Michael Y. Patuwo's Reviews > Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Apr 08, 2012

really liked it

Personally I find this collection of short stories by Mr. Gaiman superior to Smokes and Mirrors, if only for the fact that he actually wrote closure to most of the stories he wrote inside. Mistake not, Gaiman is an excellent writer, and his poetic writing style is one I sincerely envy, but while his plots are often thick and dark with intrigue, he often finishes off his stories in ways that left the readers utterly unsatistfied (anti-climaxes and Deus ex Machina abound).

Many of the short stories chronicled in this book make heavy (if not complete) references to other literary works that have become classics; while I am sure that Mr. Gaiman meant this as respectful homages to their respective authors, I wonder how many of his readers are left baffled and lost as they had never read those classics before. Regardless, the twists to the original stories are fresh, and some even blew my mind completely. One of the highlights of the book, definitely.

One of my pet peeves about this book is the alarming large number of male protagonists who are unfaithful or come across as misogynous to me. Nearly every one of his protagonists are divorced, cheating on his wife, or single (and having frequent, casual sex). This does not reflect reality very well. I have not seen a single woman portrayed decently in any of his works.

Overall, while Gaiman's works remain more or less constant in terms of style, they vary enormously in how satisfying they are. I reckon, on average, the balance is still on the better side. Read the book while knowing that some stories are not as good as the others.

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