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
I don’t know which to say first, that this is a chick book or that this story stinks.
I guess I’ll go with the chick book. There is way too much time taken with the characters discussing or describing their feelings – not nearly enough time spent in moving the story along. Not being a woman, I can’t really say whether or not this would actually appeal to women, but it sure didn’t appeal to me.
Mostly, though, this is just a terrible story with a downer of an ending. If you liked Arthur Miller’s "Death of a Salesman" you’ll like this. Obviously lots of people DID like that play, but I wasn’t one of them. Like Miller’s play this story has a dismal ending. To make things even worse, the author leaves the reader/listener wondering, "So, who done it?"
I listen to audiobooks purely for entertainment. I don’t want some deep, Pulitzer Prize story that appeals to the intellectual in me. I’m not listening to this book for a class or to discuss with a book club group. After sitting, stunned, at the ending to this story I felt that I had just wasted over 12 hours of my life.
Grover Gardner’s narration was okay, although he could have differentiated the voices better. I enjoy him much more in the Andy Carpenter series.
It just goes to show ya. There's no accounting for taste.
Many reviewers here have criticized the narrator for this book in the series, but I very much enjoyed his reading.
I thought the story itself was a bit disjointed, with no real plot running from beginning to end. This may be a realistic representation of wartime events for this single ship, but usually ships are assigned to a fleet and its actions support a planned campaign against the enemy.
Hornblower’s ship in this story is separated from a fleet and assigned various other tasks. This book is the story of those tasks and reads a bit like a series of short stories or novellas. I didn’t care for the lack of continuity in the story line.
In spite of that, I am enjoying this series and will continue with the next one.
As soon as I got to the point in this book where I learned the protagonist would be fighting zombies I almost shut it off and gave up. I really didn’t want to listen to a story about zombies; I wanted action/adventure, not fantasy. I decided to stick with the story for a few more minutes. I’m glad I did.
The author did create a plausible explanation for the existence of these creatures and then wove a (mostly) believable story around getting rid of them. It’s actually harder to believe that Joe Ledger is as good as he is than to believe in the creation of zombies. Joe seems to have superhuman powers when it comes to any kind of combat, from guns to knives to bare hands. He’s able to bring down his enemies with shots to the head while both he and his target are moving. But I suppose that if Annie Oakley could make such shots there’s the possibility that someone else may be able to also.
The story was complicated enough to stay interesting and simple enough to follow even though I wasn’t completely focused on it all the way through. It also seemed to be just the right length.
The narrator is excellent, creating enough different voices that you always know which character is talking.
All in all, I can recommend this book if you like action and adventure. Don’t be put off by the zombies.
First, you probably won't like this book unless you are at least a bit of a geek.
Given that I AM a bit of a geek, I thought that this would be a fascinating story. I was wrong. The first five or ten times you hear of Kevin Mitnick gaining access, either via computer or a physical presence, to someplace where he is not allowed it's interesting. The next five or ten times, it's just more of the same with the names changed.
If you need to know if this book has an interesting ending, you'll have to read a different review. I gave up after about the tenth or fifteenth break-in.
Don't hold it against Ray Porter, the narrator. He did a very good job.
This is an unusual story, even for fantasy. The premise that there exists a government-sponsored agency comprised of people with "unusual" powers is new to me. Like all government bodies, this one has a bureaucracy.
There were two or three scenarios in the story where it was left pretty much unexplained how the protagonist was able to get out of a seemingly hopeless situation, but the story was so good I was able to overlook those parts. The twists and turns in the story aren't so complicated that you wish you had paid better attention to earlier parts, but not so simple that the story is predictable either.
The narrator, Susan Duerden, is excellent, differentiating voices well for ease in following dialog.
If you are looking for a superhero story that is well written and well read, you can't do better than this one. Highly recommended for fantasy fans.
I liked the beginning of this book, but it became apparent within an hour that it is written from the perspective of the youngster protagonist. Early in the book he manages to intimidate his elders by demonstrating skills and knowledge that are very unlikely to be held by one so young. This unrealistic situation undoubtedly appeals to younger readers, but I like a bit more realism in my fantasy.
