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1. The Complete Works of O. Henry
2. The trimmed lamp, and other stories
3. Sixes and sevens
4. The Voice of the City: Further
5. 100 Selected Stories (Wordsworth
6. Waifs and Strays - Part 1
7. The Best Short Stories of O. Henry
8. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007:
9. PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories 2009
10. The Four Million
11. O. Henry Memorial Award Prize
12. The Selected Stories of O. Henry
13. Stories for Young People: O. Henry
14. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2003
15. Prize Stories 1999: The O. Henry
16. The Gift of the Magi
17. 41 Stories (Signet Classics)
18. The voice of the city: And other
19. Roads of Destiny
20. The Gift of the Magi

1. The Complete Works of O. Henry
by O. Henry
Hardcover: Pages (1953)
list price: US$15.95
Isbn: 0385009615
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
O. Henry's short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. Collected in this collection is a giant anthology of his work with an active table of contents.

Works include:
Heart of the West
Cabbages and Kings
The Four Million
The Gentle Grafter
The Gift of the Magi
Roads of Destiny
Rolling Stones
Strictly Business More Stories of the Four Million
Sixes and Sevens
The Trimmed Lamp & Other Stories
The Voice of the City
Waifs and Strays
The Boy Scouts Book of Stories ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars Poor typography and unwise active table
I should say I really regretted buying this book. The pages presented poor typography. All the pages were left-aligned, looking like a badly formatted windows txt file! You have no feeling of reading a book at all.

Besides, the active table is not really wise, with some mistakes that will lead you to a wrong page or a blank page.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clear, clean, easy to use
I am not sure if the reviewer who complained about the clarity was looking at a previous version, but the one I just downloaded looks great.Better yet the master table of contents lists the various collections of O Henry's work.Clicking on a collection takes you to a clickable table of contents for the collection.This makes navigation very easy for a "complete works" anthology.If you like O Henry, this is well worth owning.

5-0 out of 5 stars Complete Works of O'Henry
This was an excellent purchase; I gave it as a Christmas gift to my daughter. It arrived promptly in great condition - and looks almost new despite being a used book. This seller exceeded my expectations.

4-0 out of 5 stars Complete Works of O'Henry
O'Henry wrote terrific short stories and he was noted for his twist(unexpected)
Fun read and you can read a whole story in short while since they are all short stories.
Two stories I loved: The Cabellero's Way(the famous movies and TV series the Cisco Kid was based on this only you will see that they took huge liberties with the character in the screen versions. The short story is far better. And The Ransom of Red Chief; about a horrendous child that is kidnapped. Only he is so aggravating that the story has unexpected results(very funny).

5-0 out of 5 stars Depressed? Take two O. Henrys!
A hundred years ago when I went to school, "The ransom of Red Chief" was REQUIRED (gag me with a spoon!) reading.

I was an avid reading convert from then on.

This book is full of great stories (The Octopus Marooned, The Princess and the Puma, ...)and neat phrases ("He was the kind of guy that if he saw a dollar in another man's hand, he would take it as a personal insult, if he couldn't get it any other way." "He was as busy as a one armed paper hanger with the nettle rash.")

Do yourself a favor. Allow the Grand Master of the Short Story to fill your empty hours with pure delight.
... Read more

2. The trimmed lamp, and other stories of the four million
by O Henry
 Paperback: 278 Pages (2010-09-08)
list price: US$27.75 -- used & new: US$18.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1171724233
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process.We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

3. Sixes and sevens
by O Henry
Paperback: 300 Pages (2010-08-08)
list price: US$29.75 -- used & new: US$21.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1176990020
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Subjects: Short stories, AmericanNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be numerous typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

4. The Voice of the City: Further Stories of the Four Million
by O Henry
Paperback: 260 Pages (2010-04-22)
list price: US$26.75 -- used & new: US$16.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 114913769X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

5. 100 Selected Stories (Wordsworth Classics)
by O. Henry
Paperback: 735 Pages (1997-09-01)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$2.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1853262412
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This collection of 100 of O Henry's finest stories is a showcase for the sheer variety of one of America's best and best-loved short story writersThe variety of the stories is amazing; O Henry is as at home describing life south of the Rio Grande as he is chronicling the activities and concerns of 'the four million' ordinary citizens who inhabited turn-of-the-century New York. They are marked by coincidence and surprise endings as well as the compassion and high humour that have made O Henry's stories popular for the last century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars nice compillation in one book
i have been waiting for this publication a long time on amazon, as it was out of stock. it covers a lot of stories and i could not find similar book anywhere. finally amazon made it possible ! in addition this book has nomal print size and acceptable cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars O Henry's short stories will keep you turning pages to find out what happens at the ironical end of another gemlike tale
William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) was born into middle class life in Greensboro North Carolina. The family fell on hard times and he became a pharmacist and bank clerk. He served three years in the Ohio State Penitentary for embzzelment. (he was probably innocent) and began writing short stories and a few novels. The pen name "O Henry" was taken from "Ohio State Penitentary." He lived in many places from the South to Texas to New York City. He suffered from alcoholism, liver disease and diabetes losing his first wife and child. His second marriage was nothappy. O Henry was a complex and gifted writer who is a true American original whose books have been in print for over 100 years.
Penguin has published a handsome edition of 80 of the master's tales including a fine introduction by Dr. Guy Davenport. O Henry is best known for the "twist" he gives at the end of his stories tying up all the plot threads and sometimes surprising the reader!
The stories cover everything from life in turn of the century New York to life in the American West to travels abroad in Latin America.The most famous story in the Penguin collection is "The Ransom of Red Chief" which deals with a mischevious young man who drives his kidnappers to distraction! Several stories deal with the adventures of con man Jeff Peters. The stories are sentimental dealing with love, adventure and the quest to make a dollar. Many of the them contain dialect. I object to the African-American dialect the author uses. He is condescending to African-Americans. This puts him in his place, time and culture.
O Henry is not everyone's cup of tea but he will provide the reader with many short and interesting tales told by a narrator adept in comedy, unusual predicaments and a loving sympathy for the human condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Winning Collection
This volume contains a generous selection of the altogether delicious servings of O. Henry's writings. One can never over-indulge in this fare.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American original
I was surprised upon rereading O. Henry to discover more insight into human situation and character than I had thought of before. The image of a superficial maker of slight superficial gimmick stories was somehow in my mind, and it proved wholly wrong. Linguistic inventiveness, a strong narrative gift, a power to see into various kinds of human situation, warm human sympathy and of course , frequent humor, are found in his stories.

5-0 out of 5 stars Short story master!
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. 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."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.And "Sisters of the Golden Circle" revolves around the profound bond that exists between two married women who are strangers but yet sisters "of the plain gold band.""An Unfinished Story" employs profound metaphors of angelic hosts to tell the tragic story of poor Dulcie's struggle for survival.

Secondly, his unique insight into the social conditions of his time.O. Henry has a great understanding of the trials of the lower class, frequently picturing the lives of ordinary people of early twentieth century America with sympathetic colours.His characters are frequently the overlooked: the struggling shop girl, the unsuccessful artist, the impoverished.Admittedly, some of his images can be hard to comprehend for modern readers, and the distance that time has placed between us and O. Henry's beloved New York means that some of his verbal pictures will be harder to identify with. But his genuine sympathy for the oppressed cannot be missed. "The Gift of the Magi" is the signature O. Henry story, probably his most famous tale which recounts a poor young couple who both give up a prized possession in order to purchase a gift for one another - but ironically a gift intended to complement the other's prized possession that they have just given up.Another story which displays his ability to picture the social conditions of his time is "The Pendulum", a wonderful portrait of the daily routines of an poor couple and the bursting anxiety of a married man, until the bubble bursts."The Cop and the Anthem" was the first O. Henry story I ever read, and humorously recounts the unsuccessful attempts of a man to get into jail for the winter."The Furnished Room" is a tragic and shocking story of suicide, depicting the depths of despair and desperation of the impoverished.

