henry This is probably due to the fact that I was raised on it, and probably first read this collection of my mother s when I was 8 or 9 Since it was a huge and constant part of my childhood, I have a certain fondness for it.But this rating is not based on nostalgia, even my just finished re read of it shows that the book holds up excellently It is not a book that loses its power when you read it again years later.O Henry is probably most famous for his two stories The Ransom of Red Chief which is very funny, and The Gift of the Magi which is very sad.Everyone should read O Henry, in my opinion He s an American classic and he s a load of fun Not boring or dry.I m going to put my mundane, short thoughts on the stories I read under a spoiler tag NOT because there s any spoilers, there aren t any, but because I don t want you to be bored LOL Here s an example so that you can make sure there s no spoilers under the spoiler tagMammon and the Archer Cute.That s the extent to which I ve reviewed these stories view spoiler The Ransom of Red Chief This is one of the most hilarious stories ever written.The Cop and the Anthem A homeless man tries to get himself arrested so that he can spend three warm months in prison not having to worry about where his next meal is coming from during the cold winter.The Gift of the Magi A sweet, sad Christmas story that brings tears to my eyes every time I read it without fail.After Twenty Years Another sad story.A Retrieved Reformation Finally, a happy story.One Dollar s Worth Another happy story.The Skylight Room I have nothing to say about this.From the Cabby s Seat Cute, although he might be reaching for a twist in this one.The Theory and the Hound There s a lot of animal abuse in O Henry.The Atavism of John Tom Little Bear Racist garbage.Jimmy Hayes and Muriel Sweet and sad.Hygeia at the Solito Great story.Hearts and Hands Sweet and sad.A Blackjack Bargainer Sweet and sad.A Chaparral Christmas Gift Sweet and sad.Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen Sad and sweet.The Reformation of Calliope Sweet and cute.Out of Narareth Sweet and cute.A Call Loan Sweet and cute.The Green Door Sweet and cute.Hearts and Crosses Sweet and Cute.The Adventures of Shamrock Jolnes Cute.The Passing of Black Eagle Kind of weird, but still good natured.The Caliph and the Cad Cute and Sweet.Friends in San Rosario Sweet and Cute Awwwww.The Whirlgig of Life Sweet and Cute.Whistling Dick s Christmas Stocking Cute.Mammon and the Archer Cute.The Pimienta Pancakes Oh, that was kind of sad.The Last Leaf Sad and sweet.A Departmental Case That is a man Very attractive Vanity and Some Sables A bit weird.Bexar Scrip No 2692 What the fuck was that The Ransom of Mack Funny.The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock Sweet and Sad hide spoiler Tl dr In my opinion, O Henry is a must read I hate short stories HATE THEM But I seem to love O Henry This is a testament to how good he is At the very least, read The Ransom of Red Chief and The Gift of the Magi You can t go wrong with an O Henry collection He has an underlying goodness to his stories, even bad men usually show they have a good heart underneath in his tales They are thoughtful without being sappy, and uplifting without being trite O Henry s sharp intelligence shines through in every story I should probably berate him for some of his sexist remarks, but I can t bring myself to This book the 35 story one, not this one on GR has such a special place in my heart


  3. says:

