Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Four Million” as Want to Read:
The Four Million
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Four Million

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  550 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
This rich anthology contains 4 tales set in an exotic banana republic and 21 tales set in New York City at the dawn of the twentieth century, including stories of the idle rich, the hardworking middle class, and the hopeless poor. Readers will enjoy rubbing shoulders with outlaws and commiserating with thwarted lovers--all the while looking forward to the author's trademar ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published July 30th 2008 by Boomer Books (first published 1906)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Four Million, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Four Million

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You think O. Henry and you think unexpected twist and romances and happy endings, but one thing that really struck me throughout all these New York stories is that O. Henry's world is really very dangerous and very scary. People could literally starve to death, regularly brawl in the streets, be ruined by a husband, resort to suicide and that very present loneliness of the big city, which enables the cute turns, but also presents very real risks.
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O Henry began to write this collection of short stories about New Yorkers in response to a high society businessman who claimed that in New York there were only about 40 people worth writing about. O Henry's love of the common man shows through these delicious candy-like stories with that classic O'Henry twist at the end. One of his most favorite, The Gift of the Magi, you have probably heard of and maybe moved to tears by the pair's classic tale of sacrifice in love.
Minoy Jose
Nov 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of O Henry, Early 20th century English lovers, Likers of short fiction
The Four Million is the second collection of short stories by O Henry that was published in 1906. The title refers to the population of New York City at that time and is where all the stories are based. I like such random links.

The common thread that runs through most if not all the stories in the collection is the soullessness of the big city. The city is a paradoxical mix of promise and glitz and suffering and the different characters conjured up by the writer take us through the diverse array
Chad Warner
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A collection of O. Henry’s short stories bearing his trademark irony, comic misunderstandings, and surprise endings. I liked the memorable characters, the humorous slang, and O. Henry’s use of obscure vocabulary and analogies.

Besides the popular The Gift of the Magi, I also liked the stories Between Rounds, The Cop and the Anthem, Lost on Dress Parade, Memoirs of a Yellow Dog, and A Service of Love.

I listened to the free Librivox audiobook of The Four Million.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Tales of olde New York--Woodhouse with a Bitter Twist"

This anthology contains 25 tales of old New York city at the dawn of the 20th century. Plus the bonus of 4 tales set in the exotic tropics of a fictitious banana republic. O. Henry focuses his curious microscope on the diverse lives of various residents of this metropolis. A few protagonists claim idle-rich status, but most represent the middle class or poverty-stricken milieus. Indulgent readers will discover the flavor
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook-st

“When ye run down politeness ye take the mortar from between the bricks of the foundations of society” [‘Between Rounds’]—page 23

O. Henry is one of my favorite go to guys whenever I need to cleanse my reading pallet. ‘The Four Million’ is a collection of 25 short stories all set in New York City in the early 1900s. Although I was already familiar with many of these tales, having read them in other O. Henry compendiums, they none-the-less provided a very refreshing and rel
Dec 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? I'm a sucker for O. Henry. His short stories are the sort of thing that I don't know if I think they're great because they actually are great, or just because I happen to like them; but I also don't care. This collection includes "The Gift of the Magi", that holiday classic- which I first learned of through Sesame Street when they adapted it so that it was Bert & Ernie as the couple.
Kim Godard
Delightful, pleasant little stories, each with a peculiar twist for which O. Henry is known. I particularly like the way the author gives us character through dialog and makes us feel as if we know, or could have known, these very individuals if we'd been in his neighborhood. Henry cuts thick slices of urban life in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century and serves them hot and buttered with expression. Nice stories to fill gaps when a longer work is just too much for the moment.
Sean O
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although all of the stories are worth reading, approximately 10 of them are lovely. And three of them are gorgeous.

O. Henry is very funny, and since the stories are all quite short, the weak parts are over pretty quick.

My three favorite stories are "The Gift of the Magi," "The Green Door," and "Mammon and the Archer."

