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The Cop and the Anthem

4.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  248 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
When all of Soapy's efforts to get himself arrested fail, overhearing a hymn at a nearby church causes him to repent and start seeking a "real" job. An O Henry twist at the end of the story, foils Soapy's new plans.
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Published December 6th 2010 by Jeanne Gibson (first published March 27th 1904)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 353)
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Brian Yahn
Like most of O Henry's stories, there's a fun twist of irony at the end, although less impactful than usual. Also, the language here feels a lot more dated than some his better known stories.

For the majority of the story, I found myself thinking--okay, I get it--and waiting for the end. It honestly felt more like an episode of a children's cartoon than what I'm used to from O Henry.
Rachel
Nov 01, 2010 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd been looking for O. Henry for a long time, and I'd been looking for The Cop and the Anthem for an equally long time, only, I didn't know who I was looking for and I didn't know what the title of the story was, only the story. The reason for this strange situation was the fact that I'd heard The Cop and the Anthem told very briefly in Chinese during a special seminar I once was unwittingly forced to attend ...and long story short, the twist and the delicious irony of it all interested me enou ...more
D.C.
Feb 04, 2015 D.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm becoming a bit of a short story snob. This one's a winner. Very funny in an offbeat way, and you've gotta admire the irony. O. Henry was able to breath imagination and entertainment into a very small package (as any good short story writer should be able to) and make it work immensely.
Clare Farrelly
Quite an amusing short story. The Irony is good. It is kinda different too, I mean people are normally trying to get free or stay free in most books, not so with this one.

"He was filled with sadness. He was still free. Was he going to remain
free forever?"

I already knew how it would end though before it started, it would have been even better if I hadn't (horrible synopsis that tell you everything)

and you can read the story here, it is only 6 pages : http://americanenglish.state.gov/file...
Saranga Sharma
Jan 18, 2016 Saranga Sharma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Soapy, a hobo, tries everything from misconduct to vandalism to get caught in order to spend three months of winter comforatably in jail. However, he fails to get the attention of the police. He stops in front of the church listening to the organ and realizing how he is wasting his life. Just when he decides to live a better life, he is caught by the police for loitering.
Maryam Samiei
O' Henry is famous for his talent in describing ordinary people and this story was not an exception. I was startled by the end of the story and I do believe in such twists in real life:)
Emily Brana
Nov 24, 2015 Emily Brana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A big story in a little package. O. Henry will always be in my eyes one of the masters of the short story.
Keelynn Hardy
Apr 21, 2016 Keelynn Hardy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I arranged my thoughts on this short story into a haiku:

"Cleansed by nostalgia,
In a moment, the world shifts--
Rendingly caustic."
Mike Corgan
Jun 30, 2016 Mike Corgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good O. Henry short story worth reading.
Naveed Nawaz
Feb 24, 2014 Naveed Nawaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghulam Abbas-esque. Beautiful.
Abigail Gross
The end was the death of me.
Francisco  Ortiz
Jan 22, 2015 Francisco Ortiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soapy!!!! Poor you!!!!
Michelle
The funniest of the three O. Henry stories I read this Christmas. Soapy the hobo is a riot, especially as he's picking up on a girl to try to get arrested, and trying to order a fancy roasted duck without means to pay, again, to get arrested.
David
May 22, 2013 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a really big fan of O. Henry and the ironic twist that accompanies his stories. I think there's a lot of value in exploring the setting with this story, and overall students enjoyed reading it.
Zach Vowles
A short, gently humourous tale with a predictable ending. Liked the interesting choice of main character.
Kristen Ruiz
Apr 07, 2014 Kristen Ruiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining little story of irony at its finest.
Mary Abraham
Jun 04, 2014 Mary Abraham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loving O Henry's short stories..
Ally McKinnis
Oct 20, 2011 Ally McKinnis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
A great story! Very funny too!

Gautam
Jul 14, 2015 Gautam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Hilarious !
Prashansa
May 03, 2011 Prashansa rated it liked it
Poor Soapy!
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William Sydney Porter lends the pen name "O. Henry" to surprise endings signed officially as Sydney Porter. His biography shows where he found inspiration for his characters. Their voices and his language were products of his era.

He was born 1862 Greensboro, North Carolina. When he was three years old, his mother died from tuberculosis. He left school at fifteen, worked five years in uncle's drugs
...more
More about O. Henry...

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