    If you re looking for some light reading to boost your holiday spirits, you may want to consider this short story collection by O Henry Many of the stories are set in New York City, around the turn of the 20th Century The remarkable diversity of O Henry s writing style is what stood out for me He was truly a gifted storyteller with a knack for the twist ending After a while you do begin to see the pattern and anticipate the twist, but the tales are short enough that it s not much of an iss If you re looking for some light reading to boost your holiday spirits, you may want to consider this short story collection by O Henry Many of the stories are set in New York City, around the turn of the 20th Century The remarkable diversity of O Henry s writing style is what stood out for me He was truly a gifted storyteller with a knack for the twist ending After a while you do begin to see the pattern and anticipate the twist, but the tales are short enough that it s not much of an issue This collection includes sixteen stories, so to keep this review from becoming too lengthy what I ve done is simply highlight a relevant quote from each, then follow it with a line to encapsulate the overall message The standouts for me were The Cop and the Anthem, The Ransom of Red Chief, and The Gift of the Magi There were also a couple of clunkers The Furnished Room and A Municipal Report, which I didn t care for whatsoever Here s the list of stories, presented in the order in which they appear The Gift of the MagiOf all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisestYou before me.The Cop and the AnthemThree months on the Island was what his soul cravedCan t a bum catch a break Springtime la CarteIt was a day in March.Never, never begin a story this way when you write one No opening could possibly be worse It is unimaginative, flat, dry and likely to consist of mere windDEAREST WALTER, WITH HARD BOILED EGGNessun a perduto.The Green DoorThe true adventurer goes forth aimless and uncalculating to meet and greet unknown fateLife is like a box of chocolates.After Twenty YearsA man gets in a groove in New York It takes the West to put a razor edge on himSome friend.The Furnished RoomNo Always no Five months of ceaseless interrogation and the inevitable negativeI can t go on without you.The Pimienta PancakesSomebody s been dealing me pancakes from the bottom of the deckThere s a sucker born every minute.The Last LeafI want to turn loose my hold on everything, and go sailing down, down, just like one of those poor, tired leavesCan you hold on for oneday The Voice of the CityTell me, I said, stammeringly, for I have no voice of my own, what does this big er enormous er whopping city say It must have a voice of some kind Does it ever speak to you How do you interpret its meaningIt s those magical moments of silence at the end of a hectic day.While the Auto AwaitsI wanted to talk, for once, with a natural man one unspoiled by the despicable gloss of wealth and supposed social superiority Oh you do not know how weary I am of it money, money, moneyOh, what a tangled web we weaveA Retrieved ReformationMe said Jimmy, in surprise Why, I never cracked a safe in my lifeA second chance at living right.A Municipal ReportOf course, said I platitudinously, human nature is the same everywhere but there iscolor erdrama and movement and er romance in some cities than in othersLike a boring Sherlock Holmes mystery zzzzA Newspaper StoryAfter this can any one doubt the power of the pressBoth literally and figuratively.The Ransom of Red ChiefI ve stood by you without batting an eye in earthquakes, fire and flood in poker games, dynamite outrages, police raids, train robberies and cyclones I never lost my nerve yet till we kidnapped that two legged skyrocket of a kidThe best laid plans of mice and menA Ghost of a ChanceThen why, said Mrs Bell, looking the young man gravely in the eye, should that ghost have kissed me, as I m sure it didYou re too shy shy, hush hush, eye to eye Makes the Whole World KinDon t stand there making faces, snapped the citizen, bad humouredly If you ve come to burgle why don t you do it There s some stuff lying aroundOne touch of nature makes the whole world kin.So there you have it, a bit of a mixed bag, as they say My ratings averaged out to 3.2 stars.Read as part of another Non Crunchy Cool Classic Buddy Read


  4. says:

    I spent a month in Austin in 2016 It was good Thanks for asking While there my wife and I visited the William Sidney Porter House museum in the downtown area just one block south of the super busy party central 6th StKind of odd to come across this little, old house in the middle of bustling downtown Austin William Sidney Porter is the real name of O Henry, who lived only briefly in Austin before moving on to Houston Nonetheless, it was cool to go into the house and see the old place, as I spent a month in Austin in 2016 It was good Thanks for asking While there my wife and I visited the William Sidney Porter House museum in the downtown area just one block south of the super busy party central 6th StKind of odd to come across this little, old house in the middle of bustling downtown Austin William Sidney Porter is the real name of O Henry, who lived only briefly in Austin before moving on to Houston Nonetheless, it was cool to go into the house and see the old place, as well as his special writing nook.Porter was a clever guy His short stories often end with a surprising little twist, a littlesubtle than your typical M Night Shammalammadingdong movie This collection iswell, it s not the actual collection I read, but it s close enough There are tons of O Henry collections listed on GR and I can t find the one I read But the length is about the same and I believe the stories mostly match up.Once upon a time when I was a young man, I read The Gift of the Magi and really enjoyed it I promised myself I d readof his stuff Then I let about three decades slip by until deciding I d let the notion marinate long enough I m glad I finally got around to readingAlthough, I was a little confused at the start.The first story was The Voice of the City and I was not prepared for it His style, language, and pure and simple smarts had me befuddled and jogging to catch up However, after that it was smooth sailing I believe The Gift was up next, and it was nice to revisit that one Then the book slides into delight tales like The Ransom of Red Chief , The Romance of a Busy Broker , The Green Door , The Hiding of Black Bill , and The Cop and the Anthem.Not every story is a winner Sometimes I got a bit bored But overall this is a good collection and a nice primer for a prolific short story writer Rating 3.5 stars


