"A Retrieved Reformation" may be the fourth most widely read O. Henry story in grammar, middle, and high school. "The Ransom of Red Chief" rates number one, "The Gift of the Magi" number two, and "The Cop and the Anthem" number three. Young readers enjoy this story a lot, because of the safecracking plot. Adults tend to like the growing up part: starting a shoe store, succeeding, getting the girl, and going straight.
O. Henry stories are not read or heard widely after one leaves high school, which is a shame, because they are such magical stories about expectations being crushed by realities, and the turn of events, which O. Henry was so masterful at achieving. However (and O’Henry is full of howevers), adults tend to love the stories once reintroduced to them. The humor is spectacular and quite light hearted. A final thought for the listener: Is there anyone similar to O. Henry in style? We can’t think of anyone, and that is another reason to listen to these stories. As with all Simply short stories, you should enjoy the ideas put forth in the introduction and afterword - things to think about or write about if a student. A brief biography appears in each of our O. Henry audiobooks.
The readers pronunciation is sloppy and his pace is uneven, sometimes rushing inappropriately sometimes pausing oddly and stumbling over words. He does not seem familiar with the text. It is a significant distraction.