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Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders (edition 2010)

by Neil Gaiman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,908179525 (3.97)243
Member:AuntieClio
Title:Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Harper (2010), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:75 in 2013, TIOLI - January, Read, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:SantaThing

Work details

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

  1. 110
    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. 40
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Not all circuses are for your amusement. Choose wisely which one to attend.
  3. 20
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
  4. 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.
  5. 20
    Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (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.
  6. 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."
  7. 10
    A Pack of Lies by Geraldine McCaughrean (fyrefly98)
  8. 10
    The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm by Ellen Datlow (veracity)
  9. 00
    The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick (MyriadBooks)
  10. 11
    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.
  11. 02
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (PghDragonMan)
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» See also 243 mentions

English (173)  French (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (180)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
I feel like Neil Gaiman is one of those authors where most people either love him or hate him... but I only like him very, very much.
Does that make any sense? Probably not.

Anyway, there are some amazing stories here. There are also some that I could do without, like the short bits written for a Tori Amos album's liner notes. I could do without Tori Amos, too, but that's just me. I just don't agree with Neil on everything. I feel like there are a lot of people out there who do, though.

I have to say, though, I got the warmest, fuzziest feeling when I read his introduction to "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" and he mentioned how much he enjoyed reading it for the first time at CBGB. I was like, "Oh, how nice! He appreciated my club, and I was there!" (He really is an excellent reader, and very personable.)

I'd already read a few of these in other collections, but they were good enough that I didn't mind re-reading them at all. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (short stories) - some better than others from good to very good

Ah, it seemed such a good idea when I was wandering round Penicuik Library: two books by two of my favourite authors. Only when I got home did I realise that both were Short Stories. Now I like short stories, but you can't sit and read them continuously, you need to read a novel for that. So, this took me some time to finish.

As you would expect with Neil Gaiman, each of the stories was quirky and interesting, some appealed more than others, all were worth reading. Of course, all lacked depth/substance because some of them were only a few pages long. I particularly enjoyed the return of Shadow from American Gods: it was nice to see how he progressed post novel! It was also one of the longer stories and therefore had time to develop. In fact I think the ones I enjoyed the most were the longer stories for that very reason. Having said that, I did enjoy the poems.

In general, this is one of the collections that proves Pauline's dislike of the genre. some interesting ideas, but not enough development to really capture the imagination. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
A very enjoyable read, except for two of the stories which I found rather distasteful. An Audible book which was read very capably by the author. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Fragile Things is a collection of short works of fiction and poems by Neil Gaiman, most of which have been previously published elsewhere. This is the fourth work by Gaiman that I have read; previously, I have read Coraline, Odd and the Frost Giants, and The Graveyard Book, all of which I was enchanted with. So, I must admit that as I was reading Fragile Things, I found myself a bit disappointed because I was having the most difficult time getting into the text.

However, it wasn't really Gaiman's writing that the problem. I think the problem solely lies with the fact that I'm not a huge fan of short story collections. I do like short stories as a genre of writing, but I think when you collect them into a single text, they seem to lose some of their charm for me. Perhaps this is because I was trying to read the collection like you would a novel and simply could not get into a reading rhythm. I also found myself searching for a clear connection between one story to the next story of poem, and wasn't really finding any, which I think is part of what made getting into a reading rhythm more difficult. I found that when I picked up another book to read and would take longer breaks between the stories in Fragile Things that I actually enjoyed the book more.

Some of the short stories were just okay for me, while some of them I absolutely loved, especially "October in the Chair", a story in which the months of the year are personified, "Bitter Grounds", "Strange Little Girls", and "Pages of a Journal Found in a Shoebox...". Overall, I enjoyed the poetry more than I did the stories as a whole. "The Fairy Reel" was, I think, my favorite poem. I say "I think" because it's difficult to choose which poem I actually liked the most. What I found with all of the writing is that Gaiman is a master of word play, and that there are little bits and snippets of every story or poem that are little jewel-like treasures that keep singing through my head at the most mundane moments of my day (i.e. washing dishes or loading the washing machine.) I think I'll have to go back and reread this collection again soon.

Two of the parts of the book that I also enjoyed were the introduction to the text and the "Conversation with Neil Gaiman" that came at the end of my edition. Introductions are tricky little elements, I think. Often, I read an introduction to a text and wonder "Why did I bother?". But that wasn't the case with the introduction to Fragile Things. I found myself really interested in Gaiman's explanations of how each piece came to be or why it was written. "Strange Little Girls", for instance, was originally written to accompany Tori Amos' CD Strange Little Girls. So, this collection of 12 very short stories appeared as lines scattered throughout the CD booklet. "Harlequin Valentine" was a story inspired by the ticket-seller in a piece, a Ferris wheel, by Lisa Snellings-Clark and sculptor and artist.

The "Conversation with Neil Gaiman" included at the end of my edition was also equally interesting as Gaiman addressed questions such as which of the pieces in this collection was his favorite and further explored how some of the pieces were written in addition to answering some questions about his writing and writing process in general. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 17, 2016 |
Another great short story collection by Mr. Gaiman. The Shadow novella at the end is the closest we may get to a sequel to American Gods which was a novel I really liked. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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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"
"Locks"
"The Problem of Susan"
"Instructions"
"How Do You Think It Feels?"
"My Life"
"Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot"
"Feeders and Eaters"
"Diseasemaker's Croup"
"In the End"
"Goliath"
"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"
"Sunbird"
"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 4 descriptions

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