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ISBN: 1559029838 (Do NOT enter in ISBN field!) Born William Sidney Porter in 1862, O. Henry first lived a checkered life as a cowhand, bank teller, reporter, embezzler, and convict. Then, in a last-minute reversal worthy of one of his own stories, he turned to fiction, and became a celebrated author of ironic miniatures. "The Gift of the Magi" is perhaps his most famous cre ISBN: 1559029838 (Do NOT enter in ISBN field!) Born William Sidney Porter in 1862, O. Henry first lived a checkered life as a cowhand, bank teller, reporter, embezzler, and convict. Then, in a last-minute reversal worthy of one of his own stories, he turned to fiction, and became a celebrated author of ironic miniatures. "The Gift of the Magi" is perhaps his most famous creation. And while this exploration of love and gift-giving doesn't exactly plumb the depths of human behavior, it does leave us with the final picture of Jim (sans watch) and Della (sans hair, or most of it), which has induced even the crankiest readers to shed a tear since it first appeared in 1906. Get out your handkerchiefs!


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ISBN: 1559029838 (Do NOT enter in ISBN field!) Born William Sidney Porter in 1862, O. Henry first lived a checkered life as a cowhand, bank teller, reporter, embezzler, and convict. Then, in a last-minute reversal worthy of one of his own stories, he turned to fiction, and became a celebrated author of ironic miniatures. "The Gift of the Magi" is perhaps his most famous cre ISBN: 1559029838 (Do NOT enter in ISBN field!) Born William Sidney Porter in 1862, O. Henry first lived a checkered life as a cowhand, bank teller, reporter, embezzler, and convict. Then, in a last-minute reversal worthy of one of his own stories, he turned to fiction, and became a celebrated author of ironic miniatures. "The Gift of the Magi" is perhaps his most famous creation. And while this exploration of love and gift-giving doesn't exactly plumb the depths of human behavior, it does leave us with the final picture of Jim (sans watch) and Della (sans hair, or most of it), which has induced even the crankiest readers to shed a tear since it first appeared in 1906. Get out your handkerchiefs!

30 review for Stories by O. Henry (Walmart)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Archit

    One Sentence : O. Henry plays in the football league of his own. One Sentence : O. Henry plays in the football league of his own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Alfonseca

    A selection of the best stories by O.Henry, taken from nine of his collections of short stories. I exclude those in "Cabbages & Kings", which is actually a novel, as its stories carry on. The eight stories I most liked are the following: From "The four million": "The gift of the Magi," "The cop & the anthem" and "Mammon & the archer." From "The trimmed lamp": "The last leaf." From "Heart of the West": "A chaparral prince." From "Roads of Destiny": "Friends in San Rosario." From "Wirliwigs": "The rans A selection of the best stories by O.Henry, taken from nine of his collections of short stories. I exclude those in "Cabbages & Kings", which is actually a novel, as its stories carry on. The eight stories I most liked are the following: From "The four million": "The gift of the Magi," "The cop & the anthem" and "Mammon & the archer." From "The trimmed lamp": "The last leaf." From "Heart of the West": "A chaparral prince." From "Roads of Destiny": "Friends in San Rosario." From "Wirliwigs": "The ransom of Red Chief" and "Georgia's ruling." In addition to those eight, I also liked (somewhat less) another 29 stories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Trang Anh

    Voltaire once said: “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls”. Genuine poetry sings to us, lets us feel the melody and dance accordingly. The melody will then resonate, echo and become part of us. Each story of O' Henry's is a poem permeated with wit, warmth and tenderness. His twist endings amazed me; his characters moved me; his stories touched my heart and nourished my soul! Voltaire once said: “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls”. Genuine poetry sings to us, lets us feel the melody and dance accordingly. The melody will then resonate, echo and become part of us. Each story of O' Henry's is a poem permeated with wit, warmth and tenderness. His twist endings amazed me; his characters moved me; his stories touched my heart and nourished my soul!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Many of these are quite slight but many are excellent. It also forshadows the modern interest in microfictions.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Stoyanov

    The best autor of short stories!