Thirdly, his warm humour.O. Henry has an uncanny ability to portray the mundane and the ordinary in the most elevated language.Frequently he pits two characters together in a remarkable way so that one outshines and complements the other.On other occasions he crafts the most ingenious and humorous schemes for outwitting others.One of his most popular stories is "The Handbook of Hymen", the tale of two men in a winter cabin, one armed with the hilarious Herkimer's handbook of Indispensable Information.And then there's Jeff Peters, a man who comes with the most ingenious money-making schemes, two shining examples displayed in "Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet" and "The Exact Science of Matrimony"."Let Me Feel Your Pulse" pokes fun at doctors, while in "Next to Reading Matter" an overly eloquent character wins the heart of a senora with streams of articulate talk about the mundane.

Fourthly, his ironic twist.One of the distinctive characteristics of O. Henry's short stories is the ironic twist at the end, which never fails to surprise and entertain, sometimes reversing the entire story line in a concluding one-liner. O. Henry's suspense and trademark ironic twist ensures that readers who have a good literary taste in short stories will not be disappointed.Like the Jeff Peters stories, "The Love-philtre of Ikey Schoenstein" also feature a brilliant scheme, and the way the romantic scheme backfires is unforgettable.Other delightful examples of the glorious ironic twist include "Witches' Loaves" and"While the Auto Waits". The twist that comes at the end of "The Hypotheses of Failure" is so perplexing, that you'll have to re-read the entire story after reading the ending - but completely delighted at the way in which O. Henry has misled you.Perhaps one of O. Henry's best uses of the ironic twist comes in "The Last Leaf", a warm and tragic tale describing how a dying artist proves as resilient as the last leaf on the wall outside, and through the self-less sacrifice of another.

The Wordsworth collection is superlative, because it contains more than 700 pages of literary gems.It consists of 100 stories, showcasing a wide range of O. Henry's short-story talents.A few popular favorites are missing, such as "Schools and Schools", "Shearing the Wolf", "The Green Door", and "The Pimienta Pancakes."But the reality is that nearly all O. Henry's stories feature his trademark ironic twist, as they do his warm humour, his unique insight into the social conditions of the time, and his brilliant use of language, and that every story in this collection is a literary delight worthy of inclusion.The inaccessibility of some references for modern readers does not prevent these stories from being always entertaining and enduring!Don't pass up on these! ... Read more

6. Waifs and Strays - Part 1
by O. Henry
Paperback: 62 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003YH9ZXE
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Waifs and Strays - Part 1 is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by O. Henry is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of O. Henry then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

7. The Best Short Stories of O. Henry (Modern Library)
by O. Henry
Hardcover: 368 Pages (1994-03-22)
list price: US$22.95 -- used & new: US$13.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679601228
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product 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. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

3-0 out of 5 stars Yeah, okay ...
It's okay ... nothing to write home about (why I'm writing here instead), but there's some fun in here ... my problem is fun gets olds fast for me.

But READ it anyway, amici ... it won't hurt you to read ... maybe don't buy it, but read it one way or the other.If I rate something lower than a three, it means I could've spent a few coins more wisely.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great compilation
I love this book!It even got my 12 year old son's attention.It's great if you don't feel like you have enough time to read a whole novel.A short story here and there is a good fix!The old-time typewriter font is cool too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best short story writer in American history
O. Henry wrote delightful short stories, always with surprising and often humorous endings.He is a great American literary treasure.

4-0 out of 5 stars Stories with a Twist
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.

4-0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully funny group of stories
I couldn't find the edition that I read, so will review here.I read O'Henry's "heart of the West", his group of stories about Texas.O. Henry (or William Porter) actually lived in Texas just before the turn of the century, and these stories therefore reflect what life was actually like for the rough and ready cowboys and their women.His characters are real, and his stories are true little gems.O. Henry's love for this place (Texas) at this time comes through over and over.O. Henry wrote for the common people, and because of that they loved him.They could see themselves in each one of these stories.These stories are all wonderful, but my personal favourite was "The Handbook of Hymen".It is so wryly funny, that I laugh about it still when I think of Sanderson Pratt and his little book of facts and how that book helped him successfully courta rich widow lady.Idaho Green's little book of poetry written by "Homer K.M." did not stand him in good stead with the good widow lady.Hilarious! ... Read more

8. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007: The Best Stories of the Year
Paperback: 357 Pages (2007-05)
list price: US$17.00 -- used & new: US$7.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307276880
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
An arresting collection of contemporary fiction at its best, these stories explore a vast range of subjects, from love and deception to war and the insidious power of class distinctions.However clearly spoken, in voices sophisticated, cunning, or na•ve, here is fiction that consistently defies our expectations. Selected from thousands of stories in hundreds of literary magazines, the twenty prize-winning stories are accompanied by essays from each of the three eminent jurors on which stories they judged the best, and observations from all twenty prizewinners on what inspired them.

“The Room”
William Trevor

“The Scent of Cinnamon”
Charles Lambert

Justine Dymond

“Galveston Bay, 1826”
Eddie Chuculate

“The Gift of Years”
Vu Tran

“The Diarist”
Richard McCann

“War Buddies”
Joan Silber

Tony D’Souza

“In a Bear’s Eye”
Yannick Murphy

“Summer, with Twins”
Rebecca Curtis

“Mudder Tongue”
Brian Evenson

Sana Krasikov

“A Stone House”
Bay Anapol

“The Company of Men”
Jan Ellison

“City Visit”
Adam Haslett

“The Duchess of Albany”
Christine Schutt

“A New Kind of Gravity”
Andrew Foster Altschul

Ariel Dorfman

“El Ojo de Agua”
Susan Straight

“The View from Castle Rock”
Alice Munro ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Some really good stories for reading aloud
I read all of the stories in this very good collection aloud to my wife. It's an interesting experience to compare reading stories aloud with reading the same stories to oneself -- and of course comparing the reactions of reader and listener.

Here are a few of our reactions:

Charles Lambert, "The Scent of Cinnamon", is a love story, written in a lyrical style set off by direct, commonplace letters, that capture the mood of the two main characters. It's a wonderful story to read aloud, and the surprise twist at the end makes it our joint favorite of the collection. (We rented, and greatly enjoyed, Mississippi Mermaid, which Lambert credited with inspiring the story's "visual influence".)

Andrew Foster Altschul, "A Different Kind of Gravity", is a wonderfully insightful story of a guard at a woman's shelter, who finds great difficulty in dealing with domestic violence and with the terrible power of love between abused and abusers. The story was very easy to read as a technical matter, but made a deep emotional impact on reader and listener.

Alice Munro, "The View from Castle Rock", is a fact based story by a master writer; Munro's prose is wonderful to read aloud -- it reminded me of the early Henry James style of books like "Daisy Miller." Munro writes: "There is a great deal more 'reality' than I usually work with, but once I got them on board the ship, the characters took over in a way that delighted me." Both reader and listener were delighted as well.

