The Four Million


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I'd give it three stars alone just based on the edition I had. I like the stories too. Like 'em or hate 'em they are quite the time machine back to last century. As other reviewers have pointed out not a I found a edition of this book at a give away. As other reviewers have pointed out not all of the stories in this little anthology end so nicely.

In those days a person could starve to death, or die of cold, or get beat up. Henry writes sad stories, tragic stories, happy stories, funny stories - in one he takes the viewpoint of a dog. One thing that surprised me is his enormous vocabulary. I sat reading with a dictionary available at my side. But in a good way; his word choices are excellent. I would not consider this fine literature, by its own admission this is a book for regular people.

It is uneven in execution - but certainly enjoyable reading and absolutely an important primary source for early 20th century fiction. The bad news is, yesterday when I was out and about I seem to have lost the book! I can't imagine where, I went so many places. I felt a little sad because that particular edition is an antique, but I can't complain since I got it for free myself.

I just hope, very, very, sincerely, that it does not end up as landfill somewhere. Henry is not as popular as he used to be - I fear this particular edition will not be reprinted. Dec 11, Alexander Van Leadam rated it liked it. Henry's stories for the first time made me realize a few things. Firstly, that I knew quite a few of them from childhood. Some had managed to become anecdotes surely a major compliment to any writer I remember for their wit, others I'd read in newspaper and magazine supplements without registering much beyond the enjoyment of a good story well told that's how one becomes an avid reader.

Secondly, that satire relies not only on acquaintance with the context but also on recognizable Reading O. Secondly, that satire relies not only on acquaintance with the context but also on recognizable types including racial stereotypes. Henry's humour is often dated and largely politically incorrect by today's standards but readers can still understand how it had worked back when it referred to actuality.


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Thirdly, that melodrama softens comedy and satire; it creates a mellow atmosphere within which much elicits a smile of sympathy rather than a roar of laughter at somebody's expense. I'm not saying that this improves on the comedy; it just makes it palatable to an audience looking for safety. Lovely early collection of O. Henry stories, containing two of those for which he is best known but many other fine examples of his work also.

I recommend also reading Cabbages and Kings, eg. Aug 25, Mahmoud Rasheed rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jul 18, Joshua Rigsby rated it liked it Shelves: 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. Henry's use of wordplay throughout and his humorously constructed scenarios. The twist endings, when done well, were enjoyable.

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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 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 shaped with his prose, and most of the twist endings I'm familiar with owe their lineage to him.

The Four Million

I was surprised by how many of the stories dealt with Irish immigrants and their immortal hate of the Italians in New York. It's a very New Yorky collection, which lends itself to an interesting view of the city during that period. The fact that "Dixie" was sung by northerners with a strange misplaced nostalgia for the South.


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  5. Or the references to the first contrived traffic jam. All told I was just hoping for a little more zing and punch with the twists.

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    A few more pleasant surprises. Dec 04, Azma Humayun rated it it was amazing. 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 Re-read when I was in the mood for something simple, funny, heart-warming, and entertaining as hell.

    A homeless guy tries everything to get arrested so he can spend the snowy winter in the warmth of prison; Springtime a la Carte: A young woman loses the love of her life, but what do daffodils have to do with anything?

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    A lot changes in twenty years but not a man's nose; By Courier: An urchin swaps messages between two lovers in his own style; The Furnished Room: A man in search of the woman he loves hires a strange room that creeps him out. This story won't give you a bellyache, just some pain near the heart. Oct 21, Joanne rated it liked it Shelves: 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. A young couple desperate to buy a nice present for each A classic by O. A young couple desperate to buy a nice present for each other sells their most valuable possession which leaves then with a lot of love at Christmas and worthless gifts. Many of the stories have that kind of twisted ending. Dec 16, Pascale rated it liked it. I hadn't read anything by O.

    Henry since high school, and was tickled pink to rediscover his gentle wit and effervescent style. In both cases the author's sympathy with people in menial, ill-paying jobs is very winning. 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 I hadn't read anything by O.

    He has a great time mixing metaphors, using arcane words or sometimes minting his own, and his playfulness contributes massively to the success of the stories. From now on, I will import into my own vocabulary the exclamation "By the deported snakes! The Complete Works of O. Henry In compilation only. Aug 10, Hriday rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.

    Henry, like all great writers, is a master of emotion and he takes you through the broad spectrum of love, loss, friendship, riches, misery, An excellent read. Henry, like all great writers, is a master of emotion and he takes you through the broad spectrum of love, loss, friendship, riches, misery, marriage and duty with the hand of a connoisseur.

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    Jul 03, Ryan rated it really liked it. A book of short stories, just over a hundred pages. I loved these stories. Lots of fun little sentences. Runs the gamut from dark, heavy, sentimental to goofy and cornball. Jun 11, Theresa rated it it was amazing. 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. Jan 12, Ross Beresford rated it really liked it. Particularly evocative of a time around 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.

    Aug 06, Mark rated it it was amazing. 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.

    The Four Million

    Appropriately, it's ironic that this seeming verbosity creates dramatic economy. Jan 26, Paul Groos rated it really liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Want to take a peak at turn of the century New York? Henry is your man.

    This book has all kinds of love stories set in the Big Apple. Happy ones as well as unhappy ones, with even an occasional suicide. Pearl in the crown is the renowned Gifts of the Magi, but every story has its appeal. Henry loved the city as much as he loved his characters. 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, Kenny rated it really liked it Shelves: Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: Preview this item Preview this item. The four million, Author: English View all editions and formats Rating: Subjects New York N.

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    Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions. Remember me on this computer. Cancel Forgot your password? English View all editions and formats. Tobin's palm -- Gift of the Magi -- Cosmopolite in a cafe -- Between rounds -- Skylight room -- Service of love -- Coming-out of Maggie -- Man about town -- Cop and the anthem -- Adjustment of nature -- Memoirs of a yellow dog -- Love-philtre of Ikey Schoenstein -- Mammon and the archer -- Springtime a la carte -- Green door -- From the cabby's seat -- Unfinished story -- Caliph, Cupid and the clock -- Sisters of the golden circle -- Romance of a busy broker -- After twenty years -- Lost on dress parade -- By courier -- Furnished room -- Brief debut of Tildy.

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