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The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories

de William Sydney Porter

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Sixteen captivating stories by one of America's most popular storytellers. Included are such classics 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." Publisher's Note.

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O Henry was a master of the short-story format, and it's a pity that he's not regularly taught in high school any longer. This is the classic Christmas tale of sacrifice, love and giving. The date read here refers to when our book club discussed it; but I first read in the early 1960s and have read it several times since. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 20, 2016 |
This book had two of my old familiar O. Henry favorites in it, the famous "The Gift of the Magi" of the title, and the equally (I thought) famous and funny "The Ransom of Red Chief," plus 14 other tales I hadn't read before.

O. Henry (aka William Sidney Porter) is known for endings with a twist, and these did not disappoint.  Many are funny, but a few are serious.  Most of the stories are set in New York City, where the author spent the last eight years (1902-1910) of his too-short life.  My favorite stories are the ones set in Texas, where he lived from 1882 (when he was 20) to 1897, starting at a sheep ranch in South Texas, and eventually moving to Austin (where he worked as a pharmacist, then as a draftsman for the state's General Land Office, and finally as a bank teller for the First National Bank) and then Houston (where he wrote for the Houston Post newspaper).

The only Texas-set story in this books is "The Pimienta Pancakes," which mentions the Frio and Nueces rivers and San Miguel Creek, all of which join up around Choke Canyon Reservoir near Three Rivers in South Texas.

This edition provided the name and date of the collection the story was first published in, which at least gave me a relative idea of when each story was written.

© Amanda Pape - 2015

[I already owned and plan to keep this book.] ( )
1 vota riofriotex | Aug 30, 2015 |
This collection of short stories was oddly familiar, considering I hadn't actually read any of them! These stories reflect a view of the world that is more benign than what is usually served up in modern fiction. Even the 'bad' guys in Mr. Henry's stories are really 'good' guys in disguise (the kidnappers who pay to get rid of an annoying kid, the burglar who takes his intended victim for a drink instead). Some of the stories are quite heart-warming, depicting the sacrifices of one person for another. As many have remarked, Mr. Henry's stories turn on the amazing coincidence, but that is part of their charm. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Nov 4, 2009 |
I found O. Henry’s stories to be refreshingly delightful, poignant, and easy to read. I think everyone should read some of O. Henry’s stories: they are enjoyable.

O. Henry’s stories are full of irony. His stories focus on the base aspects of human nature: poverty, crime, dying, focusing on self-improvement and the “love your neighbor” aspects of human nature. The characters in O. Henry’s stories were loving, and the endings were poignant and “tender."

O. Henry's writing is nothing spectacular, but it doesn't need to be with his simple stories. I found the Dover Thrift edition, with just a 16 short stories, to be a very quick (and fun) evening read.

More detailed review on my blog
  rebeccareid | Nov 19, 2008 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
William Sydney Porterautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Weller, ShaneEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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This Dover Thrift collection contain sixteen stories. Please do not combine with other collections of different stories. See description for exact stories included. If your book is not a Dover Thrift edition, please correct the ISBN to get the correct edition.
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Sixteen captivating stories by one of America's most popular storytellers. Included are such classics 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." Publisher's Note.

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