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Selected Stories

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  16,842 ratings  ·  124 reviews
O. Henry originated the humorous, energetic tale that ends with an ironic, even shocking twist. In "After Twenty Years," for example, two boys agree to meet at a particular spot exactly twenty years later. Both are faithful, but in the intervening years one boy has turned into a criminal, the other into a policeman. Behind the rendezvous lurks a powerful dramatic situation ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Barnes Noble Classics (first published 1977)
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,842 ratings  ·  124 reviews


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Frank
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
In high school I read "The Last Leaf". It was brilliant and simplistic. Many years later I decided I wanted to read more of O. Henry's work and Barnes and Noble provided the fodder. "Selected Stories of O. Henry" is a sort of Best Of collection of 45 short stories by O. Henry. The tip of the ice berg compared to his tiresome output over a short period of time.

O. Henry is considered by many to be the greatest American short story writer. This cross section of his work shows why. He is able to wea
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Theresa
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've just got a little bit left to finish, but I just love O. Henry's stories. I read a couple of his short stories in high school, and was hooked. It is just positively amazing what he can cover/accomplish in just a few pages! Also how true what he has to say, and quite humorously too! Wish I could write like that! AND I have way too many exclamation points in this review...
Deborah Johnstone
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing

It’s hard to believe that O.Henry died penniless. Perhaps his facility to peer inside an individual’s soul took its toll. He wrote of people from all walks of life and his egalitarian position was that everyone deserved to be written about. Every human being possessed vitriol, pathos, and humor. His ability to define character via humor is a revelation that will never pale beside more current work and it is what continues to resonate once a story is complete.

“Jeff Peters has been engaged in as m
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Hưng Đặng
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Tôi đọc hết tuyển tập chuyện hay nhất của O.Henry vào năm lớp 8 sau khi học xong "Chiếc lá cuối cùng". Các chuyện hay nhất mà tôi thấy là "Hai mươi năm sau", "Những món quà của thầy pháp", "Căn phòng có đồ cho thuê sẵn" và "Một cuộc đổi đời".
Truyện ngắn gần đây nhất của O Henry mà tôi đọc là hồi lớp 11 (2009) hình như là chuyện về cây xương rồng.
Truyện của O Henry thường kết thúc rất bất ngờ tạo cảm giác rất lạ mặc dù nhiều khi nội dung chuyện buồn đến khủng khiếp. Dù viết đầu thế kỷ 20 khi pho
...more
Oto Bakradze
simple, short and brilliant.
Jessika
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Even though this book took me forever to read, I really enjoyed it.

Everyone is familiar with "The Gift of the Magi," and I had read a couple of his short stories in school, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up this volume. I enjoy short stories from time to time, but I usually end up liking some stories more than others. Most of the time, short story collections are "meh" for me. Not so in this case. I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every story.

I was real
...more
Krishna Kumar
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I READ FEW OF O HENRY'S SHORT STORIES IN MY HIGH SCHOOL. HE WAS MY FAVORITE AUTHOR SINCE THEN. HIS STORIES INSPIRED ME A LOT. I WAS SWEPT OFF MY FEET BY AFTER TWENTY YEARS, GIFT OF THE MAGI AND LAST LEAF THOSE WERE NOTHING BUT THE SLICES OF LIFE. THE O HENRY AWARD IS THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION. I BELIEVE HIS WIT IN THE TWISTS AND ENDINGS OF THE STORY DESERVES IT. SO, I DECIDED TO READ HIS STORIES BUT HE HAS INCREDIBLY WRITTEN MORE THAN ONE COULD IMAGINE OF ABOUT 600 STORIES. SO ...more
carissa
Sep 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
O. Henry is famous for his surprise endings (which i guess makes them a little less surprising) as well as his light humor. while that makes for entertaining reading, i wouldn't call it frivolous. more gentle than his contemporary Mark Twain, but with greater realism, his stories deal with various classes of New York society, sometimes in the same story, and always make me think or feel something i didn't expect to.
Minh Nhân Nguyễn
3 sao

Rât mong moi đơi đươc đên ngay sach cua O Henry đươc xuât ban ơ Viêt Nam vơi ban dich mươt ma, biên tâp ky lương, xưng đang vơi gia tri cua quyên sach. 3 sao la danh cho ban tiêng Viêt nay, con 2 sao nưa minh tam gơi ngân hang vây, hy vong sơm co ngay đươc rut ra :p
...more
Jennifer Devlin
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Loving these short stories! The unexpected endings are great, and his humor is right up my alley. Just enjoying some light reading in the midst of life...
Ilyn Ross
Jul 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
O. Henry is a great delight. He transported me to his world of joy and wonderful surprises.
Daniel
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"The Last Leaf," "The Gift of the Magi," "The Ransom of the Red Chief," and "A Retrieved Reformation" are his best short stories.
Tung
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Cũng như mọi người, mình biết đến tác giả O.Henry thông qua mẫu truyện Chiếc lá cuối cùng. Tuy nhiên, điều mà thôi thúc mình tìm đến quyển sách tập hợp những câu chuyện thú vị của ông là từ hai mẫu truyện mình được giáo viên phát cho trong lớp học tiếng Anh, đó là The green doorThe cop and the anthem. Mình đã bị hút hồn bởi khái niệm true adventurer mà tác giả vẽ nên trong The green door (Rất tiếc không nằm trong tuyển tập này) về những nhà thám hiểm của cuộc đời, về những người có lòng can ...more
Shaqayeq
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love this author with his fabulous short stories!
Danny
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Gift of the Magi”
The story of Della and Jim, a married couple struggling to make ends meet. Each sells his most valuable belonging to buy a Christmas present for the other. Della sells her beautiful long brown hair for twenty dollars, and Jim sells his watch, which has been in his family for three generations. Each buys a present intended to enhance the beauty of the other’s most valued possession: Della buys Jim a beautiful fob for his watch, and Jim buys Della a pair of jeweled tortoise-s
...more
Katrice
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading a short story collection, especially a collection by only one author, I always face the problem of fatigue. Of being "authored - out". Becoming so familiar with the writer's style that the stories blur together and it gets. . . yeah, maybe a little boring and a bit of a chore to finish.

