Monday, December 24, 2007

Reader's Diary #319- O Henry: The Gift of the Magi

Short Story Monday

My first exposure to this classic tale was a screen version. I don't remember a whole lot of the details except that the watch was replaced with a violin. Otherwise most details were the same.

I loved it and immediately found the short story to read. It's now been years since I first read it, but I thought it was time to see if it still held the same magic.

Yes. I still love the twist. The couple, so down on their luck, sacrifice their most valued possessions in order to present the other with a Christmas present, only to find out...well, you know the rest (if not you can read it here or download an mp3 here). Despite the unfortunate irony, it doesn't seem to get the main characters down and that's why it's such a classic tale.

This time around I also appreciated a few other details I hadn't before. I especially loved the detailed preoccupation with money (the figure $1.27 is pretty predominate). I think getting so specific, right down to the penny, really pressed the idea of how desperate and broke they were.

If you've never read it, you're probably still familiar with it through the endless number of parodies. In any case, it's a perfect Christmas read or reread. So go ahead.


Jodie Robson said...

This was my dad's favourite story. He loved O. Henry.

Mine's a children's story this week!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I think they still read the Gift of the Magi on As It Happens on CBC every Christmas. It is a great tale.