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I was suckered but it was my own fault. I should have known that a complete collection of O. Henry’s short stories couldn’t be recorded in only 14 hours, 40 minutes. I didn’t even take the time to read the list of only 49 stories thoroughly. All I did was notice that MY favorite, “A Retrieved Reformation”, was included.
My 900+ page book of O. Henry’s stories has something over 200 stories, and it doesn’t claim to have all of them. The last Audible book I got that was that long (The Count of Monte Cristo) required 47 hours to read. I should have known.
Even knowing this, I would buy this audiobook again. It’s cheap and well worth the price.
I won’t attempt to critique O. Henry’s work, as most high school graduates have read at least one or two of his short stories. You should already know about his tendency towards surprise endings. What I had forgotten was his other tendency towards depressing endings. “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Last Leaf” are two good examples, but there are several other stories in this collection that are also downers.
The earlier reviewer is correct that you really must listen to these stories to get all the important parts. O. Henry wrote SHORT stories, so almost every word is significant. He didn’t use long descriptions just to fill pages. Also, as previously stated, the language is stilted compared to today’s usage. Remember, he died in 1910. These stories do require your attention.
The reader is absolutely excellent. He knows exactly where to emphasize each word and has enough different voice personalities to make it easy to understand who’s talking.
One last note regarding the limited number of stories on this recording: The list by the publisher claims that there are 49 stories. This is incorrect; there are 46 stories. The missing ones are: “The Caliph”, “A Blackjack Bargainer”, “The Trimmed Lamp”.
The download comes in two parts. Each story has its own chapter break and some longer stories have two chapter breaks. There is no listing of what stories are where, so here it is for you:
O. Henry - Complete Short Stories (Part 1)
- 0:00:00 - By Courier
- 0:09:14 - Jimmy Hayes & Muriel
- 0:22:31 - Schools and Schools
- 0:49:15 - Roads of Destiny (Part 1)
- 1:18:03 - Roads of Destiny (Part 2)
- 1:48:06 - A Cosmopolite in a Café
- 2:01:17 - Christmas by Injunction
- 2:31:01 - Mammon and the Archer
- 2:46:49 - A Bird of Bagdad
- 3:06:12 - After Twenty Years
- 3:14:04 - From the Cabby’s Seat
- 3:25:56 - Lost on Dress Parade
- 3:41:09 - Memoirs of a Yellow Dog
- 3:52:48 - Tobin’s Palm
- 4:12:06 - Transients in Arcadia
- 4:26:03 - The Skylight Room
- 4:41:56 - Ulysses and the Dogman
- 4:56:00 - The Pendulum
- 5:07:50 - The Enchanted Profile
- 5:25:58 - The Green Door
- 5:44:13 - The Third Ingredient
- 6:15:39 - Best Seller
- 6:42:14 - The Princess and the Puma
- 6:57:57 - The Last Leaf
O. Henry - Complete Short Stories (Part 2)
- 0:00:00 - The Love-Philtre of Ikey Schoenstein
- 0:12:34 - The Caliph, Cupid and the Clock
- 0:28:53 - The Brief Debut of Tildy
- 0:44:24 - The Higher Abdication (Part 1)
- 1:10:40 - The Higher Abdication (Part 2)
- 1:35:16 - The Ransom of Red Chief
- 2:02:11 - One Dollar’s Worth
- 2:19:34 - Cupid a la Carte (Part 1)
- 2:39:28 - Cupid a la Carte (Part 2)
- 3:00:13 - Girl
- 3:14:48 - Springtime a la Carte
- 3:30:39 - The Ethics of Pig
- 3:53:57 - The Social Triangle
- 4:08:49 - Witches’ Loaves
- 4:17:52 - The Romance of the Busy Broker
- 4:27:10 - The Making of a New Yorker
- 4:41:53 - Squaring the Circle
- 4:53:54 - A Lickpenny Lover
- 5:09:33 - The Gift of the Magi
- 5:25:26 - Confessions of a Humorist
- 5:49:19 - The Last of the Troubadours
- 6:19:12 - The Furnished Room
- 6:37:54 - The Pride of the Cities
- 6:49:19 - A Retrieved Reformation
- 7:08:53 - The Cop and the Anthem
42 of 43 people found this review helpful
I don't know if this truly is a "complete" collection, but the ones that are here are great.
The stories that standout for me are some classics, "The Last Leaf", "Ransom of Red Chief" and "The Gift of the Magi".
Others were new to me:
"The Princess and the Puma" was a delightful western tale of cowboys and girls to be rescued or vice versa.
"Fickle Fortune or How Gladys Hustled" is the story of a shopgirl looking for fun and a rich guy to latch on to. She has to be able to recognize what they actually look like to succeed.
My favorite was early on in this collection "Jimmy Hayes and Muriel" the western story of a young cowboy and his pet horned frog (toad) named Muriel. This story was such a delight I listened to it twice.
O'Henry's stories are often humorous and always witty and very human. He was able to see how real people lived at the same time F. Scott Fitzgerald was documenting the rich of the lost generation.
Each section starts with the title of the story and then "read by Bob Thomley". By the end of the book Bob feels like an old friend. His reading is great!
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about O. Henry: Complete Short Stories Collection?
the narrator and his ability to perform dialect; a very sincere narration
Which character – as performed by Bob Thomley – was your favourite?
the boy in the park
4 of 5 people found this review helpful