Sheherazahde's Reviews > Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Aug 18, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, fantasy
Read in August, 2011

This is a collection of short stories and poems by Neil Gaiman. Mr Gaiman has mentioned that he does not like to write novel length horror stories because he does not want to live anywhere that dark for the length of time it would be necessary to write a novel. Reading all these stories at once is bit like living in a very dark place for much too long. So I recommend reading them slowly over time. They are too good to pass up altogether. [return][return]"A Study in Emerald" is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and H. P Lovecraft. Specifically, Holmes investigates the murder of a child of the Elder Gods. A bit of a surprize ending for the Holmes fans. The newspaper ads at the chapter heading are a bit of fun too. [return][return]"The Fairy Reel" is a poem and a warning about playing with fairies. A bit sad. Mr. Gaiman recommends reading it aloud. [return][return]"October in the Chair" is about the monthly meeting of the Months. They tell stories to each other. They are not all good story tellers. It is a bit disturbing. Mr Gaiman calls it "a sort of dry run" for "The Graveyard Book" [return][return]"The Hidden Chamber" a gothic poem from Bluebeard to his wife. [return][return]"Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" one of Mr. Gaiman's younger works. A bit silly. About the problems of being an author in a gothic universe. [return][return]"The Flints of Memory Lane" a real life ghost story. And all the more disturbing for being so. [return][return]"Closing Time" another story that could be true. A disturbing story about childhood. [return][return]"Going Wodwo" a Green Man poem.[return][return]"Bitter Grounds" a disturbing story about being undead and lost in America. [return][return]"Other People" Mr Gaiman had originally titled this story "Afterlife". An editor retitled it. An ironic reference to the Jean-Paul Sartre quote "hell is other people" since in this story hell is definitely not other people. [return][return]"Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story" Mr Smith works for Mr Alice. They are both very bad men who do very bad things. But Mr Alice has a lot of money and Mr Smith is very good at his job. Not people you would ever want to meet. [return][return]"Good Boys Deserve Favors" A story of childhood music lessons and magic. "Good double bass players... were men who made poor husbands." So it is just as well that the narrator does not become a good double bass player. [return][return]"The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Ms Finch" Ms Finch disappears one night at the circus, and I think we can see why but how is another matter. We learn the facts of the case but not really the answers to any questions. [return][return]"Strange Little Girls" written for the liner notes for a Tori Amos CD. Nice to have in a collection if you obsessive about these things. But not very satisfying as stories. [return][return]"Harlequin Valentine" A retelling of the traditional Harlequin story with a rather literal twist on the theme of giving your heart away. [return][return]"Locks" a poem about Goldilocks and the Three Bears as a metaphor for parenthood. [return][return]"The Problem of Susan" What happened to Susan after the Narnia books were over. I rather like Mr Gaiman's theory.[return][return]"Instructions" another poem. Instructions for how to get in and out of Fairy. [return][return]"How Do You Think It Feels?" a gargoyle story and a another bit of chilling horror about the danger of guarding your heart too closely.[return][return]"My Life" a funny little poem about a strange little life. Another one that is good to read out loud.[return][return]"Fifteen Painted Cards From a Vampire Tarot" Exactly what it says it is. Fifteen very short descriptions of vampire tarot cards. He makes some interesting points. What would "The Devil" or "The Sun" mean to vampires?[return][return]"Feeders and Eaters" a horror story about compassion and the lack of it. Some fates are worse than death.[return][return]"Diseasemaker's Croup" a description of a disease that disrupts the sufferers ability to think coherently. Written by someone suffering from the disease, and therefore a bit incoherent.[return][return]"In the End" the last book of the Bible. Genesis in reverse. Funny. [return][return]"Goliath" a story set in the universe from "The Matrix" movies, but not using any of the characters from the movies (except the agents). Written for the movie website.[return][return]"Pages From a Journal Found In a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky" Another set of scraps from a Tori Amos tour book. A bit of a m

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