Selected Stories

Selected Stories O Henry originated the humorous energetic tale that ends with an ironic even shocking twist In After Twenty Years for example two boys agree to meet at a particular spot exactly twenty years later

O Henry originated the humorous, energetic tale that ends with an ironic, even shocking twist In After Twenty Years, for example, two boys agree to meet at a particular spot exactly twenty years later Both are faithful, but in the intervening years one boy has turned into a criminal, the other into a policeman Behind the rendezvous lurks a powerful dramatic situationO Henry originated the humorous, energetic tale that ends with an ironic, even shocking twist In After Twenty Years, for example, two boys agree to meet at a particular spot exactly twenty years later Both are faithful, but in the intervening years one boy has turned into a criminal, the other into a policeman Behind the rendezvous lurks a powerful dramatic situation with a fascinating moral dilemma all in a few brief pages This is just one of the many literary gems in Selected Stories of O Henry, a collection of forty five of O Henry s most renowned and entertaining short stories Each one offers insights into human nature and the ways it is affected by love, jealousy, poverty, gentility, and the all pervading reality of people conning people themes that ran through the author s own life Born William Sidney Porter, O Henry started writing while in prison for embezzlement Later he moved to New York, and his tales romanticizing the commonplace, particularly the life of ordinary New Yorkers, became highly popular The most widely read author of his time, O Henry died penniless but left behind a wealth of short stories that endure as hallmarks of the genre.

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Selected Stories

  1. William Sydney Porter lends the pen name O Henry to surprise endings signed officially as Sydney Porter His biography shows where he found inspiration for his characters Their voices and his language were products of his era.He was born 1862 Greensboro, North Carolina When he was three years old, his mother died from tuberculosis He left school at fifteen, worked five years in his uncle s drugstore, then for two years at a Texas sheep ranch In 1884 he went to Austin where he worked in a real estate office, a church choir, and spent four years as a draftsman in the General Land Office His wife and firstborn died, but daughter Margaret survived him After he failed to establish a small humorous weekly, he worked in poorly run bank When its accounts did not balance, he was blamed for it, and fired In Houston, he worked for a few years until ordered to stand trial for embezzlement he fled to New Orleans and thence, to Honduras Two years later, he returned on account of his wife s illness Apprehended, Porter served a few months than three years in a Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio During his incarceration, he composed ten short stories, including A Blackjack Bargainer, The Enchanted Kiss, and The Duplicity of Hargraves In 1899, McClure s published Whistling Dick s Christmas Story and Georgia s Ruling While in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he sent manuscripts to New York editors In the spring of 1902, Ainslee s Magazine offered him a regular income if he moved to New York In less than eight years, he became a bestselling author of collections of short stories Cabbages and Kings came first, in 1904 followed by The Four Million The Trimmed Lamp and Heart of the West in 1907 The Voice of the City in 1908 Roads of Destiny and Options in 1909, Strictly Business and Whirligigs in 1910 Posthumously published collections include The Gentle Grafter about the swindler, Jeff Peters Rolling Stones and Waifs and Strays and in 1936, unsigned stories Others were rewarded financially A Retrieved Reformation, about the safe cracker Jimmy Valentine, got 250 six years later, 500 for dramatic rights, which gave over 100,000 royalties for playwright Paul Armstrong Many stories have been made into films.

340 Reply to “Selected Stories”

  1. I ve just got a little bit left to finish, but I just love O Henry s stories I read a couple of his short stories in high school, and was hooked It is just positively amazing what he can cover accomplish in just a few pages Also how true what he has to say, and quite humorously too Wish I could write like that AND I have way too many exclamation points in this review

  2. It s hard to believe that O.Henry died penniless Perhaps his facility to peer inside an individual s soul took its toll He wrote of people from all walks of life and his egalitarian position was that everyone deserved to be written about Every human being possessed vitriol, pathos, and humor His ability to define character via humor is a revelation that will never pale beside current work and it is what continues to resonate once a story is complete Jeff Peters has been engaged in as many schem [...]

  3. In high school I read The Last Leaf It was brilliant and simplistic Many years later I decided I wanted to read of O Henry s work and Barnes and Noble provided the fodder Selected Stories of O Henry is a sort of Best Of collection of 45 short stories by O Henry The tip of the ice berg compared to his tiresome output over a short period of time.O Henry is considered by many to be the greatest American short story writer This cross section of his work shows why He is able to wear many shoes of Am [...]

  4. 3 saoR t mong mo i i c n nga y sa ch cu a O Henry c xu t ba n Vi t Nam v i ba n di ch m t ma , bi n t p ky l ng, x ng a ng v i gia tri cu a quy n sa ch 3 sao la da nh cho ba n ti ng Vi t na y, co n 2 sao n a mi nh ta m g i ng n ha ng v y, hy vo ng s m co nga y c ru t ra p

  5. Even though this book took me forever to read, I really enjoyed it Everyone is familiar with The Gift of the Magi, and I had read a couple of his short stories in school, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this volume I enjoy short stories from time to time, but I usually end up liking some stories than others Most of the time, short story collections are meh for me Not so in this case I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every story I was really surprised h [...]


