Tuesday 7 May 2024

The Brief Debut of Tildy by O. Henry

Pass the cruet, please.

The only saving grace for "The Brief Debut of Tildy" is O. Henry's witty and concise writing style.  His lyrical prose and vivid descriptions can make even the most humdrum subject matter interesting. In the case, a bougie restaurant in New York City where lustful men vie for the attention of waitresses. Among them, Aileen captivates with her charm, drawing the gaze of many, while Tildy, often overlooked, fades into the background. However, a violent incident outside of work shatters the illusion of beauty, prompting a sudden shift in attention towards Tildy. The explicit misogyny underlying this narrative is deeply unsettling, compounded by an ironic twist that comes up short. Generally speaking, this is one of the weakest and least memorable found in "The Four Million", O. Henry's second published collection of short stories. Again, if it weren't for the excellent writing, this would probably receive a one-star rating.

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