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The Best Short Stories of O. Henry (Modern Library) [Kindle Edition]

O. Henry , Bennett Cerf , Van H. Cartmell
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.95
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

The more than 600 stories written by O. Henry provided an embarrassment of riches for the compilers of this volume.  The final selection of the thirty-eight stories in this collection offers for the reader's delight those tales honored almost unanimously by anthologists and those that represent, in variety and balance, the best work of America's favorite storyteller.  They are tales in his most mellow, humorous, and ironic moods.  They give the full range and flavor of the man born William Sydney Porter but known throughout the world as O. Henry, one of the great masters of the short story.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The more than 600 stories written by O. Henry provided an embarrassment of riches for the compilers of this volume.  The final selection of the thirty-eight stories in this collection offers for the reader's delight those tales honored almost unanimously by anthologists and those that represent, in variety and balance, the best work of America's favorite storyteller.  They are tales in his most mellow, humorous, and ironic moods.  They give the full range and flavor of the man born William Sydney Porter but known throughout the world as O. Henry, one of the great masters of the short story.

From the Back Cover

"Such tales as 'A Municipal Report,' 'An Unfinished Story,' 'A Blackjack Bargainer,' 'A Lickpenny Lover,' 'The Gift of the Magi,' 'Mammon and the Archer,' and 'Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen' (by actual count the O. Henry stories most often reprinted in anthologies) are gems of their kind; mellow, humorous, ironic, ingenious and shot through with that eminently salable quality known as 'human interest.'" --Bennet Cerf and Van Cartmell

Product Details

  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (July 28, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003VS0NCI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(25)
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master of the ironic twist. April 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
A collection of 100 or more short stories by O. Henry? My mouth waters already! It's hard to imagine any literary treat that can be enjoyed in small doses more pleasurable than this. I have spent over a year savouring these stories, reading them one by one, tasting his delightful choice of words, digesting his fascinating story-lines, and the warm satisfying afterglow that comes after a typical twist at the end. O. Henry began writing short stories as a prison inmate, and he quickly fine tuned his skills behind the bars and developed into an excellent storyteller. Born William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), he produced 270 stories under the pseudonym O. Henry. His stories are superbly outstanding in at least four ways, each illustrated with five of my personal favorites.

Firstly, his brilliant use of language. These stories were written in the first half of the twentieth century, and O. Henry's use of language easily surpasses that of most contemporary writers. Not only does he have an extensive vocabulary, but his writing abounds with similes and metaphors that breathe sparkling life and depth into his stories, marred only by the occasional "Lordy". "Ulysses and the Dogman" is a fine example of his skills with a language, metaphorically portraying dog owners as victims of Circe, in a hopeless enchantment to their leashed pets. Also exemplary is "Madame Bo-Peep of the Ranches" where a ranch manager has a heart fenced by barbwire just like the ranch on which he lives, and yet the twist at the ending suggests that perhaps we were completely mistaken. "A Comedy in Rubber" uses wonderfully elevated language to farcically portray a class of people today known as ambulance chasers.
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67 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hate it so much ! September 18, 2002
By Vlad
Format:Hardcover
Yes ! I hate this book so much ! I'll never fogive myself for picking it up !? This is an evil book - it made me vanish from the fields of internet for days . My cat hated it even more - how many times , during this few days , I forget to feed him . My girlfriend probably wants to burn it - I had to send her my picture ... she forgot , how I look like. This book made me lie to all my friends ! I am so sorry , I lied to you , my dear friends : I wasn't writing ... I was reading O'Henry's masterpiece !!!
If you want to loose your family and friends ; If you want to burn you house all the way to the ground ; if you need exscuse to brake up with you girlfriend - a must read for you !
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a great collection December 24, 2003
Format:Hardcover
O. Henry's short stories are tiny masterpieces. Each story takes literally only minutes to read (they're an average 6 - 12 pages long), but they are brilliant in plot and character development, each with an unexpected twist of some sort at the end, and each different from the other.
The stories are set in New York City at the dawn of the 20th century, so there is much that is slighly unfamiliar, especially some of the language (who knows what a "masher" is, anyway?). This aside, I found myself laughing out loud more than once, and frequently shaking my head at the entertaining and masterful way in which each story unfolded. A recommended read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories with a Twist November 14, 2006
Format:Hardcover
My father recently sent me some of his books after my parents moved to a smaller home in Oregon. Included in the mostly newer books were a few old ones from his college days. Among them was the original 1945 version of "Best Stories of O. Henry". Anyone familiar with American Literature knows of William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry. He is famous for his short stories that lead you down a path which swerves, at the end, in a direction you hadn't anticipated. Along the way are many colorful characters out of American life around the Turn of the Century (That's the Turn of the Century BEFORE this latest one). Not only are his characters a worthwhile part of every story, his settings often give another interesting view of life 100 years ago. All this evolves in stories that often are no more than 4-5 pages in length. These snapshots almost always conclude with an ironic and/or surprise ending. His best known story, which is the opening selection in this collection, is "The Gift of the Magi". The other story of his that I always recalled, "The Ransom of Red Chief", is also in this book. It's one of the handful of longer stories and runs a whole 12 pages. Among my favorites "discoveries" in this collection are "The Cop and the Anthem", "A Blackjack Bargainer", "Squaring the Circle", "The Pendulum", "The Last Leaf", and "The Count and the Wedding Guest". There are 30 other stories in addition to the ones I've cited. Some went a bit long which sounds strange to say about a short story. However, one gets used to the rhythim of O. Henry and certain stories take you out of that rhythim. Some stories may not conclude in as surprising a manner as others but they are still worth a look at life and customs a century ago.

According to the Editorial Review shown above, O. Henry wrote over 600 stories in his life. I'm not interested in reading that much of his work. However, I'm glad I read these 38.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Collection December 30, 2003
Format:Hardcover
This is a very good collection of my favorite short story author.
It's hard to imagine anyone who hasn't read and loved O. Henry, but if for some reason you have discovered this work yet, this collection is a great place to begin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book, but hard to read, so many Vocabulary I do not know...
Published 22 days ago by liu qun
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good stuff....
Published 1 month ago by Bob48420
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Henry!
First interested after seeing a movie on TV called O. Henry's Full House. I had to read his stories. Cover to cover a very impressive writer. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Herman M. Hoehn III
4.0 out of 5 stars printing not so good
I do enjoy the books but the print was missing letters throughout the book print looked faded. I was diaspointed as 2 were gifts
Published 10 months ago by judith ewell
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Good book but it was very small print and hard to read. type is not dark enough and paper is not good quality.
Published 12 months ago by Al 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Replacement book
This was a replacement for a library book lost due to accidental theft. Library accepted the item with glee.No Problem.
Published 12 months ago by JOHN POWELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
We purchased this book to be used with our homeschool curriculum. I'm anxious to use it this next school year.
Published 18 months ago by Danielle Lawman
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy!
Yep, it made my son very happy to receive this book of stories by O. Henry, one of his favorite authors.
Published 24 months ago by waybabes
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories
I remembered seeing O. Henry stories on TV growing up--it was great to read them too now! Very clever and interesting.
Published on December 6, 2012 by Marcia J. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Shor Stories of O. Henry.
O. henry has a unique style that suits my readin. Everyone should read his work. From the Gift of the Magi to the Ransom of Red Chief his stories capture and hold the reader... Read more
Published on July 20, 2012 by Donnie K. Dixon
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