  5. says:

    Now THIS I can get behind Gift of the Magi sad but also charming and hit me right in the feels Ransom of Red Chief this was hilarious Absolutely loved this story.


  6. says:

    I must say, reading these wholesome, old timey, corny, somewhat boring short stories was strangely comforting and prosaically pleasant immediately following reading a novel wherein the protagonist kills a cow while simultaneously getting sodomized by his boss, engages in explicit sex with another very willing cow, and serves meals consisting solely of his own shit to his deranged, monstrous mother and himself.Nice job, O Henry


  7. says:

    Smooth Classics buddy read sans the pantaloons The Gift of the Magi was the only short story I was familiar with I saw the play put on by the high school in Emmitt Idaho Not to imply that a certain celebrity that I have recently found out was from the a area cough AaronPaul cough may or may not have been in it.Well a girl can dream about a forgotten possible meeting with someone now famous Leave me alone.Anyway I remember the play beinginteresting than the short story A few of th Smooth Classics buddy read sans the pantaloons The Gift of the Magi was the only short story I was familiar with I saw the play put on by the high school in Emmitt Idaho Not to imply that a certain celebrity that I have recently found out was from the a area cough AaronPaul cough may or may not have been in it.Well a girl can dream about a forgotten possible meeting with someone now famous Leave me alone.Anyway I remember the play beinginteresting than the short story A few of the other stories were good as well The Cop and the Anthem Poor Soapy trying to get arrested.The Furnished Room A sad story of a gentleman unknowingly following in the footsteps of his beloved The Last Leaf A tragic tale where a woman s life is saved and another is lost.While the Auto Waits A story of swapped identities The Ransom of Red Chief The tables are turned Most of these stories had a surprise ending Some of them just fizzled out for me


  8. says:

    O Henry s short stories are known for their frequent surprise endings If you enjoy that sort of thing, this collection is for you If you are looking for amazing prose, this probably isn t for you If you re looking for deep and developed characters, I seriously wonder if you know what short stories are as a concept For the most part, these deliver on the premise of a story situation is presented and then something unexpected happens or is revealed The Ransom of Red Chief is a highlight, an O Henry s short stories are known for their frequent surprise endings If you enjoy that sort of thing, this collection is for you If you are looking for amazing prose, this probably isn t for you If you re looking for deep and developed characters, I seriously wonder if you know what short stories are as a concept For the most part, these deliver on the premise of a story situation is presented and then something unexpected happens or is revealed The Ransom of Red Chief is a highlight, and if you read only one I would suggest it be that one As with almost any collection of anything, there are a couple of duds Feel free to skip The Voice of the City, as well as A Municipal Report.As an added bonus, and to remove any excuse you really have to not read at least some of these, you can find all of the stories in this collection for free online Or you can get a Kindle copy for 99 cents


  9. says:

    This is a classic of course, and The Gift of the Magi is one of my favorite stories I wasn t familiar with the others, but enjoyed them too, especially The Last Leaf.


  10. says:

    This is one of the most touching stories that you will ever read.


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