Fragile Things: Gaiman short stories and poems

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Neil Gaiman collection Fragile Things: Short Fictions and WondersFragile Things by Neil Gaiman

This collection comes with 31 short stories and poems as well as an introduction that’s as compelling as Smoke and Mirrors. Of all of Gaiman’s collections, I think this is by far the most superior as it features more of his later work and has a more polished style.

I’ve also read several of the stories here before in various anthologies but it was great to revisit them as I wasn’t the same reader I was several years ago. Reading them today, I enjoyed them more the second time around.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsHere’s my top three stories: “A Study in Emerald” is a hybrid between Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Gaiman parallels the original Sherlock Holmes story quite well while infusing it with his own unique elements.

“Sunbird,” on the other hand, is quite mythic and having read this story the second time made it an even greater read as this is one of those stories that is seeded quite well.

“The Monarch of the Glen” features one of my favorite Gaiman characters from American Gods and, while I didn’t quite get it the first time around back in 2004, reading it now made perfect sense and was quite an enjoyable experience. Overall, this is a fun collection that’s not intimidating and is easily accessible. Gaiman’s prose, in my opinion, has been evolving for the better and it’s evident in Fragile Things

Oh, and you get poems to boot.

FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.

Fragile Things: Short Fictions And Wonders — (2006) Publisher: 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 exclusive 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.

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CHARLES TAN, one of our guest reviewers, is the owner of the blogs Bibliophile Stalker and Comic Quest. He also edits Philippine Speculative Fiction. You can read his fiction in that publication and in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Charles has conducted interviews for The Nebula Awards and The Shirley Jackson Awards, as well as for online magazines such as SF Crowsnest and SFScope. He is a regular contributor to sites like SFF Audio and Comics Village.

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