I can suspend disbelief enough to accept the superpowers in stories like these, but I do expect the people to act and react in rational ways. This isn't the case with this book. I gave up after about an hour.
Still, I expect that younger readers would very much enjoy this book, hence three stars.
This is a story written primarily for children but which is certainly enjoyable even if you are an adult. The story is simple enough for a child to follow, but has enough twists to keep an adult interested. There are occasional sidelong references to common sayings or phrases that adults will find amusing but which will be unnoticed by a younger listener who isn’t as familiar with English’s idioms.
The narrator is excellent. She differentiates the voices well and tells the story with apparent enthusiasm.
I think that anyone over the age of five will enjoy this book, and, while an adult will also enjoy it, it really would rate only three stars for folks over 18.
Listen to this one while on an automobile trip with kids and everyone will have a good time.
I disagree with Tea Thyme’s opinion that these stories are “excellent for both children and adults.” They may be fun to listen to while traveling with your children or grandchildren while you can enjoy the children’s reaction to the stories, but they were way too simple for me to listen to on my own.
I often enjoy books that are supposedly for children or “young adults”. I think that the “Harry Potter” series is the best piece of fantasy I have read (and listened to). This collection of stories, however is written for a much younger audience.
The narrator is excellent and of course Kipling’s writing is too, but not for adults.
Aaron J. Klein: Striking Back
This book purports to expose the Israeli response to the massacre of their Olympic athletes while at the games in Munich in 1972. It doesn’t do a good job of that.
The book DOES do an excellent job of explaining in detail what happened during the attack on the athletes and if that’s what you’re after this book is for you. The author discusses in detail all the incompetence and cowardice shown by the Germans in handling the entire affair, from security for the athletes to failing to execute a good plan that probably would have ended the situation relatively safely. I found the section covering Munich itself to be fascinating. This part rates five stars, but, unfortunately, is only about a quarter of the book.
After covering the attack on the athletes the book deteriorates into a boring case-by-case accounting of assassinations carried out by Israel around the world. There is very little that explains any relationship between each target and the Munich massacre, and in fact most of the assassinations discussed were not directly related to Munich.
The book does expose a lot of information that has recently been declassified by Israel, in particular the killing of one terrorist that had been debated for years as to whether he died from natural causes (a disease) or was killed.
The problem I had with this book was the jumping from one target to another without any attempt to tie all of them together except for the fact that the Mossad thought that all of them were either terrorists or were aiding terrorists. There are so many unrelated assassinations covered in this book that it actually gets boring to hear how agents murdered yet another terrorist.
The narrator suited me. He read this book as one would read a news article, which is basically what these stories are. He has a deep, authoritative voice that reminds me of Edward R. Murrow.
I won’t be listening to this a second time, although I did finish it.
If you are looking for a suspense-filled story of Israeli intelligence and covert operations I suggest that you get “Hunting Eichman” instead. It’s great.
I got “Trustee From the Toolroom” because of the high scores it received from so many reviewers. All those people were right!
This is a delightful story about the serendipitous events that befall Keith Stewart, our hero. Keith is an unpretentious, middle-aged man who enjoys his hobby of making machines in miniature. He also writes how-to articles about them for an English magazine and earns a bit from them to supplement his and his wife’s meager income.
He finds himself compelled to go on a quest that leads to some adventures, but always manages to come out okay. The adventures are not swashbuckling affairs involving combat, but rather the ordinary kind that you might run into in travels around the world. The story reminded me of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, “What the Good Man Does is Always Right”.
I saw that one reviewer complained that “the narrator droned on about nautical details.” She may not have appreciated the details, but I found that the detailed descriptions of some events and procedures made me realize that this author has a good understanding of sailing, machining, and a number of other skills. It enhanced the book for me.
The closest this book comes to foul language is one (I think) instance of the use of the word “bloody”. There is no lurid sex, nor anything else that would embarrass you if you played this for your mother or for your 10-year-old daughter.
Frank Muller, the narrator, is excellent, with just enough variation in voices so there is almost never any confusion over which character is speaking.
I’ll be looking for more books by this same author and narrator.
A great story for a long automobile trip with the family. Highly recommended.
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