Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Novella: Holiday Classics by O. Henry (Audiobook)

The Christmas Novella:
Stories to get you in the Spirit.

Publication date: 9th December 2010
Published by: Audible Inc.
Duration: 51 mins

Publisher's Synopsis

When it comes to the holidays, no story brings us back to the true spirit of giving like O. Henry’s classic "The Gift of the Magi". So this year we’ve asked some of your favorite Audible narrators—Audie Award winners Katherine Kellgren, Oliver Wyman, and Jonathan Davis—to bring to life this timeless tale, plus two more of O. Henry’s gems, "The Cop and the Anthem" and "The Last Leaf", in this handcrafted holiday collection.

The Cop and the Anthem
It is the beginning of winter and Soapy, a homeless man, does not relish the idea of spending it on the streets.  He hatches a plan to get himself arrested and sent to jail for 3 months so that he may escape the harsh weather.  Soapy discovers that it is not as easy to get arrested as he thought it would be...

The Gift of the Magi
"One dollar and eighty-seven cents."  This is the first sentence of the story, exclaimed by Della on Christmas Eve.  It is all the money she has managed to save and she is desperate to buy her beloved husband Jim a present.  She manages to find a way to earn the money she needs to get Jim's present, but whether her decision to do so turns out to be a wise one remains to be seen...

The Last Leaf
Johnsy lives in an apartment in the artists district with her roommate Sue.  Six months after moving in she contracts pneumonia and is close to death.  Johnsy can see out of her window and she becomes fixated on the falling leaves on the tree outside.  She tells Sue that when the last leave falls she will die...

Set in New York in the early 1900s, these stories do indeed have a Christmas-like feel about them.  They also have a traditional feel about them, generally conveying a message (or a moral to the story).  There is humour in some of them and poignancy in all three.  O. Henry was well-known for writing stories with unexpected endings and I can see why.

It is an audiobook with excellent narration - which adds value.  On the other hand, I could appreciate the beauty of the prose and I felt I missed out a little on the enjoyment I know I would have experenced from reading the words on the page.  The stories are quite short so they can be listened to when time is limited (such as on a short train journey).

No comments:

Post a Comment