A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it . . .
In a novella set two years after the events of American Gods, Shadow pays a visit to an ancient Scottish mansion, and finds himself trapped in a game of murder and monsters . . .
In a Hugo Award-winning short...more
For years I’ve heard the name Neil Gaiman passed about, weighted with heavy praise, and have always promised myself to read him. Earlier this fall, after hearing him speak on NPR, I sat down with a copy of Coraline, and hungrily read it in one sitting. Despite the novel being intended for an audience much greener than I, I couldn’t help but be hypnotized by the charismatic voice and magical delivery and I renewed my promise to return to this author as soo...more
Fragile Things is a collection of oddities, retellings, poetry, spin-offs, and queer creations of Neil Gaiman's colorful imagination. Some of the stories have been published elsewhere, like Sunbird and October In The Chair , which were included in his M Is For Magic compilation, and some...more
Some of the content herein is much more "adult" than a good deal of his other work, which can tend towards the childlike and fanciful. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the fantastical stuff with its focus on the magic of youth and mystery of the unknown. But I think I prefer his short story work because...more
For me, the highlight of this collection of short stories and poems was the novella "Monarch of the Glen" that featured Shadow from "American Gods" re-interpreting the Beowulf legend. It was extremely good. I thought t...more
Because it is an book of incidentals as well as short fiction, it's rather uneven.
But I still give it five stars, because I love updatings of the fairy tale, and Gaiman is clearly one of the most gifted writers on the planet when it comes to doing this.
I also loved The End of the World by Kate Atkinson for the same reason--and reviewed that at length on my blog. Okay, hers were more updatings of Greek and Roman myths, but you get the idea!
He includes poems too, and there's...more
"October in the Chair"
This story, dedicated to Ray Bradbury, smacks of that author's rich and subtle style. I love the story-in-a-story format, the inclusion of supernatural concept-beings such as the months (who remind me of the Endless, of course), and the even-handedly tra...more
Fragile Things opens with "A Study in Emerald," a brilliant mash-up of Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft, if you can wrap your head around that peculiar concept. Picture Sherlock Holmes versus Professor Moriarty in a bizarro Victorian...more
The short story is unforgiving; you don't have time for slow bits, or parts that sound like you've read them already somewhere before. And paying homage is tricky too--it can't be mere...more
I don't need to say that I love pratically 99% of this book. Only one short story did not make my heart beat faster. Neil Gaiman > God!
First of all, the Brazilian edition is different from the American one, starting with the fact that it was divided into 2, and I have to check that, but I've heard that there are different stories/poems in them as well.
From the start. I liked the Brazilian translation a lot, and not only because I am a translator myself, but also because I...more
I'd rather not dwell on the negatives, so briefly, here are the stories I didn't like: "Other People" and "The Problem of Susan." "Other People" is a sickening description of one man's hell--literally hell, as in the afterlife. Of course, a description of hell should be sickening and disturbing, but that doesn't mean I have to lik...more
Not only for his exceptional contribution to literature, and the arts in general, over the last few years.
But for this reason: Reading "Fragile Things" has confirmed one of my greatest fears.
I don't like short story compilations.
It all started with Alice Munroe's "Hateship Loveship Friendship Courtship" or whatever it's called. I could not get through that book no matter how hard I tried. And I tried. Ever since then I have blamed my dislike of story compliations of...more
"October in the Chair" is downright spooky, with one of the most unnerving endings, ever. And of course, "The Monarch of the Glens" ( a story featuring the character Shadow from "American Gods") is a welcome "next chapter" of that novel. I hope there will be more of him from Gaiman in the future.
Some stories are wistful and fantastic, some contain dark shades of horror and the occasional poem, such as the Fairy Reel, are very clever and beautiful breaks. 'Going Wodwo' is a beautiful poem about returning to nature. The coffee...more
Once again, reading these, it just comes back that Gaiman is our own modern myth maker. When Gaiman does a full length novel, you can feel the myth and magic simmering along, but it i...more
Neil Gaiman is a very imaginative author. Some of his stories (the ones that are child appropriate, anyway) are fun and adventurous for children while being chilling and creepy for the parent readers.
Before this anthology, I had not read any of his poetry. They might be my favourite part of this book. Especially "The Fairy reel" and "The Day the Saucers Came." Then there is "A Study In Emerald" which is a cross between th...more
To the best of my analytical abilities, I think what he's trying for in the book as a whole is the feel of a dream. As such, only some of these take the form of a conventional short story.
The last entry is a novella with Shadow from American Gods on a European trip two years after the end of American Gods. I'd read anything in that world. It's no...more
I've read a fair amount of Gaiman, so this wasn't my first time. I've read the entirety of his Sandman comic for Vertigo, along with the Death of the Endless comics, Black Orchid, and The Books of Magic. I've read Neverwhere...more
In the introduction to Neil Gaiman's short story collection -- a wildly diverse assortment of horror, sci-fi, dark fantasy, poetry, and speculative fiction -- he explains the book's title: "Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks."
Noteworthy selections in this undeniably exceptional collection include...more
When he is at his best, and I will flag the stories a "Study in Emerald," for it's adroit and clever combination of a Sherlock mystery set in the Cthulhu universe and "How to Talk to Girls at Parties," which is a su...more
I will be back for more. Certainly more of his short stories, and probably for some of his novels. The fiction in this book works even when I don't care for it. (I'd say I enjoyed about 75% of the stories in this collection...a far higher percentage than for any other sing...more
Then, of course, there are the pieces themselves. Some - as one might expect, from Neil Gaiman - are dark and chillin...more
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She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.”