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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Adventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World by Brian Doyle

John, the Muse
You may know that Robert Louis Stevenson is the famed author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and other tales. But did you know that this sickly Scottish author stayed in a boarding house in San Francisco at the end of 1879 until the spring of 1880, waiting for his true love, Fanny, to finalize the end of her marriage to a philandering husband? During that time, Stevenson wrote furiously trying to earn money for life with his soon-to-be bride and her kids, who were across the bay in Oakland.He cranked out essays, penned about his own travels across America, wrote the novella Prince Otto, and contemplated writing TheAdventures of John Carson in Several Quarters of the World. While no draft of the book actually exists, Brian Doyle took up the challenge to write what could have been another of Stevenson’s masterpieces.
In the old, floriferous, wordy, and opulent style of Robert Louis Stevenson, Brian Doyle fleshed out John Carson, …

William Syndey Porter

Candy for the Mind 

O. Henry is pen name of William Sydney Porter, who wrote over 600 short stories in his lifetime. Often funny, sometimes touching, always witty and imaginative, each story ended with a surprising twist.

One of his most famous stories is the The Gift of the Magiwhere a young, penniless couple sacrifices something dear to their hearts in order to buy the perfect Christmas present for each other. The ending has a sweet twist to it, kind of like an Oh, Henry! candy bar, which supposedly pays tribute to the beloved author. (Read it here:
There is almost an endless selection of books containing his short stories. While there are too many stories to list, below are some of my favorites. 
Lost on Dress Paradeis about a young man who saves his money for ten weeks so he can go out and pretend to be a rich man for one evening.  Outside the restaurant he meets a girl wearing a cheap hat and dres…