After Donna Tart skillfully pulled me into this fascinating and well-constructed drama, got me to understand and feel for the vivid characters (Go, Harriet!), and wove an intriguingly tangled yet believable web between them, she just CUT OFF the story! I thought there must have been a Part 4 I'd forgotten to download. While some stories end this way on purpose (real life often has loose ends, right?) they usually let you know in some way that it's been done on purpose, that you're supposed to ponder something because of it, etc. This one just ended with NOTHING. All the loose ends were still loose, and more was unresolved than at the beginning. Which would have been ok, really, if Ms. Tart had just communicated in some way that this was the point of the whole thing. The way she left it, however, was very disappointing. Especially since I didn't want to put it down! I feel so cheated.
Although I didn't feel that most stories in this volume were as memorable as such well-known favorites as "The Last Leaf," "The Gift of the Magi" or "The Ransom of Red Chief," they were still very enjoyable and entertaining to listen to. Most stories included O. Henry's trademark "surprise ending" but in many cases I felt the ending was too easy to see coming or too contrived to appear genuine.
I enjoyed the variety of characters--from New Yorkers to cowboys to tramps--and Gene Engene did a wonderful job of bringing them to life with his distinct regional accents. He also did an impressive job of smoothly popping out the humorously long and unusual words that O. Henry often uses to season his tales.
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