  6. 4 out of 5

    A Turtles Nest Book Reviews

    At first I didn't believe I would be able to get in to the way these short stories are written, but by the end I have to add O'Henry in with Louie Lamore in my Short Story Favorites. At first I didn't believe I would be able to get in to the way these short stories are written, but by the end I have to add O'Henry in with Louie Lamore in my Short Story Favorites.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Don't read these all in one go! But do read them, and reread at least a few. I've always loved the ideas, not just Magi, or Ransom of Red Chief, or the Cop and the Anthem... but this time around I was able to pay more attention to the style, the vocabulary, the craftsmanship. And the ideas within the main ideas. For example, The Furnished Room is more than a horror story; it's also a commentary on the segment of society that used boarding houses, both the women who would let the rooms and the me Don't read these all in one go! But do read them, and reread at least a few. I've always loved the ideas, not just Magi, or Ransom of Red Chief, or the Cop and the Anthem... but this time around I was able to pay more attention to the style, the vocabulary, the craftsmanship. And the ideas within the main ideas. For example, The Furnished Room is more than a horror story; it's also a commentary on the segment of society that used boarding houses, both the women who would let the rooms and the men who would tenant them. From 'The Trimmed Lamp' "We often hear 'shop-girls' spoken of. No such persons exist. There are girls who work in shops. They make their living that way. But why turn their occupation into an adjective? Let us be fair. We do not refer to the girls who live on Fifth Avenue as 'marriage-girls.'" (A near perfect commentary on the issue of political correctness, if you ask me.) From 'Compliments of the Season' "There are no more Christmas stories to write.... "As for the children, no one understands them except old maids, hunchbacks, and shepherd dogs." Ok, to modern sensibilities that's a bit off. But read it from the pov of your great-grandfather....

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wesam Karam

    Great book I have good experience with this short stories

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Suh

    If you have spent the last few days on your keester, staring at drug names, drug therapy, pharmacology, physiology, and statistics, and you need reassurance that life is not all about living in obscurity in the midst of academia, go and read some O'Henry stories. But only after you have gone out with friends, TALKED to people, and have utterly overwhelmed yourself with extrovertism. O'Henry sees the silver lining in life. At least his stories seem to portray him that way. He forces you to look a If you have spent the last few days on your keester, staring at drug names, drug therapy, pharmacology, physiology, and statistics, and you need reassurance that life is not all about living in obscurity in the midst of academia, go and read some O'Henry stories. But only after you have gone out with friends, TALKED to people, and have utterly overwhelmed yourself with extrovertism. O'Henry sees the silver lining in life. At least his stories seem to portray him that way. He forces you to look at the every day irony of life in its most tragic or trivial of circumstances, and you find yourself helplessly laughing to yourself because the wry humor is undeniable and at the same time, so pitiful. We as humans are reduced to nothing but mere ants, inevitably left at the hands of a...(for me)... God who just seems to know how much we can take, and decides to push open the envelope that much further. Take, for example, “The Gift of the Magi.” Nearly every sentence is ironic, witty, or even bordering on sarcastic at certain points. In this particular short story, we imagine O’Henry as a grandfatherly sort with a twinkle in his eye, telling us “Now Reader, observe here….” and so on and so forth as he pulls away from the third person to the second person to address us personally at random moments . We are engaged and the couple is endearing to us in their naivete and sweetness towards each other. Much like the characters in his other story “The Last Leaf,” the young couple in this story are good and have such pure intentions, and at the same time, they are a bit melodramatic, and that’s what makes everything that much funnier. O’Henry sometimes makes me step out of myself and the situation I’m in, assess my “melo-dramaticity” (is that a word?) and try to judge whether there is some third person reader above me reading the pages of my life and laughing at me all along the way for my obsessive ways and neuroticism. It’s always a good thing when I can decide in the end that I am one of O’Henry’s oblivious characters, tossed around in this crazy life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    PREPARE YOURSELF FOR... DEBBIE DOWNER TIME! The foreword and the afterword cannot help but mention how underappreciated O. Henry is/was. I was convinced these smug critics were completely wrong because I read The Gift of the Magi in high school and never forgot it. I was anticipating a whole book full of The Gift of the Magis. Be careful what you wish for. Like The Gift of the Magi, almost all of these stories are slightly sweet and slightly silly with a slight "punch" or twist at the end. It's a PREPARE YOURSELF FOR... DEBBIE DOWNER TIME! The foreword and the afterword cannot help but mention how underappreciated O. Henry is/was. I was convinced these smug critics were completely wrong because I read The Gift of the Magi in high school and never forgot it. I was anticipating a whole book full of The Gift of the Magis. Be careful what you wish for. Like The Gift of the Magi, almost all of these stories are slightly sweet and slightly silly with a slight "punch" or twist at the end. It's a cute formula for one or two or even five stories. I had a hard time appreciating it for over twenty of them. The punches became a little predictable. The short tales leading up to the punches became a little ho-hum. If O. Henry were the author of my (very lengthy) reading journey, would I have been the punchline? I'm giving this 3 Stars for having a few gems despite my collective disappointment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bollinger