  7. Loving these short stories The unexpected endings are great, and his humor is right up my alley Just enjoying some light reading in the midst of life

  8. The Gift of the Magi The story of Della and Jim, a married couple struggling to make ends meet Each sells his most valuable belonging to buy a Christmas present for the other Della sells her beautiful long brown hair for twenty dollars, and Jim sells his watch, which has been in his family for three generations Each buys a present intended to enhance the beauty of the other s most valued possession Della buys Jim a beautiful fob for his watch, and Jim buys Della a pair of jeweled tortoise shell [...]

  9. When reading a short story collection, especially a collection by only one author, I always face the problem of fatigue Of being authored out Becoming so familiar with the writer s style that the stories blur together and it gets yeah, maybe a little boring and a bit of a chore to finish.There were times that I did feel that when reading this collection When, I suppose, the O.Henry twist became O Henry rote and I had to step away a read something else but often then that were the times when I j [...]

  10. Funny and clever These aren t just gripping yarns, though they re wonderful period pieces and cut to the heart of an atmosphere Much of the setting and the characters may be larger than life, but the impression is wonderful, especially the elements that repeat over stories the dizzying freedom of the open prairie during last days of the real West the casual fierce loyalty of the cowboys who lived there the plucky resourcefulness of hardworking shopgirls and flippant con men alike the vibrant, in [...]

  11. O Henry is famous for his surprise endings which i guess makes them a little less surprising as well as his light humor while that makes for entertaining reading, i wouldn t call it frivolous gentle than his contemporary Mark Twain, but with greater realism, his stories deal with various classes of New York society, sometimes in the same story, and always make me think or feel something i didn t expect to.

  12. I searched by ibn but this isn t the edition I have.We ll see how many of these I have time to read before it must be returned.Some of these are excellent, others less so There were times that the description of even a minor character ran on to such an extent that I lost track of the finer points being set up in the plot.

  13. I seem to adore O Henry, though the stories that are set in the West do seem to be a bit thin and are constantly repeating the same plots.but I do love the allusions, the language, and the surprise endings.

  14. Henry never fails to catch you with his trick ending But this master of the short story may have also contributed to its evolution away from the formulaic trick ending to today s slice of life, open ended, much ados about nothing stories.

  15. Before Roald Dahl and Sudha Murthy and R K Narayan, O Henry was my favorite author of short stories The Last Leaf After 20 years The Count and the Wedding Guest are a few of my favorites.

  16. The Last Leaf, The Gift of the Magi, The Ransom of the Red Chief, and A Retrieved Reformation are his best short stories.

  17. I will never get tired of re reading these stories Shortly after purchasing it on a discount rack at a college I was visiting, I realized what a wonderful discovery I had made 3 O Henry

  18. O Henry was a new writer to me I picked this up because it was one on the few English books in the library at the Chinese University where I work Some of the short stories are better than others I liked the way he used adjectives although sometimes it seemed overdone and I also enjoyed how he d sometimes comment on both written and spoken cliches, which are still cliches in today s world O.Henry s stories always had a twist however sometimes it was easy to guess how he d end the story.

  19. Enjoyable read, but the endings became quite predictable Written at the turn of the last century the style was likely much novel back then.

  20. The version I read was 401 pages long This book at the end of every short story I wanted to read an entire book to see what the characters did after the story ended Very good book My favorite story was The Last Leaf.

  21. O Henry was possibly the greatest short story writer ever He, other than Roald Dahl, was the master of the plot twist.

  22. Of my preferred short story authors, O Henry is not on the list No particular reason beyond exposure, I suppose, which was limited to 2 of his stores in a school anthology, Gift of the Magi and Ransom of Red Chief and Soapy, of course That being said, the Ransom of Red Chief still lives in my memory as a story that made me laugh harder than anything I had ever read, by grade 7 To the point where I made my parents and sibs remain at the dinner table while I read the story but given that I was sti [...]

  23. This book was on the shelf, and I hadn t read it I somehow thought I already had Well, I was familiar with a few of stories The Last Leaf, The Gift of the Magi, The Man Higher Up, and The Ransom of Red Chief This last one, for some reason, is not included in this anthology.As others have noted, O Henry William Sidney Porter is a fine author Those are stories that can be enjoyed even when they ve been read before and you know the ending twist His descriptive powers are amazing and I really enjoy [...]

  24. While often regarded for his comedic twist endings, I d like to argue for the superiority of O Henry s introductory prologues His best stories often involve casual ruminations about things that might concern the average reader largely topics concerned with conversational habits, romance, etc In The Green Door, he begins by philosophizing what it would mean to be a great adventurer, and in this case that would be one who merely accepts a series of hypothetical surrealist situations without questi [...]

  25. O Henry now became one of my favorite writers These short stories are amazing They re really entertaining, witty and with unpredictable or rather surprise endings I ve only read 15 stories According to there are than 40 I surely will be reading all of them Here is my top list by now 1 The Roads We Take 2 The Cop And The Anthem 3 The Ransom Of Red Chief 4 A Retrieved Reformation 5 The Handbook Of Hymen 6 The Complete Life Of John Hopkins 7 The Ethics Of Pig 8 The Buried Treasure 9 The Gift of th [...]

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