Joan Silber, "War Buddies", is a wonderful "story", as opposed to a "performance", a realistic portrayal of two extremely odd engineers grappling with a serious problem during the Vietnam War. It reads beautifully, and both reader and listener were captured by our memories and new impressions.

William Trevor, "The Room", is much more of a literary performance, and two of the jurors spend a fair amount of ink analyzing the strengths of the piece. It reads easily, but it is very easy to miss the importance of simple passages -- I found it much more satisfying to reread it later to myself.

Eddie Chuculate, "Galveston Bay, 1826" is a travelogue, and as great travellers, both my wife and I enjoyed it greatly. The style is smooth and calm, tripping off the tongue, but with depths that resonated with our own travel experiences. "Three arrows pointing upward floated past Old Bull at eye level, followed by a limp swamp rat and Red Moon's appaloosa, upside down." Great stuff.


We liked the other stories less than these, but all of them had passages that we found greatly appealing.

Robert C. Ross 2010

3-0 out of 5 stars O.Henry Prize Stories
I read these every year and I can always find excellent stories and then some that don't really appeal to me.But I would guess it's all a matter of taste.

Here are my favorites:

The Gift of Years by Vu Tran.
City Visit by Adam Haslett
A New kind of Gravity by Andrew Foster Altschul.This one was my favorite out of all of them.It's a great story about a guy who works at a battered women's shelter.

3-0 out of 5 stars pretty weak
As usual, the O Henry Awards are pretty weak. That's not to say that there aren't some good stories (and one really great one) contained, it's just that they try too hard to get an eclectic mix and skip out on what might be the 'best' for what is 'most different.'

5-0 out of 5 stars Diverse collection with several exceedingly well-crafted, transcendent stories
Every year for the past 10+ years I have read both the O. Henry Prize Stories anthology and The Best American Short Stories anthology.My main complaint about O. Henry series editor Laura Furman has been her tendency to pick stories which focus on loss, illness, death and other depressing subjects.I won't be so bold as to claim she has read these criticisms, but this year she did produce a much more well-rounded selection of stories that more fully illustrate the possibilities of the short story form.By doing so, she has come much closer to realizing the O. Henry anthology's subtitle of "The Best Stories of the Year".

In fact, this volume contains the best story I have read in several years, although the prize jury felt otherwise:Charles Lambert's "The Scent of Cinnamon".While other stories in the anthology push the creative boundaries of the short story form, Lambert's story is a classic short story in the O. Henry mold, complete with a surprise revealed at the end that adds a whole new dimension to what you have just read.The story is not one word longer than it should be, and every word is meaningful and well-chosen.The portrayal of longing amidst isolation is powerfully moving.This story is a work of art which should be taught in schools as a model of the form.

Two other very different stories that I also especially enjoyed are:

-- Eddie Chuculate's "Galveston Bay, 1826", which reads like a written-down oral history of an Indian's journey across other tribes' lands in Texas and the amazing sights and events that he encounters;and

-- Susan Straight's "El Ojo de Aqua", which describes the travails of an elderly poor migrant black worker.

While everyone will have their own favorites, I do feel that editor Laura Furman has assembled her strongest collection of stories to date.I highly recommend this volume, and short stories in general, as they are the perfect complements to a busy lifestyle.Even those folks with little time to read should be able to find time on occasion to enjoy a well-written short story, and this volume contains many.

4-0 out of 5 stars 2007 O'Henry Prize Stories
As with any collection of short stories, few readers will fall in love with every single entry.Stories, unlike people, are not all created equal.It is admittedly quite tempting to break out the slings and arrows and take cheap shots at those stories that, in my estimation, didn't measure up.But it's much more satisfying to stay positive and focus on the praiseworthy.So, without further ado, the following stories are real "prize winners" in my book:

"The Scent of Cinamon" by Charles Lambert
A truly strange, and some might say 'haunting', kind of love story.

"Summer, With Twins" by Rebecca Curtis
Every character is masterfully crafted, and the twins are so deviously immoral I wanted to reach through the page and give them what for.The twins exhibit all the corrupt sensibilities of the financial elite.Their privileged upbringing leaves them oblivious to the harm pure capitalism inflicts on others, particularly on our lovely heroine.

"The Gift of Years" by Vu Tran
Beautifully written!A modern-day masterpiece about a Vietmanese soldier who tries to shelter his curious daughter from the realities of war.Meanwhile, only the passage of time can shelter him from the realities of his daughter's troubled life.A diamond among gems!

"A New Kind of Gravity" by Andrew Foster Altschul
Every once in a while (unfortunately, not often enough), you read a story that delivers a punch in the gut that for some odd reason, you want to experience over and over again.This story of a shelter for battered women, as told through the eyes of a security guard, delivers such a powerful blow.Our hero sympathizes with the women and children, and seethes with anger at the men who victimized them with their twisted sense of love.By no means a "pleasant" read, and perhaps not a story you'd like to read at the beach, but by all means a "must" read.

Honorable Mention:
"The Diarist" by Richard McCann
"Mudder Tongue" by Brian Evenson ... Read more

9. PEN/ O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 (Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories)
Paperback: 464 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0307280357
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A collection of the twenty best contemporary short stories selected by series editor Laura Furman from hundreds of literary magazines, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 features unforgettable tales in settings as diverse as post-war Vietnam, a luxurious seaside development in Cape Town, an Egyptian desert village, and a permanently darkened New York City. Also included are essays from the eminent jurors on their favorite stories, observations from the winners on what inspired them, and an extensive resource list of magazines. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars 2009's collection is not the best ever; some gems, a few duds
I was hopeful that this year's O. Henry Prize Stories anthology (which adds the PEN organization to its title and support) would be one of the best ever, since I thoroughly enjoyed the first two stories in the volume.Editor Laura Furman tends to gravitate towards stories of dark themes, which can lead to an anthology with less than mass market appeal, and yet the first two stories were very gripping.Alas, over the course of the volume, I felt there were a few duds that reduced my overall rating to four stars.

Different stories will appeal to different people for different reasons.Here are the stories that appealed most to me:

-- Graham Joyce's "An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen":surprisingly, I agree with two of the three prize jurists, who selected this story as the best in the collection.It hooks and keeps the reader's interest, works on several levels, and progresses at an even pace from well-grounded reality into schizophrenic madness.It's not quite an all-time classic story, but definitely worth reading.

-- Paul Theroux's "Twenty-two Stories": just as the name would suggest, this short story consists of twenty-two roughly one page stories, each of which presents the germ of an idea that an author could elaborate and build upon to create a traditional length short story.The very interesting thing is how well each of these microscopic stories works on a stand-alone basis - think of them as highly concentrated, distilled stories, such as might be told around a campfire.

-- Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum's "The Nursery":a well-disguised horror story about a mother's suffocating love, and how her attempts at protection backfire.

Stories that I thought not worthy of inclusion: Roger Nash's "The Camera and the Cobra", which I thought lacked depth and meaning; L.E. Miller's "Kind", whose main subject is a deeply flawed woman who unfortunately triggered too many negative memories for me; and Manuel Munoz's "Tell Him about Brother John", which to me was the type of dry, dispassionate short story that only an academic reader could appreciate.