    Having enjoyed "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief," I thought I knew what I would find in this small collection of O. Henry stories, but how wrong I was! His gift for humor is enormous. He can poke fun at city dwellers, cowpokes, con men, and even crazy cat ladies like me. Change, "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog" to "Memoirs of a Black Cat" and you'll have an exact representation of what it's like to live in my house. He lampooned me like Mad Magazine never could, and I loved every wor Having enjoyed "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief," I thought I knew what I would find in this small collection of O. Henry stories, but how wrong I was! His gift for humor is enormous. He can poke fun at city dwellers, cowpokes, con men, and even crazy cat ladies like me. Change, "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog" to "Memoirs of a Black Cat" and you'll have an exact representation of what it's like to live in my house. He lampooned me like Mad Magazine never could, and I loved every word of it! But for laugh-out-loud humor, you can't beat, "Shearing the Wolf." Take my advice and don't read it in a crowded cafeteria. Or at least, not while eating soup. Messy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    These stories were amusing; not terribly deep, but then again, they are short stories. After reading several, the trademark "surprise" ending became predictable, but was still often entertaining or able to illicit a short-lived emotional reaction. Definitely worth reading to be culturally literate; a great sampling of O. Henry's works. These stories were amusing; not terribly deep, but then again, they are short stories. After reading several, the trademark "surprise" ending became predictable, but was still often entertaining or able to illicit a short-lived emotional reaction. Definitely worth reading to be culturally literate; a great sampling of O. Henry's works.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Koblos

    Oh, the beauty of short stories! I loved them, each in their own way. After finnishing one, I couldn't help looking back and repeating in my mind its progression, its twist, and its curious outcome. Little jewels of literature, from a time when things were made to last. Oh, the beauty of short stories! I loved them, each in their own way. After finnishing one, I couldn't help looking back and repeating in my mind its progression, its twist, and its curious outcome. Little jewels of literature, from a time when things were made to last.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    I skipped a few in this edition, but it was a quick, satisfying read. "Schools and Schools" is wonderful. I skipped a few in this edition, but it was a quick, satisfying read. "Schools and Schools" is wonderful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mahkyi

