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Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders…

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders (P.S.) (edition 2007)

by Neil Gaiman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,870197659 (3.97)272
Title:Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders (P.S.)
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Harper Perennial (2007), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

  1. 120
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
    moonstormer: Fragile Things contains a short story with the same character as is in American Gods. Both are highly recommended.
  2. 30
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
  3. 41
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Not all circuses are for your amusement. Choose wisely which one to attend.
  4. 20
    Beowulf by Beowulf author (moonstormer)
    moonstormer: the short story in Fragile Things - Monarch of the Glen - is very related to Beowulf and could be seen as an interesting commentary.
  5. 20
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke (Larkken)
    Larkken: The short stories contained in each anthology have a similar feel, and both, to some degree, play with traditional fairy tale themes. Clarke's novel benefits from reading her debut novel, as her collection is placed in the same world.
  6. 21
    The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (sturlington)
    sturlington: One of Gaiman's stories speculates on what Susan did after the events in The Last Battle.
  7. 21
    We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For, "Ah. My story. Are you certain you wish to hear it? It is long, unlikely, and remarkably unedifying -- shameful, even, to come from a minister's lips. Blasphemous, too, properly regarded."
  8. 10
    The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm by Ellen Datlow (veracity)
  9. 10
    A Pack of Lies by Geraldine McCaughrean (fyrefly98)
  10. 00
    The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick (MyriadBooks)
  11. 03
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (PghDragonMan)

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» See also 272 mentions

English (190)  French (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (197)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
Neil Gaiman's second collection of short stories, poetry and other bits and pieces he decided to send to his editor is a huge disappointment. I am a great admirer of Gaiman's novels and his first collection Smoke and Mirrors was excellent. I bought this book the first time I saw it in stores under the assumption that if it was Gaiman it had to be good.

This is a false assumption and a trap that many other fans seem unwilling to admit they've fallen into. True, there are a few gems in here such as the opening story, the Lovecraftian Sherlock Holmes mystery "A Study in Emerald". Another great story, "October in the Chair," was published in the paperback edition of Smoke and Mirrors, and doesn't really count. Unfortunately the collection's flaws outweigh its other merits.

He indulges too heavily in lackluster poetry, and I do read and appreciate poetry, I just think his stuff should stay in those black and white marbled composition notebooks. That's what it reads like. Also, how often does he have to use the 'this is a true story woooooOOOOOOOOoooooo' motif which becomes increasingly irritating every time he pulls it out. Shouldn't fiction be able to hold it's own weight without that? There comes a point when one is too self-aware of their own charm and wit and Gaiman has perhaps gotten too big-headed over his rabid fan base of which I was once a member. Where are the STORIES, the IDEAS?

As welcome as the thought of revisiting Shadow was, the story/novella seemed more like a chapter rightfully excised from 'American Gods'. His story on the Matrix was ill-chosen and boring. And his bungled treatment of Narnia in "The Problem of Susan" is inexcusable, not because of its perverseness for perverseness' sake (yet another flaw of Gaiman's), but simply because it was unsatisfying and insulting to the reader. I can't be alone in this. Gaiman can say that that was his intention all he wants in the introduction, a 'critique blah blah blah' he just wanted a paycheck and Aslan boning the White Witch made the grade (spoiler alert?). Which is fine, sure. But don't pretend it's anything more than that.

Gaiman remains entertaining in the long form where his gift of storytelling outweighs the warts and bruises of his indulgences, but when his peculiar genius is chopped up into little bits it is clear he is not at all the writer we would like to think he is. I just can't shake the feeling that he is a smug jackass. ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I'm listening to the audiobook while waiting for my signed copy to arrive.
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
I don't normally like short stories, but this is the exception. Each is exquisitely crafted and most are disquieting. He is a master of his craft. ( )
  CharlotteBurt | Nov 24, 2018 |
Short story collections are tricky things, and tricky to rate. You never love all of them, but when one or two of them truly grab you, you're good. And of course, nobody gets grabbed by the same stories. The three stars represent the amount of stories that didn't do a thing for me, even though I fell for a few of the others.

There was a lot in here that struck me as stereotypically gothic or "just a" story, even though Gaiman always finds beautiful words for his stories. But beautiful words don't make a story. That was The Flints of Memory Lane, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch (I kind of felt that you had to be Kurt Vonnegut to pull off telling the ending first), Feeders and Eaters, Pages From a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky (maybe how Kafka would have written, if he was Neil Gaiman), Keepsakes and Treasures, and the Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves …, also nearly all of the Poems.

There were also some that I liked, but did not love; they were nice to look at, but did not touch me: A Study in Emerald (because apparently you can pull off the Holmes/Cthulhu crossover if your name is Gaiman), October in the Chair (nice little precursor to the Graveyard Book), Bitter Grounds (too Kafka to touch me, but very, very well done), Harlequin Valentine (I can go with that symbolism), How Do You Think It Feels (I don't like affairs, but I do like Gargoyles), In The End, and Goliath, which he wrote for the Matrix website when the movie got out, and I think I liked it as much as the movie. Also, How to Talk to Girls at Parties and Sunbird, which I knew and liked already.

And then, sometimes, stories or poems or ideas just touch you. Some even grip you, and some of those won't let go for a long time: The Problem of Susan, even though (or maybe because) I did not like Narnia. Instructions, which I need to write down in the nicest lettering I can manage, and put it up, or give it to somebody who needs it. The Monarch of the Glen, because Shadow. Oh, Shadow. And, last and foremost, Other People. Yeah, that one is not going to go away. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
Some excellent shorts. My favorites was shadows. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
佳織, 野沢翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beest, Emmy vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
瑞人, 金原翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Awards and honors
For Ray Bradbury and Harlan Ellison, and the late Robert Sheckley, masters of the craft
First words
"I think...that I would rather recollect a life mis-spent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral dept." The words turned up in a dream and I wrote them down upon waking, uncertain what they meant or to whom they applied.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Collects these stories
"A Study in Emerald"
"The Fairy Reel"
"October in the Chair"
"The Hidden Chamber"
"Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire"
"The Flints of Memory Lane"
"Closing Time"
"Going Wodwo"
"Bitter Grounds"
"Other People"
"Keepsakes and Treasures"
"Good Boys Deserve Favors"
"The Facts in the Case of the Disappearance of Miss Finch"
"Strange Little Girls"
"Harlequin Valentine"
"The Problem of Susan"
"How Do You Think It Feels?"
"My Life"
"Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot"
"Feeders and Eaters"
"Diseasemaker's Croup"
"In the End"
"Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Lousville, Kentucky"
"How to Talk to Girls at Parties"
"The Day the Saucers Came"
"Inventing Aladdin"
"The Monarch of the Glen"
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060515228, Hardcover)

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 story set in a strangely altered Victorian England, the great detective Sherlock Holmes must solve a most unsettling royal murder . . .

Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares . . .

In a Locus Award-winning tale, the members of an excusive epicurean club lament that they've eaten everything that can be eaten, with the exception of a legendary, rare, and exceedingly dangerous Egyptian bird . . .

Such marvelous creations and more—including a short story set in the world of The Matrix, and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction—can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his terrifyingly entertaining dark sense of humor. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most unique writers of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:26 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A collection of more than twenty-five short fictional works follows a theme of the intersections between life and death, perception and reality, and darkness and light.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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