There were times that I did feel that when reading this collection. When, I suppose, the O.Henry "twist" became O. Henry "rote" and I had to step away a read something else but. . . more often then th
...more
Wordwizard
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Funny and clever. These aren't just gripping yarns, though; they're wonderful period pieces and cut to the heart of an atmosphere. Much of the setting and the characters may be larger than life, but the impression is wonderful, especially the elements that repeat over stories: the dizzying freedom of the open prairie during last days of the real "West"; the casual fierce loyalty of the cowboys who lived there; the plucky resourcefulness of hardworking shopgirls and flippant con men alike; the vi ...more
Chris Carr
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
O. Henry was a new writer to me. I picked this up because it was one on the few English books in the library at the Chinese University where I work. Some of the short stories are better than others. I liked the way he used adjectives although sometimes it seemed overdone and I also enjoyed how he'd sometimes comment on both written and spoken cliches, which are still cliches in today's world. O.Henry's stories always had a twist however sometimes it was easy to guess how he'd end the story.
Kathleen
Apr 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, benicia, cypress
I searched by ibn but this isn't the edition I have.
We'll see how many of these I have time to read before it must be returned.

Some of these are excellent, others less so. There were times that the description of even a minor character ran on to such an extent that I lost track of the finer points being set up in the plot.
Kathryn
Mar 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I seem to adore O. Henry, though the stories that are set in the West do seem to be a bit thin and are constantly repeating the same plots....but! I do love the allusions, the language, and the "surprise" endings.
Paddyspub
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The version I read was 401 pages long. This book at the end of every short story I wanted to read an entire book to see what the characters did after the story ended. Very good book. My favorite story was The Last Leaf.
Shane
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Henry never fails to catch you with his trick ending. But this master of the short story may have also contributed to its evolution away from the formulaic trick ending to today's slice of life, open-ended, much ados about nothing stories.
Manasi Shiledar
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cherished
Before Roald Dahl and Sudha Murthy and R K Narayan, O Henry was my favorite author of short stories! 'The Last Leaf' 'After 20 years' 'The Count and the Wedding Guest' are a few of my favorites.!
Amy
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I will never get tired of re-reading these stories. Shortly after purchasing it on a discount rack at a college I was visiting, I realized what a wonderful discovery I had made! <3 O. Henry
Miriam
Jun 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
There are some really funny, sad, inspiring, and weird stories in here. I love O. Henry's style. He is great!
Beka Sukhitashvili
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american
"მსოფლიოს რჩეულ მოთხრობებში" ხომ დაიბეჭდა და აქ უფრო მეტია და ბევრი. თან სხვა თარგმანია. განსაკუთრებუად მომეწონა "წითელკანიანთა ბელადის გამოსყიდვა" და "მოგვების ძღვენი"
My Huyền
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Max Mulholland
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I selected this comprehensive collection of O. Henry because it contained one of my favorite short stories-The Gift of the Magi. As one would expect, the voluminous collection contains a vast array of stories written in the classic O. Henry style with his trademark ironic twist ending. As with most short story collections, there are some great stories and some not-so-great stories with the majority of the stories falling in the middle-good, solid, readable stories. Overall it was an enjoyable co ...more
Giang Nguyen
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mình từng thử đọc bản Tiếng Anh nhưng đọc không nổi, vốn từ và hiểu biết của mình không đủ để hiểu cặn kẽ từng góc cạnh ý nghĩa trong truyện ngắn của O. Henry. May sao kiếm được bản dịch của Ngô Vĩnh Viễn, tuy không đối chiếu bản dịch và bản gốc nên không biết độ chính xác đạt bao nhiêu % nhưng bản này đọc rất xuôi kèm chú giải tường tận, bao gồm cả những chỗ khó dịch và khi tác giả chơi chữ.

Ý nghĩa truyện ngắn của O. Henry thì khỏi phải bàn cãi rồi. Đối với một đứa không quá hứng thú với văn h
...more
Humphrey
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
O. Henry is better than what scholars tend to give him credit for, but not as good as what casual readers give him credit for. He certainly wrote a lot of mediocre stuff (some of which manages to sneak in to any selection), but the better stories contain clever structures, humorous wit, and adroit observations of fin de siecle life. As for the ironic twist for which he is best known, it should be added that O. Henry was no automaton: he puts twists on his twists too. Plenty here to be read in fr ...more
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O Henry's gift 4 19 Jul 11, 2013 09:03PM  
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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 his uncle's d
...more
“We can't buy one minute of time with cash; if we could, rich people would live longer.” 77 likes
“Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence” 25 likes
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