With East Side tenements, Wall Street offices, and Fifth Avenue as their backdrops, these colorful tales by a master storyteller recount the dreams and passions of New Yorkers at the turn of the twentieth century. As O. Henry, William Sydney Porter (1862–1910) wrote more than 600 short stories, many of them situated amid the bustle of Manhattan. This collection presents 23 of his best, offering an abundance of wit and irony along with his trademark surprise endings. Selections include "The Duel," in which the author explains that every transplant to New York City must either conquer or be conquered by the metropolis; "What You Want," an exploration of whether or not money can buy happiness; and "Proof of the Pudding," a test of the most realistic way to respond to bad news. Coincidence and fate figure prominently in these moving narratives, which are marked by their keenly observed details and peopled by memorable characters whose dialogue is rich in zesty slang.
About the Author
William Sydney Porter (1862–1910) wrote more than 600 short stories under the pen name of O. Henry. Convicted of embezzlement from his employer (the First National Bank of Austin, Texas), he served three years of a five-year sentence, during which he wrote many of the tales that appear in this collection.
Table of Contents
I. STRICTLY BUSINESS II. THE GOLD THAT GLITTERED III. BABES IN THE JUNGLE IV. THE DAY RESURGENT V. THE FIFTH WHEEL VI. THE POET AND THE PEASANT VII. THE ROBE OF PEACE VIII. THE GIRL AND THE GRAFT IX. THE CALL OF THE TAME X. THE UNKNOWN QUANTITY XI. THE THING'S THE PLAY II. A RAMBLE IN APHASIA XIII. A MUNICIPAL REPORT XIV. PSYCHE AND THE PSKYSCRAPBB XV. A BIRD OF BAGDAD XVI. COMPLIMENTS OF THE SEASON XVII. A NIGHT IN NEW ARABIA XVIII. THE GIRL AND THE HABIT XIX. PROOF OF THE PUDDING XX. PAST ONE AT ROONEY'S XXI. THE VENTURERS XXII. THE DUEL XXIII." WHAT YOU WANT"