    O. Henry’s stories expressed the effect of coincidence on character through humour, grim or ironic, and often had surprise endings, I thought they were great stories. At the beginning of the book it started by talking about his life story and how he came to writing such great short stories. born September 11, 1862, Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. died June 5, 1910, New York. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a medical doctor. When William was three his mother died and he was raised by his O. Henry’s stories expressed the effect of coincidence on character through humour, grim or ironic, and often had surprise endings, I thought they were great stories. At the beginning of the book it started by talking about his life story and how he came to writing such great short stories. born September 11, 1862, Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S. died June 5, 1910, New York. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a medical doctor. When William was three his mother died and he was raised by his grandmother and aunt. He left school at the age of 15 and then had a number of jobs. In 1896 he was accused of embezzlement. He absconded from the law to New Orleans and later fled to Honduras. His wife was Sarah Lindsey Coleman, And when he learned that she was dying, he returned to the US and surrendered to police. Although there has been much debate over his actual guilt, he was convicted of embezzling funds from the bank that employed him, he was sentenced to 5 years in jail. In 1898 he was sent to the penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio. While in prison he began writing short stories in order to support his young daughter Margaret. His first published story was "Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking" (1899). I don't wanna get too deep into that but that was his first short story that was published. Further more about the book, The book features 20 short stories written by O’henry. My favorite short story out of the book is either the gift of magi or the ransom of the red Chief. The gift of magi. I always loved it as a kid thanks to mickey mouse they did a little Christmas version of it and I loved it id watch all the time it's a great story about two people who gave of their favorite items away to give there other a gift and it was a very heartwarming story it had a little twist I don't want to spoil it so u should read it. Now the ransom of the red chief is about two kidnappers making off with the young son of a famous man only to find that the child is more trouble than he is worth and in the end, they agree to pay the boy’s father to take him back. And I love when he used the term “that boy put up a fight like a welter weight cinnamon bear”. Haha it just is fun to say and I thought it was a great use of a literary tool. And the part where the boy begins to annoy the kidnappers by saying a bunch of random thoughts and questions. reminds me of that scene in home alone when that neighbor comes across and asks the bus driver a bunch of random questions about his bus. Those were my two favorite stories they're all pretty good ones that just stuck out to me the most other than that it's a really good book. Usually I like fictional books so this was the perfect book for me I loved it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    When I was in high school I read The Complete Works of O.Henry, a two-volume set containing hundreds of stories. I think it was that experience that cemented my love of the short story form. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) died when he was 47, so he was a prolific writer. His stories take place in the American West, New York City, and the South, all places where he spent some portion of his life. This collection isn't titled "The Best of O'Henry", and it shouldn't be. Although "Gift of the Magi" When I was in high school I read The Complete Works of O.Henry, a two-volume set containing hundreds of stories. I think it was that experience that cemented my love of the short story form. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) died when he was 47, so he was a prolific writer. His stories take place in the American West, New York City, and the South, all places where he spent some portion of his life. This collection isn't titled "The Best of O'Henry", and it shouldn't be. Although "Gift of the Magi" is included, "The Ransom of Red Chief" is not, nor are others of his stories that I would probably like better than some that are included here. I did like "Memoirs of a Yellow Dog", which is narrated by a pampered dog named "Lovey" who would much rather be a rough-and-tumble dog of the street; eventually he gets his wish. The language and vocabulary in these stories are rich, and I was captivated by more than one pithy turn of phrase. I discovered O. Henry well before I discovered P. G. Wodehouse, but there is a rhythm in the writing, and a playful way with language and character description that they both seem to share. In O. Henry's work the pleasure of the language is offset at times by the pop culture references of the early 1900's, a few of of which I understood slightly, but most of which went went right by me with no discernible impact. They were probably really funny at the time of writing. All in all, though, I'd rather read a collection of O. Henry's short stories than Mark Twain's.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    I checked out this volume from the Union City Library on a whim while I was searching for a book on education by E.D. Hirsch. I'd read a few of O. Henry's stories in anthologies and wanted to check out more of O. Henry's work. I'm glad I did, even though I only give the book three stars. "Gift of the Magi," of course, is a brilliant, deeply intricate masterpiece, and I expected other rich stories, but was mildly disappointed. Although amusing, the other stories don't come anywhere near Magi, and I checked out this volume from the Union City Library on a whim while I was searching for a book on education by E.D. Hirsch. I'd read a few of O. Henry's stories in anthologies and wanted to check out more of O. Henry's work. I'm glad I did, even though I only give the book three stars. "Gift of the Magi," of course, is a brilliant, deeply intricate masterpiece, and I expected other rich stories, but was mildly disappointed. Although amusing, the other stories don't come anywhere near Magi, and I sensed a theme: the author clearly has mixed but bitter feelings about women. It seems here he's trying to get into the female brain and comes up concluding that women are shallow. Too bad. My favorite stories (besides Magi) in this collection are "Schools and Schools," The Green Door," "Makes the Whole World Kin," "Whirligig of Life," and "I Like Endings." The setting of these stories is the late 1800s/early 1900s. O Henry is still one of my favorite classic writers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zach Franz

    This time the "gave-up-on" label isn't so negative. I'd just gotten as much as I could/needed from the book. Part of the reason is for a lack of one continuing narrative--short stories are interesting, but as the characters and settings changed I found myself less and less motivated to dive back in. That said, O. Henry excels at capturing regional attitudes with a lexicon as vast as the heartland of which he often writes. Clever endings are his hallmark--see his most famous story, "The Gift of t This time the "gave-up-on" label isn't so negative. I'd just gotten as much as I could/needed from the book. Part of the reason is for a lack of one continuing narrative--short stories are interesting, but as the characters and settings changed I found myself less and less motivated to dive back in. That said, O. Henry excels at capturing regional attitudes with a lexicon as vast as the heartland of which he often writes. Clever endings are his hallmark--see his most famous story, "The Gift of the Magi"--but most amounted to merely an intriguing spin or viewpoint, and less a full-blown twist. My advice: read, more than anything, for the rich characters and writing. Much may depend on how much you like short stories.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    Absolutely great stories. When I completely got in the story, the story ends with stunning end, which make you think a lot of the things in life. You can not start another story right after you finish one. You can read them thousands of time and everytime you can find something different and important. Love it very much and recommend it a lot!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sabina Colleran

