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The Gift of the Magi Audio Cassette – Abridged, Nov 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Monterey Soundworks; Abridged edition (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569945306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569945308
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

O. Henry's classic tale of Della and Jim, the struggling newlyweds so anxious to give each other a Christmas gift that each sells the one thing the other holds most dear, receives an oddly lifeless treatment here. Heyer's meticulously detailed illustrations are pretty but stilted; the characters look like mannequins. The rueful Jim fares better than poor prematurely middle-aged Della, who at times looks more like his mother than his wife. Still, the story is as touching as ever, and neither time nor mediocre artwork can dim its glory. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 5 and up. A classic story becomes a picture book for older readers in this oversize edition. Heyer's paintings reflect the turn-of-the-century setting and are nicely executed, if occasionally stiff. Because the protagonists are both adults, there will not be automatic appeal for younger children, but preteens, and especially teenagers, should find the romantic appeal that has been apparent to previous generations of readers. Ilene Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
O. Henry is the pen name used by the American writer William Sydney Porter. His short stories were enormously popular in the first decade of the 20th century, when he wrote prolifically for journals and collections. Being firmly rooted in their time, they have become dated; and his trademark surprise endings seem somehow unsophisticated. But in many ways people haven't changed so much in 100 years and some of O. Henry's stories still delight with their keen observations of human behavior. His two stories most widely read today are "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief."

"The Gift of the Magi" is a little story that's worn fairly well in the lesson, if not in the language. Jim and Della Young lived on a shoestring in their New York apartment, very much in love but with no cash to spare for Christmas gifts. They had only two things of value: Della's luxuriant knee-length hair and Jim's family-heirloom pocket watch. Della (from whose POV the story is told) sold her hair to buy Jim a fob chain for his treasured watch. When he arrived at the apartment he "stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face" and then gave her the present he'd bought -- jeweled combs for her hair, now gone. When she pressed the fob chain on him eagerly, he revealed that he had sold his watch to buy her combs.

It's a simple story, but pleasing in its circularity. O. Henry calls Della and Jim "two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest." A nice little lesson -- to be willing to sacrifice your greatest treasure for the joy of giving to the one you love. How many of us are so generous, or love so much?
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Format: Hardcover
The Gift of Magi is an O. Henry�fs classic Christmas story that is about a couple, Jim and Della, who loved each other. They were very poor people, but they wanted to buy a Christmas gift for each other. They did not have enough money, so they decided to sell their important things to buy a gift. Della wanted to buy a gold chain for Jim�fs gold watch, but she didn�ft have enough money. Instead, she cut her hair that was her pride, and sold it. And Jim, whose watch was great and really expensive, sold it to buy the combs that Della had wanted for a long time. So as a result, their Christmas day was not happy at all. This story�fs ending is not happy, but I like this story�fs classic theme and plot. I think that this book has good theme and plot though they are simple. This is interesting and a well organized story. We can learn cultures of American from reading O. Henry�fs short stories about Americanes.
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Format: Audio Cassette
The Gift Of The Magi is a magnificent "radio theater" production of O. Henry's classic story of young love at Christmas time. A young couple just beginning their wedded life and of very limited means want more than anything to give each other a gift that will reflect and celebrate their devotion, one to the other. The gifts they select, and at the cost to each of them, all result in one of the most endearing, heartwarming, and humorous of conclusions. This highly recommended, multicast production is a flawlessly performed and recorded, totally engaging, wonderfully entertaining dramat-ization.
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By laf on July 20 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A true classic. Pictures are lovely, I bought it for a Christmas gift and wrote a personal message inside.Hopefully it will be saved and handed down to future generations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9ed695f4) out of 5 stars 353 reviews
56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d43fc) out of 5 stars I love this story. Feb. 9 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a short story that I read over a decade ago for the first time, and it has stuck with me since then. In the story, it is Christmastime, and we meet the two main characters, a young married couple who have each other and very little else, except the husband's (Jim's) heirloom pocketwatch and the wife's (Della's) hair. In a despirate attempt to provide a worthy present for her beloved husband, Della sells her knee-length hair to buy a gold chain for the pocketwatch. Little does she know, Jim has done something just as extreme for her. This is an inspiring tale that, despite its simplicity, speaks volumes about the sacrifices we willingly make for those we truly love.
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d4804) out of 5 stars A Gift from the Heart Dec 20 2006
By E. Riego - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book out of nice-cover curiosity and for some light reading to my 2nd grade CCD class, and instead of finding simple children's Christmas book I found a literary masterpiece. Lizabeth Zewerger has transformed O. Henry's very mature adult short story about social poverty and vicarious giving into a children's tale about the true meaning of Christmas. I was awed by the delicateness of Zewerger's watercolors and amazed by the way she perfectly expressed each emotion of O. Henry's tale.

In a world where every holiday (especially Christmas) has been commercialized this book is a symbol of the true meaning of giving. Before you get lost in the hustle and bustle (or if you unfortunately already have) do yourself and your loved ones a favor and pick up this book. It's a great gift for children of all ages and adults too. This is a gift from the heart to give at Christmas.

Reconnect and STAY connected!
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d487c) out of 5 stars Beautiful, but Incomplete Sept. 27 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a classic Christmas story in our family and is linked to many Christmas traditions; however, I was disappointed in this copy because of its "editing." Many parts of the original story were missing for no apparent reason. I did, however, find the illistrations lovely and would recommend this book for that reason.
42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d4810) out of 5 stars Great quick read Oct. 21 2010
By Sarah M. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a classic story that was assigned reading material my freshman year of high school. Understated story, very well-written. The Kindle version is nice and I have no complaints with formatting.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e9d49cc) out of 5 stars exquisite little story Dec 18 2000
By Orrin C. Judd - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Especially when you are young, short stories seem like they should have some tremendous payoff at the end, if for no other reason than to justify their very brevity. Or perhaps that is simply a function of the fact that we all grow up reading the great tales of O. Henry. And of all those stories and of all those shocking payoffs, there is perhaps no other twist quite like the one at the end of Gift of the Magi.
Jim and Della Young are a wretchedly poor young married couple. Della has just $1.87 to buy a Christmas gift for Jim and between them they have precious little of any value:
Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim's gold watch that had been his father's and his grandfather's. The other was Della's hair. Had the Queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out of the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty's jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.
Well, you either know the rest or else I wouldn't want to ruin it for you. Suffice it to say that O. Henry leaves us with the following thought:
The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men-who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.
This exquisite little story beautifully captures the spirit of the season. It's one for the whole family to enjoy as, with warmth and wit, it imparts the age old lesson about it being better to give than to receive.