Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night. …

In a Hugo Award–winning story, a great detective must solve a most unsettling royal murder in a strangely altered Victorian England. …

Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares. …

These marvelous creations and more showcase the unparalleled invention and storytelling brilliance—as well as the terrifyingly dark and entertaining sense of humor—of the incomparable Neil Gaiman. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most original writers of our time.

Topics: Ghosts, London, Boston, New Orleans, Short stories, Anthology, Retellings, Dark, Mystical, Mythology, Writing, Dreams, Cthulhu Mythos, Poetry, Gothic, Tarot, Death, Monsters, Animals, Music, Circus, Magical Realism, and British Author

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061804168
List price: $4.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

Great collection of short stories (and poems) from one of the weirdest mind of literature. Not as good as Smoke and Mirrors but still a unique book...read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm usually not a fan of short stories, but I read this collection while working out and the shorter format allowed many convenient stopping points. As with many short story collections, some were definitely better than others. "A Study in Emerald" is simply fantastic - the worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle and HP Lovecraft combined! I also really liked "October in the Chair". I'm not sure why, but I've always liked personification of calendars. Growing up, my favorite story from my Hans Christian Andersen treasury was The Days of the Week. The end of "Closing Time" gave me shivers. This book took my awhile to read because it was my gym book and I'm lazy, but I ended up reading "Harlequin Valentine" on February 12th - I absolutely loved it! It's so gory and great :)On the other side - oh what a mess "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" was. I didn't get it. "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" is overrated I think. Maybe because it's the one I've seen referred to most that it seemed a little ho hum to me.The others were somewhere in the middle: Sunbird was better than mediocre and the American Gods novella "Monarch of the Glen" was good, but I didn't like the ending.PS I skipped all the poems. I really don't like poetry.All in all, it was good. But there are definitely skippable parts.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fragile Things is a collection of works from the fertile mind Neil Gaiman that spans such a range, it is difficult to classify, except to say it is brilliant. Within this collection are some short stories, poems, sketches for works that were later expanded and one longer work that is not exactly a sequel to American Gods, but is sure to please fans of that hallmark Gaiman work. With 32 stories, including one "Easter Egg" included in the introduction, I cannot begin to review them all, so I’ll just point out some of my favorites.A Study In Emerald was a real attention grabber. Paraphrasing Gaiman’s explanation in the introduction, it is a Sherlock Holmes mystery as it might have been written by H P Lovecraft. Gaiman does credit to the iconic characters and the story has all the elements of a classic Holmes mystery. As with any successful work of this genre, Gaiman keeps the reader in suspense until the final twist is revealed.Keepsakes and Treasures deserves special mention because of the characters introduced. You will meet some of them again in another story. Excellent narrative and a twisted plot line will keep you interested. I think there is more in store for these characters than their short lives in Fragile Things. (NB: My apologies. I originally had an incorrect title here, but that has been corrected)The two poems, The Fairy Reel and Going Wodwo demonstrate Gaiman’s ability to write in any style and be successful. If poetry is not you thing, these may not do it for you, but as examples of fantasy poetry, they are excellent. Fairy Reel reminded me of something Mr. Norrell might have brought back with him.Shy kids, or those with memories of being shy kids, will love How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Not only do shy kids really succeed better than their more overt mates, they end up safer, too.Finally, with The Monarch of the Glen, we get the almost sequel to American Gods. We meet Shadow, the main character of AG, two years after the events of that book. It seems his work is not completely finished and he must battle Grendel. Described as a novella, the story is self-contained and may be read apart from AG, yet I was left hoping that is just an interlude to a much longer proper sequel. This and Study In Emerald were easily my favorite stories in the collection. Or maybe this and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Or maybe this and . . . I think you get the idea I’m trying to get across.As a whole, this collection is excellent. If you are a Gaiman fan, you need this to fill in your collection. If you are looking to introduce someone to Neil Gaiman, this is an excellent place to start. As with any collection not all works are created equal, but the overall effect is just short of perfection as even the weaker offerings are wonderful. Four and a half stars for Fragile Things!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