I'm looking forward to the next collection.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Tobin's Palm
The Gift of the Magi
A Cosmopolite in a Cafe
Between Rounds
The Skylight Room
A Service of Love
The Coming-Out of Maggie
Man About Town
The Cop and the Anthem
An Adjustment of Nature
Memoirs of a Yellow Dog
The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein
Mammon and the Archer
Springtime à la Carte
The Green Door
From the Cabby's Seat
An Unfinished Story
The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock
Sisters of the Golden Circle
The Romance of a Busy Broker
After Twenty Years
Lost on Dress Parade
By Courier
Mahmoud Rasheed
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
مجموعة من القصص القصيرة للكاتب الأمريكي ويليام بورتر
احد رواد فن القصة القصيرة
للكاتب تجميعات أخرى لقصصه القصيرة والكتاب يحتوي على عدد صغير من قصص الكاتب وان كانت توضح لنا أسلوبه الرائع
Joshua Rigsby
Coming into this collection I was only really familiar with the "Gift of the Magi" and one or two other random stories by O. Henry I read in some English class or another.

I enjoyed O.Henry's use of wordplay throughout and his humorously constructed scenarios. The twist endings, when done well, were enjoyable. I did find that some of the twists felt a bit contrived, or were easily anticipated. I wanted them to be cleverer or more exciting. Maybe this is because I've grown up in a world that O.He
Azma Humayun
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read when I was in the mood for something simple, funny, heart-warming, and entertaining as hell. No wonder O Henry is one of the greatest short story writers who ever lived. He can make you ROFL, cry, or smack your head when you did not see a twist coming.
Of the 25 stories in this collection (all very good), my favourites are:

The Gift of the Magi: A young woman sacrifices her most precious possession to buy her husband a Christmas gift;

The Cop and the Anthem: A homeless guy tries everything
Ghanem Abdullah
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"الملايين الأربعة" مجموعة قصص قصيرة للأديب الأمريكي "أو. هنري"، ترجمة د/سعيد عبده.
قصص قصيرة، بلغ عددها ٢٤ قصة، تتراوح صفحاتها بين ٧-١٠ لكل قصة، أعجبتني ١٤ قصة منها، بشكل لا يوصف، هذا لا ينفي أن بقية القصص ممتعة.

عنوان المجموعة القصصية هذي، يشير لعدد سكان مدينة نيويورك عند بداية القرن العشرين، ومضمون القصص يدور حول نمط وظروف حياة الطبقة العاملة والفقيرة في هذه المدينة المنطلقة على قطار الريادة والعالمية في حينها.

تتميز قصصه القصيرة بأنها ساخرة، وفيها رومانسية بسيطة غير متكلفة، كما أنها تقدم منظورًا
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books

A classic by O. Henry of 25 short stories many with witty lessons that end with plot twists. There is an underlying theme of despair, many of the stories take place in NYC with ordinary people, situations and involve boarding houses and people at the end of their hope. There were several I really enjoyed, several were very dated and a few I just really didn’t care for.

The 1st story “The Gift of the Magi” I remember from high school reading. A young couple desperate to buy a nice present for each
I hadn't read anything by O. Henry since high school, and was tickled pink to rediscover his gentle wit and effervescent style. I enjoyed this book for the same reasons I liked Edna Ferber's "Roast Beef, Medium". In both cases the author's sympathy with people in menial, ill-paying jobs is very winning. Where O. Henry has the advantage is in his baroque handling of English. He has a great time mixing metaphors, using arcane words or sometimes minting his own, and his playfulness contributes mass ...more
Henry, O.
The Complete Works of O. Henry

In compilation only.