As always, I encourage readers to seek out short story anthologies such as the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories and the Best American Short Stories as an ideal way to become exposed to a wide variety of authors and quality fictional writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Great Set of Selections. Perfect for iPhone Reading.
I have been reading short stories since middle school and that means close to 40 year.So I obviously enjoy them.Living in Austin, once a hometown for O'Henry, is one reason this book caught my eye.The range of subjects and themes is quite broad and several of the stories completely mesmerized me!I highly recommend this book - it is available on Kindle so they are perfect for on the go reading, including reading from an iPhone.Thank you Laura Furman!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Collection
Twenty works of fiction, not one of which disappoints, including "Twenty-two [very short] Stories" by my favorite author, Paul Theroux. Added bonus of three essays by seasoned authors A.S. Byatt, Anthony Doerr, and Tim O'Brien on their favorite stories. Most of the chosen writers also penned insights on their own works and sometimes generously offered tips to writers. There is a comprehensive list of American and Canadian periodicals at the back. Congratulations to the editor, Laura Furman, on choosing, presenting and further strenghtening the art of the short story AND her brief history of the Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories included within.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another Lackluster "Best of" Anthology
I always wonder what criterion is used to select the stories in these best of the year anthologies.If it's a story full conflict, interesting and believable plot and characters that enables the reader to visit and exotic place (even a suburban bedroom can be an exotic place), and that compels that same reader to suspend disbelief and be carted for the length of the story away from the humdrum of everyday life, then it merits consideration.If it is lackluster and boring, or has an incomplete or fake resolution, it should not.Take "The Order of Things," for instance.It was a coldly narrated story about an uninteresting affair between a reverend of a nondescript flock and a friend.Who cares?The ending was completely fake.I was excited by the inclusion of a Graham Joyce story, since I am a huge fan of his novel, "Requiem," and some other of his books (more so some than others), but I found the Desert Storm I war story, "An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen," ultimately dissatisfying because of the forced and unbelievable, almost nonsensical plot about a genie, of djinn.Again, who ultimately cares.Ha Jin's "The House Behind a Weeping Cherry," had interesting characters and a plot that drove it for a time, but then fizzled into sentimental drivel.Alas, as a short story writer, I am not unbiased, but believe that getting published in the known magazines and best of anthologies is more about politics than talent.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Inner Revelation Paired with Action
Inclusion in the O. Henry Prize Stories is an honor sought by many, but only twenty of the best make it each year. This year, the Awards team up with PEN for the first time. PEN's mission is to foster "a literature as a civilizing force in an unstable world...that gives flesh and bones and perhaps a brain to the politics that assails us...that entices us to understand and value life." The stories chosen for 2009 are true to this mission.

Laura Furman is joined this year by prize jurists A.S. Byatt, Anthony Doerr, and Tim O'Brien. Byatt and O'Brien singled out An Ordinary Soldier of the Queen, by Graham Joyce, in which a career military man finds himself lost in a mystical Iraq. Doerr chose Junot Diaz's Wildwood, praising its vibrant young voice and insight into the immigrant experience.

Most interesting are the stories in which an inner revelation is paired with action, such as the work of Kristen Sundburg Lunstrum, Caitlin Horrocks, and Andrew Sean Greer. Another stand-out is Paul Theroux's innovative "Twenty Two Stories" in which the reader is invited to make connections. As a whole, the collection fulfills its mission and introduces some wonderful new voices.

Reviewed by Katie Cappello ... Read more

10. The Four Million
by O. Henry
 Paperback: 268 Pages (2010-09-10)
list price: US$22.36 -- used & new: US$21.42
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Asin: 1162637730
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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1906. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was the most popular short story writer of his time. His stories typically revolved around two of his favorite themes, the situation of the impostor and fate as the one unavoidable reality of life. Another device he used was the surprise ending, usually coming about through coincidence. He was the founder of the humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. He was convicted of embezzling money, although there's much debate over his actual guilt, and while in prison he started to write short stories. His first work, Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking appeared in McClure's Magazine. After emerging from prison Porter changed his name to O. Henry. He then moved to New York and wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. Henry's first collection was Cabbages And Kings followed by this one, The Four Million. It includes his well-known stories The Gift of the Magi and The Furnished Room. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Tales of Old New York: Wodehouse-- with a Twist
This anthology contains 21 tales set in New York City at the dawn of the twentieth century, plus the bonus of 4 tales set in the exotic tropics of a fictitious banana republic.O. Henry focuses his curious literary microscope on the diverse lives of various residents of this famous metropolis.Some of his protagonists can claim idle-rich status, but more represent the middle class and many the poverty-stricken milieus.Indulgentreaders will discover the flavor of a century past, rub shoulders with men on the other side of the law, and commiserate with thwarted lovers--all the while expecting the trademark
O. Henry ending with a Twist.

But the author's
style reminds us of Wodehouse's moonstruck romantic pairs and even predate TV's innocuous "Love, American Style" episodes, in which we do not take their amorous escapades seriously.Then, to throw us off guard, he spikes the anthology with a few pathetic and even tragic stories.One wonders if he was gently trying to raise the social consciousness of the literate public.
Various ethnic cgroups with their inherent city-acquired bigotry become the target of his witty pen, especially the Irish but also Italians.After all, his beloved olde New York was a true melting pot from the Ellis Island kitchen.

Narrated in first as well as third person, these stories incorporate
flagrant slang and one actually boasts a canine narrator! They
challenge contemporary readers with antiquated vocabulary

intermingled with literary, Biblical and artsy reference. O. Henry will repeatedly send one to a dictionary or encyclopedia with his liberal sprinkling of foreign words.Like the British before him, O Henry contemplates the danger of the temptations of a tropical Paradise.Will Yankees "Go native?" as so many English did before them?Of course,the real cocoanut conundrum is to choose your five favorites!

4-0 out of 5 stars A BOOK WORTH ANYONE'S TIME

11. O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919
by Various
Hardcover: 324 Pages (2008-08-18)
list price: US$32.99 -- used & new: US$28.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0554334364
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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I was before one of those difficult positions unavoidable to a man of letters. My visitor must have some answer. He had come back for the manuscript of his memoir and for my opinion. It was the twilight of an early Washington winter. The lights in the great library, softened with delicate shades, had been turned on. Outside, Sheridan Circle was almost a thing of beauty in its vague outline; even the squat ridiculous bronze horse had a certain dignity in the blue shadow. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Info Age Oddyssies
A good example of the frequent frustrations and occasional serendipities of Googling. I came up with this volume as a result of Googling in quest of some apparently obscure early work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, namely her short fiction magazine outings aka Nancy Boyd. Google spotted her name in this one, so I bought it, only to discover that her name was merely mentioned, as authoress of one of the short stories that was entered (by her editor, one of the contest board members!) but didn't make the cut; oh well...
So the search goes on, but the anthology was, in fact, not entirely without interest. The editing, as is so apt to happen in reprint stuff, is butt-ugly awful, but many of the short stories, pop-cultural antiquities reflective of a bygone age, are interesting, some of them being quite good. Of particular interest were one or two titles I vaguely remembered from ancient highschool English classes that I had always hoped to someday rediscover and reread (eg: "They Grind Exceeding Small,") and, well, whaddaya know, here they were! ... Read more