Great collection of short stories (and poems) from one of the weirdest mind of literature. Not as good as Smoke and Mirrors but still a unique book...
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I'm usually not a fan of short stories, but I read this collection while working out and the shorter format allowed many convenient stopping points. As with many short story collections, some were definitely better than others. "A Study in Emerald" is simply fantastic - the worlds of Arthur Conan Doyle and HP Lovecraft combined! I also really liked "October in the Chair". I'm not sure why, but I've always liked personification of calendars. Growing up, my favorite story from my Hans Christian Andersen treasury was The Days of the Week. The end of "Closing Time" gave me shivers. This book took my awhile to read because it was my gym book and I'm lazy, but I ended up reading "Harlequin Valentine" on February 12th - I absolutely loved it! It's so gory and great :)On the other side - oh what a mess "Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire" was. I didn't get it. "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" is overrated I think. Maybe because it's the one I've seen referred to most that it seemed a little ho hum to me.The others were somewhere in the middle: Sunbird was better than mediocre and the American Gods novella "Monarch of the Glen" was good, but I didn't like the ending.PS I skipped all the poems. I really don't like poetry.All in all, it was good. But there are definitely skippable parts.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Fragile Things is a collection of works from the fertile mind Neil Gaiman that spans such a range, it is difficult to classify, except to say it is brilliant. Within this collection are some short stories, poems, sketches for works that were later expanded and one longer work that is not exactly a sequel to American Gods, but is sure to please fans of that hallmark Gaiman work. With 32 stories, including one "Easter Egg" included in the introduction, I cannot begin to review them all, so I’ll just point out some of my favorites.A Study In Emerald was a real attention grabber. Paraphrasing Gaiman’s explanation in the introduction, it is a Sherlock Holmes mystery as it might have been written by H P Lovecraft. Gaiman does credit to the iconic characters and the story has all the elements of a classic Holmes mystery. As with any successful work of this genre, Gaiman keeps the reader in suspense until the final twist is revealed.Keepsakes and Treasures deserves special mention because of the characters introduced. You will meet some of them again in another story. Excellent narrative and a twisted plot line will keep you interested. I think there is more in store for these characters than their short lives in Fragile Things. (NB: My apologies. I originally had an incorrect title here, but that has been corrected)The two poems, The Fairy Reel and Going Wodwo demonstrate Gaiman’s ability to write in any style and be successful. If poetry is not you thing, these may not do it for you, but as examples of fantasy poetry, they are excellent. Fairy Reel reminded me of something Mr. Norrell might have brought back with him.Shy kids, or those with memories of being shy kids, will love How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Not only do shy kids really succeed better than their more overt mates, they end up safer, too.Finally, with The Monarch of the Glen, we get the almost sequel to American Gods. We meet Shadow, the main character of AG, two years after the events of that book. It seems his work is not completely finished and he must battle Grendel. Described as a novella, the story is self-contained and may be read apart from AG, yet I was left hoping that is just an interlude to a much longer proper sequel. This and Study In Emerald were easily my favorite stories in the collection. Or maybe this and How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Or maybe this and . . . I think you get the idea I’m trying to get across.As a whole, this collection is excellent. If you are a Gaiman fan, you need this to fill in your collection. If you are looking to introduce someone to Neil Gaiman, this is an excellent place to start. As with any collection not all works are created equal, but the overall effect is just short of perfection as even the weaker offerings are wonderful. Four and a half stars for Fragile Things!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A bizarre parade of freakish delights, each one bringing a bitterer pleasure than the last. Neil Gaiman is one of the few authors out there whose imagination bursts, unadulterated, off the page and into the minds of his readers.That said, there were a few short stories that stayed with me longer than the others, such as "A Study in Emerald," a suspenseful, loving collision of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft, "Closing Time," which disrupted my sleep, and "Goliath," a story inspired by an early draft of the Matrix's film script.Unlike a suprising amount of reviewers, I relished the poems as well. "The Day the Saucers Came" is charming and funny, and "Locks" is sweetly sad.So before I start pontificating like Lord Byron in the intro of James Whale's "Bride of Frankenstein," let me end by saying that this collection is well worth picking up, and will leave you with an expanded mind and the taste of other worlds in your mouth.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
As with most things in the Gaiman-verse, you never know what to expect. Certainly there are shared elements of fantasy, horror, myth and legend, but in every work he produces, Gaiman manages to twist and mold these elements in entrancing ways. This collection of "short stories and wonders" blends short stores, poetry, and ballads to great effect."The Fairy Reel" is a haunting poem about the dangers of music and magic, and how a fairy's priorities are not to please you. Beautifully written, and not necessarily expected. Another poetic work, "Inventing Aladdin" recounts the anxiety that Scheherazade experiences night after night.Gaiman's short stories comprise the bulk of the book and have themes as varied as his characters. "The Problem of Susan" is a reaction to the Narnia tales and the frustrating notion of Susan returning. The story approaches the problem (as many children and adults see it) from the opposite direction--not from Narnia, but from the workaday world years after the experience, while "The Sunbird" is a retelling of the Phoenix legend that places the rare mythological bird at the center of a hunt by a group of epicurians who are not prepared for what their least impressive member cooks up for them. Closing the book is a novella, "Monarch of the Glen," featuring Shadow, the bodyguard from American Gods, two years following the events in the novel. For American Gods fans, this story alone is reason enough to pick up the collection.All in all the collection is varied, enjoyable, and well written. Touching on as many corners of the mythological universe as we can imagine, every Gaiman book is a treasure trove of allusions, retellings, and extensions of ideas and concepts most readers only wonder about. The style is markedly different from his graphic novels, and offers a glimpse into Gaiman's range. Through all of the incarnations of his writing--children's books, graphic novels, comics, screenplays, novels and short stories--the same underlying themes are present, only told through various different voices. Even if his other forms of writing don't move the reader, it is certainly worth investigating Gaiman's other styles. A nice feature of the book is the collection of brief biographies of each piece in the collection. Sometimes they offer insight into the story itself, other times they make the reading that much more interesting because the nativity of the work is hovering around while you're reading. All in all, a wonderful collection of stories.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
A fantastic short story and poetry collection by Neil Gaiman. Almost every story present has a unique style and / or setting, making this collection a must read for anyone who appreciates a good story.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd