Friday, August 7, 2009

Fragile Things - Neil Gaiman


I chose to read Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman for Harper Collins Canada's Summer Reading Challenge.

Although to be honest, it feels like summer hasn't even begun in my part of the country....

With all the publicity surrounding the release of Coraline the movie, I thought Gaiman would be a great choice. In the introduction I found it interesting that the stories have 'life' - that they are the ones directing the writing, refusing to take form until they are told the 'right way'.

What an absolutely delicious books of treats Fragile Things was. The stories are quirky, disturbing, dark, odd and humorous -utterly original and downright addicting.

In 'October in the Chair', we find the months of the year sitting around a campfire trying to outdo each other in storytelling.

In many, the titles were to be savoured before beginning to read. How can you not love these?

"Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" This was a fascinating story within a story. An author penning what he hopes will be a masterpiece while madness surrounds him. Darkly humorous.

or

"Pages From a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Louisville, Kentucky"
This one left me wanting so much more. What happened before and after these pages? Who is the nameless author? Who found them?

And I think that's the genius of Gaiman. In the space of a few pages, he kept me on my toes, unable to see what was coming. His endings are unpredictable and sometimes downright enigmatic. I could not wait to see where Gaiman's imagination would take me next. An entirely intriguing mix.

Read an excerpt of Fragile Things.

It's not too late to join this challenge - visit The Savvy Reader for details.

Anyone else participating or have some good short story recommendations they want to share?

5 comments:

Alyce said...

Great review! I thought that his writing was good too, but Neil Gaiman's stories are just a little too strange for me. I didn't finish the book because I just wasn't in the mood to read that kind of speculative fiction.

Luanne said...

They are different Alyce and you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy them. I picked the book up and down numerous times - which is the joy of short stories!

bermudaonion said...

Coraline is the only Gaiman book I've read, but I have The Graveyard Book and I'm anxious to read it. Great review.

Jonita said...

I'm participating Luanne! I just posted my review on Tolstoy's "Family Happiness" and earlier this summer I read and reviewed "Lucky Girls" by Nell Freudenberger. Both were great reads!

I loved your review- I'll have to put this one on my TBR list for the future!

Jeanne said...

"October in the Chair" is also included in the collection entitled M is for Magic. It was one of the weirdest ones!