12. The Selected Stories of O. Henry
by O. Henry
Paperback: 224 Pages (2009-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$7.33
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Asin: 1420934147
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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O. Henry, the pen name of William Sydney Porter, is known for short stories with surprise endings. In this collection you will find the following beloved O. Henry stories: "The Plutonian Fire", "The Princess and the Puma", "By Courier", "The Gift of the Magi", "The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein", "Mammon and the Archer", "The Memento", "Springtime À La Carte", "The Last Leaf", "The Skylight Room", "The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock", "The Count And The Wedding Guest", "The Romance of a Busy Broker", "The Higher Pragmatism", "While the Auto Waits", "The Social Triangle", "After Twenty Years", "The Green Door", "A Lickpenny Lover", "Lost on Dress Parade", "Transients in Arcadia", "Brickdust Row", "The Furnished Room", "Schools And Schools", "The Defeat of the City", "Madame Bo-Peep, of the Ranches", "From Each According to his Ability", "The Cabellero's Way", "Hygeia at the Solito", "The Higher Abdication", "A Double-Dyed Deceiver", "Friends in San Rosario", "The Hiding of Black Bill", "Jeff Peters as a Personal Magnet", "The Man Higher Up", "The Handbook of Hymen", "Telemachus, Friend", "The Lonesome Road", "A Retrieved Reformation", "The Renaissance at Charleroi", "The Thing's the Play", "Tobin's Palm", "A Newspaper Story", "Proof of the Pudding", and "Confessions Of A Humorist". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars O.Henry Short Stories
It was a sheer pleasure to re-read the very short stories written by this very gifted author.

5-0 out of 5 stars O Henry
This collection is a marvelous compilation of short stories. I first read O. Henry as an undergraduate student of American Literature and was pleasantly surprised in discovering a most incredible story teller! I couldn't get enough. I was telling his stories to my friends and they began buying his work. We started a discussion group and attracted others to our meetings. My class was absolutely saturated with O. Henry. This particular collection offers the best selection for O. Henry samplers as well as for true fans. One favorite is "Friends in San Rosario". One cannot know American Literature without knowing O. Henry.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sanity and tragicomedy.
G. K Chesterton observed, "He is a sane man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head."If that is true, the O. Henry is probably the only sane man in the history of the world.His optimism and sense of providence in guiding us foolish creatures to an unexpected (but happy) ending is his enduring and endearing legacy.

This collection has the well-know favorites--"Ransom of Red Chief", "Gift of the Magi", "After Twenty Years"--plus many of the lesser known tales.This is an acceptable mixer, giving you want you want, and exposing you to things you didn't know that you needed.

So why is O. Henry so endearing?In addition to reaffirming the divine, guiding province, these stories capture a moment in time. We get a second look on the world at the turn of the twentieth century. This is the world of the Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, and the Great Gatsby. We see the trailing edge of the Gay 90's, prior to the disillusioning horror of the World War I Lost Generation.To coin a phrase, this is the carefree--even garish--dawn before the darkness.

Style-wise, O. Henry's gift is also a curse. He is an unquestioned genius of the short story. He has vibrant prose, charming characters, and a flair for ironic dénouements. Additionally, His eye for both the gritty realities of high and low society, the twisty affairs of the heart, and a soft touch for the happy ending is unparalleled.You always finish his stories with a smile.

His curse is that his stories are formulaic. Now, I admit that his formula works.But if you read more than three of his stories in a row for a week, then midway, you can guess the ending, which destroys his punch line.

So when reading this book, nibble one or two stories, then set it aside for a month, and then return. This will give you enough time to forget his formula, and experience his style fresh. With 45 stories, you will have plenty of time to savor these stories and laugh. ... Read more

13. Stories for Young People: O. Henry
Hardcover: 48 Pages (2005-12-28)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$6.99
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Asin: 1402709889
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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With this handsomely illustrated edition of O. Henry's best, children can now enjoy all the surprising twists and turns of six favorite tales by the master of the short story: "The Gift of the Magi," "Two Thanksgiving-Day Gentlemen," "The Last Leaf," "Mammon and the Archer," "After Twenty Years", and "A Retrieved Reformation." Noted scholar John Hollander provides the thoughtful introduction and insightful annotations, and illustrator Miles Hyman brings the stories to life in nostalgic pictures that evoke an America gone by.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Oh, Henry!
This edition provides a two page introduction and seven stories for young people by O. Henry - each with a short introduction by the editor. We are presented with O. Henry's masterful The Gift of the Magi; Mammon and the Archer; After Twenty Years; Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlement; The Last Leaf; A Retrieved Reformation and The Pimienta Pancakes.
An interesting feature is a page by page glossary which children and adults alike will find interesting.
These are truly stories for young adults and I am sure they will give pleasure to younger readers.
Once again, I have to say that I derive no particular pleasure from the many colour illustrations which I find, in the main, to be quite unappealing - in a stylised way.Of course, O. Henry (William Sydney
Porter) was born in 1862 and the illustrator, Miles Hyman, has adopted a simplified style of the period - with very mixed results.
The cover design for the book is very strong - but entire stories are illustrated in uninspired fashion - see for example Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen.
This series of books - there is Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, O. Henry, Edgar Allan Poe and Leo Tolstoy - offers a great deal of sophisticated reading pleasure for young people - but fairly pedestrian artwork - with the exception of Herve Blondon for 'Leo Tolstoy' - but that's another story. ... Read more

14. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2003 (Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories)
Paperback: 384 Pages (2003-09-09)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400031311
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Since its establishment in 1919, the O. Henry Prize stories collection has offered an exciting selection of the best stories published in hundreds of literary magazines every year. Such classic works of American literature as Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers (1927); William Faulkner’s Barn Burning (1939);Carson McCuller’s A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud (1943); Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery (1949); J.D. Salinger’s For Esme with Love and Squalor (1963); John Cheever’s The Country Husband (1956) ; and Flannery O’Conner’s Everything that Rises Must Converge (1963) all were O. Henry Prize stories.

An accomplished new series editor--novelist and short story writer Laura Furman--has read more than a thousand stories to identify the 20 winners, each one a pleasure to read today, each one a potential classic.TheO. Henry Prize Stories 2003 also contains brief essays from each of the three distinguished judges on their favorite story, and comments from the prize-winning writers on what inspired their stories. There is nothing like the ever rich, surprising, and original O. Henry collection for enjoying the contemporary short story.

The Thing in the ForestA. S. Byatt
The Shell CollectorAnthony Doerr
Burn Your Maps Robyn Jay Leff
Lush Bradford Morrow
God’s GoodnessMarjorie Kemper
Bleed Blue in IndonesiaAdam Desnoyers
The StoryEdith Pearlman
Swept AwayT. Coraghessan Boyle
MeanwhileAnn Harleman
Three Days. A Month. More. Douglas Light
The High Road Joan Silber
Election EveEvan S. Connell
Irish GirlTim Johnston
What Went WrongTim O’Brien
The American EmbassyChimamanda Ngozi Adichie
KissingWilliam Kittredge
Sacred StatuesWilliam Trevor
Two WordsMolly Giles
FathersAlice Munro
Train DreamsDenis Johnson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Solid Anthology
I always look forward to the annual release of this short fiction series.Unlike some of the other anthologies, The O. Henry Prize is judged by a panel of well-known literary writers.In the case of this 2003 edition, David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars), Diane Johnson (Le Divorce), and Jennifer Egan (Look At Me) join series editor Laura Furman to compile these twenty noteworthy stories.Two out of the three jurors selected Denis Johnson's novella-length "Train Dreams" as the top story, while the third adored A.S. Byatt's "The Thing of the Forest."These two stories sandwich the other eighteen, although not all readers will be in agreement with the jurors as to which is the best.Anthony Doerr's "The Shell Collector" is a stunning foray into shellfish toxins and the blind man who finds both miracle and curse in them."Burn Your Maps" by Robyn Joy Leff is a tender tribute to the oddity of childhood and family life."Three Days. A Month. More." by Douglas Light shows childhood loss through repetition and the confusion of time passing.Alice Munro's "Fathers" explores the strange, influential relationships between fathers and daughters, and the effect they have on the narrator.Most of the stories have a traditional bent, although others, such as Ann Harleman's "Meanwhile," employ inventive storytelling techniques.If these stories share anything, it's their off-kilter yet complete worlds, where the story is found in oddity and the underlying redemption in emotional engagement.

