Review: The Gift Of The Magi And Other Stories

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The Gift Of The Magi And Other Stories
The Gift Of The Magi And Other Stories by O. Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Found this teeny book at a thrift store and I’m happy to add it to my personal collection. There could be a handful of O. Henry stories tucked into “best of” collections throughout my library, but I am proud to make this the first exclusive collection and I shall treasure the thin volume forever. I remember reading the headliner, The Gift of the Magi in school. It’s so sweet and wistful and romantically tragic, like a non-fatal Romeo and Juliet. My favorite story was The Last Leaf. I anticipated a Twilight Zone, Bradbury-style ending, so the very human, touching surprise nearly brought me to tears.

I faintly remembered the “O” standing for “Orrin” and knew the name to be a pen name, but I hadn’t recalled the author’s turbulent, tragic life. I can see how literary wonks view him as a kind of folk anti-hero, a genius uncalibrated for the cruelties of this world, and I am glad his name has been immortalized in the most prestigious short story award of our time. Were I to count, I probably own (and have read) more O. Henry award winning stories than O. Henry stories, a travesty I am delighted to have made a dent in correcting in the consumption of this book.

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Victor A. Davis has always loved reading and writing short stories. He is an avid hiker and even when away from the world of laptops and wifi, keeps a pocket paperback and a handwritten journal to keep him company on trail. He is the author of two short story collections, Grains of Sand and The Gingerbread Collection. Join his Mailing List for special announcements about upcoming works.