    I appreciate these stories especially because of the forward and afterward. But some of them I really didn't get because they didn't age well. They are set very much in the author's time and you lose it unless you know niche political connections. Plus he uses so many random words that you've never heard of. But overall charming nonetheless. I appreciate these stories especially because of the forward and afterward. But some of them I really didn't get because they didn't age well. They are set very much in the author's time and you lose it unless you know niche political connections. Plus he uses so many random words that you've never heard of. But overall charming nonetheless.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    I didn't actually read all the stories; I read some of the most popular ones. There are A LOT of stories. But the ones I did read I really, really enjoyed. They were all fun and interesting and had great twists. I didn't actually read all the stories; I read some of the most popular ones. There are A LOT of stories. But the ones I did read I really, really enjoyed. They were all fun and interesting and had great twists.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John

    I love this guy and his relationship with language.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    I read these in high school and really enjoyed them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ted Manahan

    Dated, but a master of the surprise ending. Fun use of language.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allison Fetch

    I originally purchased this book back in high school and it sat unread since then. I got about halfway through it a few years ago and finally finished it this week. I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I think I should make an exception for O. Henry. While I generally didn't care for his stories set in the West, and much preferred those set in NYC, I thoroughly enjoyed most of these tales. The only one which I had already read was "Gift of the Magi", but I found others that I truly enjoyed. I originally purchased this book back in high school and it sat unread since then. I got about halfway through it a few years ago and finally finished it this week. I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but I think I should make an exception for O. Henry. While I generally didn't care for his stories set in the West, and much preferred those set in NYC, I thoroughly enjoyed most of these tales. The only one which I had already read was "Gift of the Magi", but I found others that I truly enjoyed. What I enjoy most are the surprising twists that come at the end of each tale. I sometimes could anticipate that twist but often could not. My only complaint was the complex language used, which was generally unnecessary and only served to slow my reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donnarama

    Jason read this and enjoyed many of the stories. Some stories were difficult to get through because the vocabulary was advanced (for an almost 12 year old voracious reader) and the content a bit complex. Other stories, however, were really compelling -- like The Green Door, which was -- by far -- his favorite. That story Jason would recommend to all readers. He read the anthology from my junior high school years. I LOVED O'Henry, for the record, and would have given it a 4 or 5 star rating. Jason read this and enjoyed many of the stories. Some stories were difficult to get through because the vocabulary was advanced (for an almost 12 year old voracious reader) and the content a bit complex. Other stories, however, were really compelling -- like The Green Door, which was -- by far -- his favorite. That story Jason would recommend to all readers. He read the anthology from my junior high school years. I LOVED O'Henry, for the record, and would have given it a 4 or 5 star rating.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sabina

    Thanx to yesterday's rain I finished reading the book. It was a perfect mix of stories that made me laugh, cry and think about how different the world became from O. Henry's time! His way of writing is exquisite! All of the stories are simply inspiring! I didn't go to bed without reading at least one of his stories! Thanx to a friend I am adding this book to my forever bookshelf and re-read it whenever it feels like sth beautiful, lively and inspiring... Thanx to yesterday's rain I finished reading the book. It was a perfect mix of stories that made me laugh, cry and think about how different the world became from O. Henry's time! His way of writing is exquisite! All of the stories are simply inspiring! I didn't go to bed without reading at least one of his stories! Thanx to a friend I am adding this book to my forever bookshelf and re-read it whenever it feels like sth beautiful, lively and inspiring...

  28. 4 out of 5

    melydia

    This is a great collection of stories for one who has little time to read. They are short, often humorous, and written in a folksy language that is far easier for the modern reader (or at least me) to parse than many other stories from the same era. If you liked The Gift of the Magi, you'll probably like the rest of the stories. I don't know what took me so long to read this. This is a great collection of stories for one who has little time to read. They are short, often humorous, and written in a folksy language that is far easier for the modern reader (or at least me) to parse than many other stories from the same era. If you liked The Gift of the Magi, you'll probably like the rest of the stories. I don't know what took me so long to read this.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    Though the stories of O'Henry are clever and full of whimsy, it cannot make up for the fact that they are often trite and uninteresting. Perhaps I am still too young to fully appreciate his style and the message buried in each tale, but I feel my time would be better suited for tales with more substance. Though the stories of O'Henry are clever and full of whimsy, it cannot make up for the fact that they are often trite and uninteresting. Perhaps I am still too young to fully appreciate his style and the message buried in each tale, but I feel my time would be better suited for tales with more substance.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nargiz

    I have reread Stories by O.Henry many time, and ,for sure, it is my favorite book. I am impressed by the talent of the author to describe perfectly human nature in just 2 or 3 pages. Besides, his sense of humor (“Princess and Puma”) adds some extra attractiveness to the stories. Definitely, in my recommended list

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