Readers will find themselves returning to reread some stories and shrugging off others as "merely" good.All in all, this is an excellent sampling of some of the best short fiction being published today.

5-0 out of 5 stars And now for something completely different . . .
I usually run screaming from the room when confronted with the dreaded and often kill-joy title of "short story," but there are a few exceptions.Salinger's NINE SHORT STORIES comes to mind, as do the O'Connor stories.McCrae's THE CHILDREN'S CORNER is another one.And finally, last but not least, THE O. HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2003. While there is truly not a dud in the bunch, some do stand out more than others."The Shell Collector" is one of my favorites,as is "Swept Away" by that master T.C. Boyle.But there is really no way to get across just how different and great these tales are.Suffice it to say that if you've been disappointed in collections before (I know I have), the 2003 O. Henry won't be in that category.This collection is definitely worth your time.

Also recommended:NINE SHORT STORIES by J.D. Salinger, THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCRae

2-0 out of 5 stars a new low
Prize Stories now has a new editor. I never thought I'd miss the old editors, but I do. This year's collection has reached a new low. There are almost no stories within this volume worth reading. Anthony Doerr's "The Shell Collector" is a phenomenal story. The other stories worth reading are by: Robyn Joy Leff, Marjorie Kemper, Tom Johnston, Tim O'Brien, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Other than that, I'd just skip this edition all together.

4-0 out of 5 stars Like an assortment of fine dark chocolates
I don't think you can go wrong reading either the O. Henry or the Best American short story anthologies; I read both each year.It's somewhat surprising that they are not more popular, since they expose the reader to a wide variety of the best writers and writings, and since short stories can be easily fit into the busiest of lifestyles, especially plane and train rides.

Each anthology attempts to identify the best 20 short stories of the year, but together they prove just how subjective this quest ends up being.This year, 2003, there is only one story that appears in both volumes, Anthony Doerr's "The Shell Collector".Thus, the views and biases of the editors end up determining the final selection - and in fact, this is one of the selling points of the Best American series, which features a different guest editor (a well-known author) each year.The O. Henry volume can rightfully claim to have a more consistent selection process, which produces more uniformity year to year.

2003 is the first year that Laura Furman (an author and professor at the UT at Austin - where does she find the time to read all these stories?) is editing the O. Henry series.What are her biases?She is kind enough to state them:she favors stories whose emotional impact is "revealed ... by stress or loss, the twin capitals of the short story's dominion.The peace of daily life, even the dullness of it, is what is decimated in the short story and replaced by the nightmares or sometimes the consolation of understanding another's existence or our own."With this as a prelude, don't expect any light-hearted love stories or comedies of manners.

Each of the twenty selections concerns itself with dark subject matter (death in many forms, alcoholism, doomed love affairs, to name a few), yet I did not find the overall effect to be depressing.Rather, I think Furman has succeeded in her mission - these stories do teach the reader about humanity and what it means to be human.My favorite was the aforementioned "The Shell Collector," which is a classically structured short story with easily deciphered symbolism and meaning.Denis Johnson's "Train Dreams," which two of the three prize jurists picked as their favorite (Furman did not want to cite any one story of the 20 as being the overall best), is a fantastic portrait of how the pioneer lifestyle has been affected by modern day inventions and society.I felt these two stories stood above the rest, but I also enjoyed "The American Embassy" (which reminds us how America is viewed by people in many oppressed nations), "Lush", and "Bleed Blue in Indonesia".

Everyone who reads this collection will have his/her own favorites.As the editors of the O. Henry and Best American short story series prove, it is impossible not to bring one's own biases to the subjective process of reading and experiencing a story.Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, better than last year
I have to admit that I was apprehensive to read THE O.HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2003 because I was disappointed with the quality of short stories in last year's volume. But looking back I am now very glad that I took the chance and purchased the 2003 volume. I'm not certain whether the drastic improvement can be attributed to the resignation of the former editor Larry Dark or simply a better publication year for short stories. Regardless, the 2003 volume of O.Henry stories is definitely worth reading. I took my time reading each story and was always pleasantly surprised when each story's quality did not falter. There are a wide variety of stories included. Some of my favorites include Adam Desnoyer's Bleed Blue in Indonesia, TC Boyle's Swept Away, Evan Connell's Election Eve, Tim Johnston's Irish Girl, and William Trevor's Sacred Statues. Some of the authors are well known (such as TC Boyle, AS Bryant, Alice Munro, etc.) while others are less. However, the variety of authors always proves to be a hidden gem in short story anthologies as it proves a great avenue in discovering new and more obscure writers. Any fan of the short story would enjoy reading this book. ... Read more

15. Prize Stories 1999: The O. Henry Awards (Pen/O. Henry Prize Stories)
by Larry Dark
Paperback: 464 Pages (1999-09-14)
list price: US$23.00 -- used & new: US$1.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385493584
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The seventy-ninth anniversary of this annual collection of short stories "widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction." (The Atlantic Monthly).

Edited and with an introduction by Larry Dark
1999 Top-Prize Selection Jury: Sherman Alexie, Stephen King, Lorrie Moore

Established in 1918 as a memorial to O.Henry, this esteemed annual collection has presented a remarkable collection of stories over the years. Recently, Series Editor Larry Dark has incorporated some exciting changes: a magazine award, the eligibility of stories from Canadian magazines, a list of fifty Honorable Mention stories, an expanded listing of publications consulted, and a celebrity author top-prize jury.

Representing the very best in contemporary American and Canadian fiction, Prize Stories 1999: The O.Henry Awards is a superb collection of twenty inventive, full-bodied short stories brimming with life--proof of the continuing strength and variety of the genre.Amazon.com Review
Some readers anxiously monitor each year's O. Henry anthology like doctorstaking vital signs at a bedside, looking for clues to the current state ofthe American short story. Good news: the patient is alive and well--it'sofficially time to stop monitoring her pulse. Chosen by this year'sprize jury (Sherman Alexie, Lorrie Moore, and, oddly enough, Stephen King),the three top winners are a satisfying mix of psychological realism andmild formal innovation. Best of all, they are as different from one anotheras chalk from cheese. Those looking for "trends" may come awaydisappointed, but anyone in search of a good solid read will find plenty tochoose from here.

The year's first-prize pick is Peter Baida's "A Nurse's Story," a quiet,moving tale that manages to skirt sentimentality by possessing that rareliterary gift, perfect pitch. "A good death. That's what everyone wants,"longtime nurse Mary McDonald tells us, but Baida's story serves instead asa tribute to a good life--and all the other lives it ripples out toaffect. The second-prize winner is a more unsettling and ambitious fiction,Cary Holladay's "Merry-Go-Sorry." Ostensibly about the rape and murder ofthree little boys, it somehow encompasses putative satanism, teenagealienation, hopeless love, grief, affliction, mystery, and everything elsethat makes us all human. The word merry-go-sorry "means a story withgood news and bad," the accused killer's mother tells us, "joy and sorrowmixed together..."Holladay's story is indeed a merry-go-sorry, and in itsjuxtaposition of despair and hope it reminds us that, as in the wake of anArkansas storm, sometimes "what's beautiful happens by accident." Roundingout the three prizewinners is a story by Alice Munro, a writer who deservesevery prize extant and maybe a few not even thought of yet. Her "Save theReaper" loosely reworks Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find,"but instead of a savage Southern parable, she produces what Lorrie Moorecalls "a kind of pagan prayer," shot through with love, loss, mourning, anddeath.

