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Robert Phillips
Robert Phillips

Fragile Things: Neil Gaiman's Gift of Literary Enchantment

Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman

If you are looking for a book that will surprise you, entertain you, and make you think, then you might want to check out Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. This is a collection of short stories and poems by one of the most acclaimed and versatile writers of our time. In this article, we will give you an overview of what Fragile Things is about, why you should read it, and how you can get it.

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What is Fragile Things?

Fragile Things is Neil Gaiman's second collection of short fiction, published in 2006. It contains 31 pieces of short fiction, ranging from flash fiction to novellas, as well as some poems. The title comes from a quote by G.K. Chesterton: "Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

The book covers a wide range of genres, such as fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery, fairy tale, mythology, and more. The themes are also diverse, exploring topics such as life and death, love and loss, perception and reality, darkness and light, and so on. The book is structured into four parts: Part One contains stories that are mostly original or inspired by other sources; Part Two contains stories that are related to Gaiman's novels or comics; Part Three contains poems; and Part Four contains a novella that is a sequel to American Gods.

The stories in Fragile Things

Here is a brief overview of some of the stories in Fragile Things. Note that this is not a comprehensive list, as there are many more stories in the book that are worth reading.

A Study in Emerald

This is a story that combines the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and H.P. Lovecraft. It is set in an alternate history where the Great Old Ones have conquered the Earth and rule over humanity. The narrator, a friend and assistant of a consulting detective, recounts a case involving the murder of a member of the royal family. The story is full of references and twists that will delight fans of both Holmes and Lovecraft.

October in the Chair

This is a story that features a storytelling session among the months of the year. Each month takes a turn to sit in the chair and tell a story to the others. The story that October tells is about a boy who runs away from home and meets a strange girl in a graveyard. The story is a tribute to Ray Bradbury and his style of writing.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties

This is a story that involves aliens disguised as teenage girls. Two boys, Vic and Enn, go to a party hoping to meet some girls. However, they soon realize that the girls are not what they seem, and that they are in fact visitors from another planet. The story is a humorous and poignant commentary on communication and relationships.

The Monarch of the Glen

This is a story that is a sequel to American Gods. It follows the adventures of Shadow, the protagonist of American Gods, as he travels to Scotland and gets involved in a mysterious job offer. The story involves ancient gods, mythical creatures, and hidden secrets. The story is a continuation of Gaiman's exploration of mythology and identity.

Other notable stories

Some other stories in Fragile Things that are worth mentioning are:

  • The Problem of Susan, which revisits the character of Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia and challenges the implications of her fate.

  • Sunbird, which tells the tale of a group of epicureans who seek to taste the legendary sunbird.

  • The Day the Saucers Came, which is a poem that describes the events of an apocalyptic day with humor and irony.

  • Goliath, which is a story that was written as a promotional tie-in for The Matrix movie and explores the concept of reality and simulation.

  • Closing Time, which is a story that involves a haunted house and a childhood memory.

Why read Fragile Things?

There are many reasons why you should read Fragile Things. Here are some of them:

The diversity of genres and styles

One of the most impressive aspects of Fragile Things is how Gaiman manages to write in different genres and styles without losing his voice or quality. Whether he is writing fantasy, horror, science fiction, mystery, fairy tale, or something else, he always delivers engaging and compelling stories that showcase his talent and versatility. He also experiments with different forms and formats, such as flash fiction, poems, novellas, scripts, etc. He proves that he can write anything and everything.

The creativity and imagination

Another reason why you should read Fragile Things is because of Gaiman's creativity and imagination. He has an amazing ability to come up with original and inventive ideas that will surprise you and make you wonder. He also has a knack for taking familiar elements and giving them a new twist or perspective that will make you see them in a different light. He creates fascinating worlds and characters that will captivate you and make you want to know more.

The humor and wit

A third reason why you should read Fragile Things is because of Gaiman's humor and wit. He has a great sense of humor and wit that he infuses in his stories, making them fun and enjoyable to read. He can make you laugh with his clever jokes, puns, references, and irony. He can also make you smile with his warmth, charm, and kindness. He knows how to balance humor and seriousness, lightness and darkness, in his stories.

The emotion and depth

A fourth reason why you should read Fragile Things is because of Gaiman's emotion and depth. He has an incredible ability to evoke emotion and depth in his stories, making them meaningful and touching. He can make you feel for his characters, their struggles, their 71b2f0854b


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