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Fragile Things by [Gaiman, Neil]
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Fragile Things Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
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Length: 452 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'Gaiman has a deft touch for suprise and inventiveness, and there are inspired moments' -- Publishers Weekly 20060717 'Gaiman again proves himself a perverse romantic, heir not only to Poe and Baudelaire but to the breathless Pre-Raphelites... He wears his pop cred in boldface, and street-smart hipness saturates these eerie epiphanies... The collection also boasts lush prose...and a winning faith in the enchantment of stories. Expect the unexpected. Then savor the luscious chills.' -- Kirkus Reviews 20070715

Review

'Gaiman has a deft touch for suprise and inventiveness, and there are inspired moments' -- Publishers Weekly 20060717 'Gaiman again proves himself a perverse romantic, heir not only to Poe and Baudelaire but to the breathless Pre-Raphelites... He wears his pop cred in boldface, and street-smart hipness saturates these eerie epiphanies... The collection also boasts lush prose...and a winning faith in the enchantment of stories. Expect the unexpected. Then savor the luscious chills.' -- Kirkus Reviews 20070715

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1659 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Review (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0049MPH62
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,870 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman's work, but I really don't think short stories are amongst his many strengths. Few of the stories captivated me at all, and it was normally an obligation to finish. I've read other short story collections, were the author has been able to capture me in a few short pages, and left me wondering about the protagonist, and my brief glimpse into their world for some time after. Unfortunately this never happened in fragile things. There was a few interesting concepts in the book, like the most beautiful boy in the world, but they were few and far between. And all of the stories had a generally dystopian vibe to them, that was never really delved into, everyone just seemed a but down and trying to run away from unexplained sadness. I wouldn't read this unless you want to be able to say you have read everything of Neil's. Instead I would read literally anything else by him, as everything else I have read is easily 5 stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really interesting, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking tales. Neil Gaiman has such a talent for storytelling. I enjoyed every single short story in this book and would recommend to anyone who enjoys short stories no matter the genre because there is a bit of everything in there.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Love that book! well written and excellent plot.
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Format: Paperback
Of the collection, I'd already read How To Speak To Girls At Parties and A Study In Emerald before and of the two, I think that A Study In Emerald is the stronger story. For those who don't know, A Study In Emerald is a hybrid of the Sherlock Holmes stories and Locecraft's Call of Cthulu, set in an alternative world where the Old Ones rule over man and one of their number has been murdered. Gaiman nails the tone and the narrative voice and the story itself is fascinating. How To Speak To Girls At Parties, by contrast, reads like fluff - it's amusing but the ending is weak.

With those stories that were new to me, I particularly enjoyed The Problem Of Susan, which looks at what happened to the fourth Pevensie sibling after her brothers and sister were permanently taken to Narnia. Gaiman makes Narnia a much darker place and subverts the antagonism between Aslan and the White Witch and whilst the reporter is a little forced at times, Susan herself is very believable. Harlequin Valentine is an entertaining take on the relationship between Harlequin and Columbine, with a neat twist at the end that makes you feel sorry for the trickster. Sunbird, a story that Gaiman wrote as a present for his daughter, Holly, is an amusing look at an epicuran society in their search for the ultimate gastronomic experience. Gaiman uses a stylised narrative that should jar, but doesn't and again, it has a very neat ending.

I didn't particularly enjoy Diseasemaker's Croup (the style's fine and I can see what he's doing with it, but it just didn't grab me) or Pages From A Journal Found In A Shoebox In A Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Louisville, Kentucky (which is too much of a stream of consciousness story that again, didn't grab me).
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Format: Paperback
This might be an unusual review because this is the first Gaiman book I've read, bought it to see if all the fuss was justified, so I came with no preconceptions of what a Neil Gaiman book should be like. I'll certainly be looking for more of this.

What you get is a collection of stories and a handful of poems, mostly previously published in themed anthologies, on websites or musician's tour booklets, with a couple specifically dedicated (to Ray Bradbury and Gaiman's daughter). So the subject matter and tone is tremendously varied.
Gaiman is a master storyteller, writes beautifully, and what shines through from this anthology is his deep love of storytelling in all its forms, from fairy tales to the Arabian Nights, the Comedia dell'arte and Beowulf.

Is it any good ? The best stuff here is magnificent. "October in the Chair" will feel like settling into an old armchair for Bradbury fans, "A Study in Emerald" crosses Sherlock Holmes with Lovecraft in a way which is genuinely fresh and surprising, "Harlequin Valentine" (my favourite) traces Harlequin and Columbine's on-off romance in small-town America, while "The Monarch of the Glen" reworks an old story with subtlety and pathos. And "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" is a very funny send-up of gothic horror.

So,I'll certainly be looking out for more of this !
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Format: Hardcover
Gaiman is a writer of rich and vivid imagination. This collection of short stories, short fiction and poems demonstrate his talent on every page. Hovering between reality and fantasy he has created a distinctive world peopled with ordinary people, young and old, who meet up with ghosts, zombies and other creatures. With great skill and ease Gaiman creates credible characters and compelling scenarios.

Some "fragile things" describe dreams, others move effortlessly from actuality to visions of otherworldliness often taking the reader by surprise. Most of the stories in this collection have a serious, some a macabre, side to them. At the same time, humour and irony are natural companions. There is the young boy, ignored by his family and peers, who finally meets a friend and companion as he runs away to start a new life. A Harlequin character reinvents himself with every real life Valentine heart he sends to an object of his desire. Storytelling is a theme for many of the characters in the collection. In "October in the Chair" we listen in as every month competes for the best story that the others haven't heard before. Many of the stories were inspired by other writers and friends and fiction pieces were written for their magazines or anthologies.

While each of the stories has been published previously, it is a treat to have them collected in one volume. Every piece stands by itself, yet, when read contiguously each adds elements to a whole creating for the reader a complex tapestry of imaginary lives. Anybody who has read other Gaiman books will welcome his volume. For newcomers, Fragile Things is a great introduction to his work. [Friederike Knabe]
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