Standouts from the rest of this collection include the splendid rodeofiction "The Mud Below," by Annie Proulx, George Saunders's bizarre,tragic, and sidesplitting "Sea Oak," and something everyone either reallyreally loves or really really hates, David Foster Wallace'sfootnote-enhanced "The Depressed Person." (This reviewer thinks it's funny,sad, and brilliant in an unrestrained and very Wallacean way.) As always,there are a few stories here that the clients in Saunders's male strip barmight rate "Stinker," but overall the miss-to-hit ratio is surprisinglylow. Another year, another lively--and impressively vital--anthology.--Mary Park ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars High highs and low lows make for a rocky ride
First of all, I haven't read all the stories in this collection. That having been said, I was surprised by how uneven this volume is. "Mister Brother" by Michael Cunningham was a happy find for me, as was "Sea Oak," a hilarious story by George Saunders (Civilwarland in Bad Decline, Pastoralia). Many readers will be familiar with Jumpha Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies," which is a good story, but one wonders if it's really necessary to reprint it when Lahiri's book by the same name is so ubiquitous. DF Wallace's "The Depressed Person" will piss off or delight readers to an even greater degree than most of his other fiction. An amazing story, but one that makes your skin crawl. Finally, I am dumbfounded as to how Robert Schirmer's "Burning" made it into this publication. It's definitely an apprentice piece and one worth skipping.

4-0 out of 5 stars i might be a bit generous with the stars
I've found the O. Henry Awards series to be a pretty uneven collection of stories, but still one i eagerly await each year, because in each volume you find several good stories, and one or two gems. The 1999 collection is no exception. Sure I found most of the stories to be trite and dull, but hidden amongst the poorer work were really good stories by W.D. Wetherell, Michael Chabon, Charlotte Forbes, and Annie Proulx. And the second place story, Cary Holladay's 'Merry-Go-Sorry' is a great story that deserves to be anthologized many, many in the years to come. And Stephen King and Lorrie Moore's introduction were eloquently written, and a joy to read in their own right.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a fabulous buffet
I'm not sure what the Kirkus Reviewer wants from the genre but I am sure that every other reader will find something here to admire.I agree with previous reviewers about "Sign" and "Merry-Go-Sorry," (they are horrifyingly good)and would like to add my praise for the fine contributions "Sea Oak" and "Nixon Under the Bodhi Tree."Both stories examine mortality in very different ways but reach equally exquisite conclusions.Although the author has received enormous praise for the eponymous collection, "Interpreter of Maladies" is just a wonderful story about travel, confession, nationality and marriage.I love this collection and cannot believe that any sane person would worry about the future of the short story as long as such treasures are being created.

On a side note, Stephen King's introduction is eloquent and poignant.He was probably a great asset to the panel of judges and may even bring his own readership to the short story in general.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Strong Year for the O'Henry Awards
I tend to prefer the Best American series,but this year O'Henry is far more surprising and varied. I'm not sure what grudge is being held by the Kirkus Reviewer above(I suspect that he/she is some sort of failed MFAcandidate?) BUT there's clearly strong work here.Larry Dark shows a muchsurer hand here than he has in previously edited volumes. He's stillobviously got a thing for the "quirky"and strange--it's nosurprise that he's also editor of "The Literary Ghost"sincethere's a kind of gothic sensibility at work in many of the chosen stories, but there's also a greater variety here than you'll find in this year'sBest American. My personal favorites include Sheila Schwartz'sstunning"Afterbirth;"Cory Halliday's "Merry-Go-Sorry,"whichperforms some wonderful technical feats with its multiple narration;andof course Alice Munro's story. There are weak spots, of course:the PamHouston story(mentioned by a previous reader;)and Annie Proulx's story,which just seems to me to be an awfully cliched rendering of the Westernpersona. Nevertheless, all in all,a very respectable collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars Why Pam Houston?
What in God's name does this woman do to get herself included with such great writers as Alice Munro and Annie Proulx?Has the literary world gone mad? After "Cowboys" her writing has been complete drivel.Lazy,self-aggrandizing pap.I am really stunned. ... Read more

16. The Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
Hardcover: 40 Pages (2008-09-09)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$3.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002SB8QSC
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
O. Henry's classic tale of the wisest gifts of Christmas, brought to life by P.J. Lynch's extraordinary art, is itself a gift to share and treasure.

In a shabby New York flat, Della sobs as she counts the few coins she has saved to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim. A gift worthy of her devotion will require a great sacrifice: selling her long, beautiful hair. Jim, meanwhile, has made a sacrifice for Della that is no less difficult. As they exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, the discovery of what each has done fills them with despair, until they realize that the true gifts ofChristmas can be found more readily in their humble apartment than in any fine store. O. Henry paints a masterly portrait of unfaltering love, a haven from the harsh world outside. The poignancy of his story is captured in P.J. Lynch's eloquent art, wherein every glance, every gesture, tells a subtle truth. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars most romantic engagement gift
i have neen giving this story as an engagement gift for20 years
the story and the illustrations are beautiful

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Short Stories I have EVER READ
The Gift of the Magi.. is not about the Magi/three wise men, however
the love, and the unconditional love aspect of this story, and the
sacrifices made of this couple.. for each other.. awesome... one must
have read this book... at least once in their lifetime.. .It is that good.
I taught high school English... and I always... enjoyed so much presenting
this short story to my students... by O Henry... One of the best short stories
ever told...... in the whole world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, heartwarming story
Gift of the Magi by Ohenry is one of the true classics. Its simple story of love, giving and selflessness is timeless and will tug at your heart as you read this wonderful story. I first read this story when I was 15 and bought a paperback book with all of OHenry's stories in it. My favorite stories in the book were Gift of the Magi and The Last Leaf. I believe even the most hardened of hearts would melt if they allow the messages in this story to touch them. I have purchased at least a dozen different copies of this story through the years so I could share the story with others. This book makes a wonderful gift at Christmas and all through the year. I give this story a '10'.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Christmas Story
This is a wonderful short Christmas story, long a classic, which seems almost new with these beautiful illustrations. It will be in our family for a long time, we're sure. (After resisting the purchase in a store, we were delighted to find it on Amazon for about half the price!)

