Download The Ransom of Red Chief: An O. Henry Story Audiobook

The Ransom of Red Chief: An O. Henry Story Audiobook, by O. Henry Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: O. Henry Narrator: Deaver Brown Publisher: Simply Magazine Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9781614961185
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“The Ransom of Red Chief” may be the most widely read story in grammar, middle, and high school. Young people can relate to 10-year-old Red Chief, his father who makes the kidnappers pay him back in order to take Red Chief off their hands (plus come in darkness so others don’t jail them), and all the antics and excitement of it all. It is not read or heard widely after one leaves high school, which is a shame, because it is such a magical story about expectations being crushed by realities, and the turn of events, which O. Henry was so masterful at achieving, as in “The Gift of the Magi,” the other best known O. Henry story, which Simply has also recorded.

The humor here is Southwestern style, with some of the violence similar to that frontier humor immortalized by Mark Twain. O. Henry spent time in Texas on various speculations and, in fact, wound up in a Texas jail for three years before coming to New York and prospering with his unique storytelling ability. The Texas influence is strongly felt here, not just in Southwestern humor, but the sense of space and vistas, with few people populating them.

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. We believe most Southwestern humor in short stories is even better heard than read.

As with all Simply short stories, you should enjoy the ideas put forth in the introduction and afterword.

Download and start listening now!

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About the Author

O. Henry (1862–1910), born William Sydney Porter in Greensboro, North Carolina, was a short-story writer whose tales romanticized the commonplace, in particular, the lives of ordinary people in New York City. His stories often had surprise endings, a device that became identified with his name. He began writing sketches around 1887, and his stories of adventure in the Southwest United States and in Central America were immediately popular with magazine readers.

About the Narrator

Deaver Brown is an author and entrepreneur. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, and his books include Crucial Conversations, Presidential Wisdom, George Washington: Farewell Address, and numerous others.