1) Tobin's Palm
2) The Gift of the Magi
3) A Cosmopolite in a Cafe
4) Between Rounds
5) The Skylight Room
6) A Service of Love
7) The Coming-Out of Maggie
8) Man About Town
9) The Cop and the Anthem
10) An Adjustment of Nature
11) Memoirs of a Yellow Dog
12) The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein
13) Mammon and the Archer
14) Springtime a la Carte
15) The Green Door
16) From the Cabby's Seat
17) An Unfinished Story
18) The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock
19) Si
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
An excellent read. O.Henry's tales are full of life, details, descriptions, emotion, humor and needless to say, surprise. Some of the stories leave you awestruck with the way he perceives and portrays mundane things; some others leave you teary-eyed due to the realism and bitterness; and yet others leave you equally teary-eyed with rib-cracking laughter.

O.Henry, like all great writers, is a master of emotion and he takes you through the broad spectrum of love, loss, friendship, riches, misery,
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the humanness of the characters. Many of the stories are just downright funny. The most famous of the collection, the Gift of the Magi, was not one of my favorite entries, though it is still a top notch story. That should give you an idea of how great an author O Henry is. He captures the essence of human nature in each story and brings to light the differences in personalities and weaves them expertly together to create the scene.

Ross Beresford
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in the Project Gutenberg edition as an EPUB. Particularly evocative of a time (around 1900) and place (New York City). Many of the stories concern the Irish community (with its dialect often rendered within speech tags) and the poverty of the times. The title derives from the then population of NYC; today's title would have to be "Eight Million".
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what we think about when we think about O Henry. In that it's the real article it's even more concentrated. His turn of phrase is truly unique. Completely different from how we write now, it conveys not only the authors POV,obvious intelligence and love for his subject matter but also manages to sketch characters and build in pathos and sympathy for them in a minimum of pages. Appropriately, it's ironic that this seeming verbosity creates dramatic economy.
Paul Groos
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

A wonderful collection of stories that take place in New York City - with their twist endings and real-life dialogue. The language and word choice are incredible, the character descriptions too. Special mention for tobin's palm, the coming out of Maggie, an adjustment of nature, by courier, and the brief debut of tilly. These are perfect short stories.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-fiction
More than thirty years ago I bought a first edition set of eleven O Henry books. For two dollars. I'm finally getting around to reading them and enjoy his lighthearted way of describing the human condition as he sees it. Charming, and full of simple pleasure.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While "Gift of the Magi" has always been a favorite, I did not realize how inventive O.Henry was in writing short stories with surprise endings. This is a really delightful collection of stories.
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Go O Henry!!!
Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle schoolers and up
A series of short stories by O. Henry. They're mainly about finding love in the big city of New York in the early 1900's. Great book.
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that I live in New York, these stories that I had once merely enjoyed have found a permanent place in my memory. A must read that's not nearly read enough in schools or in comfy chairs.
Keri L.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!
Meetasha Rathi
simple...capturing life....
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: The Four Million by O. Henry 2 13 Jun 28, 2015 10:04AM  
  • The World of the Short Story: A Twentieth Century Collection
  • Daring Spectacle: Adventures in Deviant Journalism
  • Tanglewood Tales: A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys
  • Poetical Works
  • Legends of Charlemagne
  • Children of the Frost
  • The Wide Net and Other Stories
  • The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1
  • An International Episode
  • The Art of Fact: A Historical Anthology of Literary Journalism
  • Stories for Christmas
  • A Whisper in the Dark
  • The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories
  • The Satyricon and The Apocolocyntosis
  • The Unabridged Mark Twain
  • Claudine And Annie
  • Great Detectives: A Century of the Best Mysteries from England and America
  • Gilligan's Wake
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 about O. Henry...
“But the best, in my opinion, was the home life in the little flat--the ardent, voluble chats after the day's study; the cozy dinners and fresh, light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions--ambitions interwoven each with the other's or else inconsiderable--the mutual help and inspiration; and--overlook my artlessness--stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches at 11 p.m.” 8 likes
“If men knew how women pass the time when they are alone, they’d never marry.” 3 likes
More quotes…