HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,653215685 (3.97)283
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.
  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. 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.
  4. 20
    The Ladies of Grace Adieu 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. 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.
  6. 32
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Not all circuses are for your amusement. Choose wisely which one to attend.
  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
    Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman (LAKobow)
    LAKobow: Another short story collection by Neil Gaiman.
  11. 00
    The Fate of Mice by Susan Palwick (MyriadBooks)
  12. 03
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (PghDragonMan)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 283 mentions

English (208)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Vietnamese (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (216)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
The Shadow story was my favorite part of this collection. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
I tend to prefer my supernatural fiction "vintage", by which I understand that it should be written before 1950 and/or in the style of the classic ghost, gothic or horror story. Nevertheless, I do enjoy the occasional foray into the "New Weird". In December 2014 I had read and enjoyed China Mieville's [b:Looking for Jake and Other Stories|10755520|Looking for Jake and Other Stories|China Miéville|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327942096s/10755520.jpg|895195] and, more recently, his other short story collection [b:Three Moments of an Explosion|24044142|Three Moments of an Explosion|China Miéville|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1426654001s/24044142.jpg|43365539]. Over Christmas 2015 I had opted for another anthology of short fiction: Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. I am revisiting my review, now that the collection has been reprinted in the wake of the movie "How to talk to girls at parties"

I can't say I know Miéville and Gaiman well enough to compare them but, if forced to do so, I'd say Mieville strikes me as grittier and more politically committed, his style owing as much to noir and thriller genres as to the tradition of supernatural fiction. On the other hand, Gaiman seems more fascinated by the world of faerie, folk tale and myth; by the sometimes subtle, sometimes shocking intrusion of the weird into everyday life. Another recurrent inspiration in this collection appears to be the act of "writing" and "creating" itself. Not only is the anthology preceded by an introduction in which Gaiman explains the genesis of each of the pieces, but some of the stories themselves are either *about* writing, writers and storytellers, or else reinterpret known literary works. For instance, in the opening story - "A Study in Emerald" - the worlds of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft combine as Sherlock Holmes is placed in an alternative 19th Century ruled by "Old One" Queen Victoria. It's the sort of divertissement which shouldn't work but ultimately does. "The Problem of Susan" presents a more disturbing and abstruse reinterpretation of characters from the Chronicles of Narnia. "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" veers between parody and pastiche and features an author living in a typical candle-lit Gothic world of crumbling castles and stormy nights who is suffering from a particularly acute case of writer's block. A critic described this tale as "facetious nonsense" (which it probably is), but it is hilarious - after all, parody has always been an element of the Gothic tradition.

A highlight of the collection is "October in the Chair", in which, at a story-telling reunion between the months of the year, October relates the tale of a bullied boy who befriends a ghost. A prototype for [b:The Graveyard Book|2213661|The Graveyard Book|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1303859949s/2213661.jpg|2219449] , it is touching and unsettling at the same time.

In other tales we meet child zombies, haunted playrooms, beautiful aliens and magical instruments. There is a return of "Shadow" from [b:American Gods|4407|American Gods (American Gods, #1)|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1258417001s/4407.jpg|1970226] in the novella "Monarch of the Glen", where the protagonist finds himself pitted against a Grendel-like monster of old. In this story there is also a cameo appearance by the repulsive "Mr Smith and Mr Alice", who also get their own story - "Keepsakes and Treasures" is violent, quite revolting but strangely fascinating.

With such a varied anthology there will be entries which do not work for you. In my case, I didn't particularly like the poetry and there were stories which lost me because they seemed to lack an internal logic. Gaiman points out that supernatural tales are rarely "story-shaped", so others may actually relish the feeling of being "bewildered" by a seemingly illogical tale. I don't.

If Goodreads would allow me, I'd give this collection 3.5 stars. Instead, I'll opt for 4. I'll also make a mental note to venture into "New Weird" more often - possibly starting with some of Gaiman's and Mieville's full-length novels. ( )
  JosephCamilleri | Mar 5, 2021 |
There are 4 memorable stories

A Study in Emerald
Closing Time
Other People
Sunbird

( )
  BradParks | Jan 9, 2021 |
Hard to rate this collection as some of it I really enjoyed, some: not so much. Certainly some really varied styles of writing. ( )
  Vividrogers | Dec 20, 2020 |
Neil Gaiman continues to amaze me with his stories. Overall, I very much enjoyed this collection of "fragile things." I particularly enjoyed "A Study in Emerald," "October in the Chair" (notwithstanding my birthmonth), "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless," "Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox" (reminded me in a way of Stephen King's "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away"), "Sunbird" and "The Monarch of the Glen" (a sequel to [b:American Gods|4407|American Gods|Neil Gaiman|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1258417001s/4407.jpg|1970226]).

I would've rated it a five based on those stories alone, but there were a few other stories that didn't quite work for me. "The Problem of Susan" is, well, problematic, not in the idea (which I think is a worthy one) but the execution. There was an awkwardness to the grit of "Keepsakes and Treasures." Some of the poems, like "The Day the Saucers Came," seemed a bit throwaway.

But overall, a good collection. Anyone who already enjoys Gaiman should find a lot in this book to sustain their opinion. And those who aren't that familiar with his work will probably find a few pleasant nuggets as well. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
佳織, 野沢翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beest, Emmy vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertola, StefaniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
瑞人, 金原翻訳secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.97)
0.5 3
1 8
1.5 5
2 73
2.5 25
3 371
3.5 110
4 847
4.5 86
5 548

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,075,887 books! | Top bar: Always visible