2-0 out of 5 stars The Gift of the Magi
The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous, but unfortunately the text adaptation is awkward and difficult to read aloud.Although this is one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories, I ended up returning this book because of the text. ... Read more

17. 41 Stories (Signet Classics)
by O. Henry
Paperback: 432 Pages (2007-07-03)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$2.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0451530535
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Readers the world over recognize O. Henry as the best short story writer of the early twentieth century. Widely known as a master of irony, O. Henry also displays here dazzling wordplay and a wry combination of pathos and humor. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pleasure in a paperback
What a fantastic book!!!It is chock full of humorous, ironic, and hysterical stories.Belly laughs abound.Those sitting near me must have thought I was crazy because the stories are laugh-out-loud funny.This is a great book to put you in a good mood and leave you feeling happy and relaxed, and boy do we need it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Typeface Small
Everything you've ever wanted to read by O. Henry. Good gift, good read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Awful writing style
I started reading this book after I had just finished reading ALL of the Sherlock Holmes stories (for the first time), and quite simply, it grated on my nerves.The writing style does not come close to that of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, who's writing is well thought out and presented.I once read somewhere that O. Henry never edited his stories, and it is VERY noticeable.It is really strange to have an explanation of why he uses a certain word over another as part of the text, albeit paranthetically.I've since moved on to Poe, whose short stories are pretty good.On the plus side, the irony is pretty good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Humanity Revealed: With Humor and Irony
I have a smile on my face every time I finish reading a story from this book. Each story tickles my fancy ... I was sold on this volume by an amazon.com reviewer -- whose enthusiasm for O. Henry was contagious. O. Henry was one of my favorite story tellers in the past ... I am pleased to have discovered this book. It is filled with delightful and enlightening short stories about the foibles of humanity ... many are heart-warming and sensitive, many are humorous, some are serious. He has mastered the art of the "surprise" ending for which he is famous!

"The Gift of the Magi", "Brickdust Row", and "The Furnished Room", bring back fond memories of growing up. I remember events and characters from these stories. Each story is poignant, emotionally satisfying, and complete. O. Henry possesses an uncanny ability to hook the readers attention in the first paragraph and then keep the reader hanging on every word, anticipating what happens next ... O. Henry is the master of creating a twist to the ending ... he often throws the reader an unexpected curve. Heshows us life is *not* always what it seems.

In this volume, O. Henry writes about people, human reactions, culture, society, class structure and how to earn a buck, through a bit of conniving and deceit. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories which took place out West and in Central America ... they were fresh, original and well-crafted. His technical expertise as a writer, the use of words to create an impression and set up a plot are sheer genius. They demonstrate the reason for his stories are popular throughout the world. One of myfavorites is the story titled, "The Ethics of Pigs". Here is a sample of O. Henry's famous word-play: "Jeff is in the line of unillegal graft. He is not to be dreaded by widows and orphans; he is a reducer of surplusage. His favorite disguise is that of the target-bird at which the spend-thrift or the rockless investor may shy a few inconsequential dollars." [p. 147, A Signet Classic] This book contains stories with a wide range of themes, plots, and locales. It will appeal to a large audience of readers from middle school age on up. My highest recommendations. Erika Borsos (erikab93)

5-0 out of 5 stars Expect the Best; You'll Get It
The thing I always find remarkable about reading O. Henry is that the "surprise" or "twist" at the end of so many of his stories arrive so naturally. You never feel manipulated. They are so simple and logical, like the narrator's tone. It's little wonder that so many consider O. Henry to be one of the founders of the modern short story. And that an annual short story award is given out in his name.

His stories, like Horatio Alger's, give us a unique first-hand account of what New York and other cities were like at the turn of the last century. And for that it is a valuable collection as well.

The great standards are in this collection, like "The Gift of the Magi" and "A Retrieved Reformation". But it's the lesser known, the hidden gems, that make this collection so remarkable. People make much of the fact that so many of these tales were written while O. Henry was in prison for various minor offences and that the stories provided him with bail money. The fact is that the man had a lucid view of human nature and the funny way life infringes upon it. He could have--and did--write so many of these tales outside of the jail cell. ... Read more

18. The voice of the city: And other stories
by O Henry
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1935)

Asin: B00086NIOQ
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19. Roads of Destiny
by O. Henry
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2009-01-28)
list price: US$32.99 -- used & new: US$32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1103182870
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Subjects: FictionNotes: This is an OCR reprint. There may be numerous typos or missing text. There are no illustrations or indexes.When you buy the General Books edition of this book you get free trial access to Million-Books.com where you can select from more than a million books for free. You can also preview the book there. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Roads of Destiny

"Roads of Destiny" written by O Henry creates a different way of looking at the paths in life we take. His theory reveals that it doesn't matter the paths we take but our destiny is sealed. Whatever we do does not change or hinder it. Through reading O Henry's thoughts, one must acknowledge how we should make the most of what we want for our lives-self goals/accomplishments- because we only have one life to live and death may come sooner than one might think. Who wants to die an unhappy death knowing that your life was useless and you didn't achieve your goals?

4-0 out of 5 stars Roads of Life
This story makes the reader think: Would a person truly change if they chose to go a different route in their life? There are three roads: left, right, center. Each road is leading a different way. O Henry believes that even we may take different paths in our life time, the outcome never really changes. I enjoyed the thinking process, but I did not really enjoy the story itself. I felt that it was a little on the depressing side. The outcomes of the different roads in "Roads to Destiny" are a little disappointing. In every outcome, he is a sad and unhappy poet. The writing was distinctly O Henry's work. I believe it will enrich a person's soul. It makes a person look at their life and see what is important to them. This story is worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Road of Destiny
This is a very interesting story that provokes one's thought on the roads we choose in life. O Henry has proven to be a most unusual and point-making author. His short stories always have a good point, like this one about the roads we choose to follow and how they effect our future. It shows the true weight of our small or large decisions we make on the roads we take through the clever written plot. It even shows how different choices can even land in the same end. It shows the volatile or unreliable, nature of our decisions. It is cleverly written to keep your interest and has a appealing twinge of sardonic humor in it that keeps you captivated and reading more. I suggest this engrossing work of O Henry to a deep thinker or people making big decisions, or anyone who loves short stories with peculiar morals to them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Roads of Destiny
This is a fascinating short story. The roads signify the different direction we can take in life. When reaching a crossroad, we follow the main character (David Mignot) to the left, the right, and the center. We follow him through trials, and despairs. The carefully written descriptive writing brings out the crossroads each person has faced sometime in their life. I wondered if O. Henry himself was facing a crossroads because he seemed to be very invested and exact in the detail given to each path. He consistently kept the story interesting and leaving your curiosity wanting to know more. Though it isn't edge-of-your-seat exciting, it makes the reader think about their own life choices.

4-0 out of 5 stars Roads of Destiny
Roads of Destiny displays a fascinating angle of story telling that most authors don't explore often enough, which is multiple conclusions to a single story. I think that more authors should attempt this writing style because it is incredibly interesting. You start out the story thinking about how bizarre it is to have three completely different stories all wrapped into one, but once you've read the second angle of the story, you're already beginning to get an idea of how the third ending will turn out. I enjoyed this story because of its interesting way of saying that no matter what you do along the road, in the end your life will end up the same. Fate will catch up with you even if it takes a different path in reaching you. Roads of Destiny proved to be an enjoyable read due to its wry nature and distinctive format of the entrancing text. ... Read more

20. The Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
Kindle Edition: Pages (2005-01-01)
list price: US$0.00
Asin: B000JQUT24
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great quick read
This is a classic story that was assigned reading material my freshman year of high school. Understated story, very well-written. The Kindle version is nice and I have no complaints with formatting.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic story I remember from high school!
I recall reading this in high school and was taken by the story then.I still love it and love the message behind it!Do download it if you want a quick bitter sweet story.

5-0 out of 5 stars the gift of the magi
this story is about this young couple that can barely manage their lives but they can't get through Christmas withouy getting eachother a gift.The woman sold her hair and she got 20 dollars for it.The man sold his pocket watch.she got him a chain for his pocket watch and he got her combs to comb he long hair.In the end they both are happy ... Read more

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