Thursday, 14 August 2014

Fragile Things

I’ve been wanting to read Neil Gaiman ever since I found out he’s married to Amanda Fucking Palmer. And seriously, the more I find out about this guy, the more I like him. He also wrote Stardust, a movie which I secretly loved even though it was cheesy, and I *will* read the book when my temporarily ban on binge-buying books ends (hurry up September!) And he’s like friends with Tori Amos and he writes for comic books, and he loves Lord of the Rings and Narnia. He even wrote a Doctor Who episode! I am hereby officially inviting him for my imaginary garden party with all cool people I know. If you’re reading this, Neil: don’t worry, your wife is also invited, so you have at least one other person you know to talk with.

Fragile Things is a collection of short stories and poems by the man himself. Here’s a list; some of them have been published before, so it could be that you have read some of them before.

- The Mapmaker
- A Study in Emerald
- The Fairy Reel
- October in the Chair
- The Hidden Chamber
- Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
- The Flints of Memory Lane
- Closing Time
- Going Wodwo
- Bitter Grounds
- Other People
- Keepsakes and Treasures: A Love Story
- Good Boys Deserve Favors
- The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch
- Strange Little Girls
- Harlequin Valentine
- Locks
- The Problem of Susan
- Instructions
- How Do You Think It Feels?
- My Life
- Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot
- Feeders and Eaters
- Diseasemaker’s Croup
- In the End
- Goliath
- Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Louisville, Kentucky
- How to Talk to Girls at Parties
- The Day the Saucers Came
- Sunbird
- Inventing Aladdin
- The Monarch of the Glen

This book was an ideal companion in my handbag, because the stories were usually no longer than a couple of pages, so I rarely had to stop mid-story. But then again they were of that rare quality that makes you drift away from reality for the tiniest bit, as if your perception of reality just experienced the tiniest shift and you haven’t fully grasped the ins and outs of the new interface yet. This basically meant that I only just remembered to buy a train ticket or bus ticket on several occasions.
The fact that I got lost twice this week also says something.

The ultimate proof that Neil Gaiman is awesome? He was published in McSweeney’s. McSweeney’s, everyone. He’s thàt good. His stories have that element that some of the simplest sentences are also the most brilliant (I tried to quote some, but it does them no justice if I tear them out of their context.) What makes him different from other short stories I’ve read so far is that his stories are always sort of scary. If there isn’t an element of horror, it’s an element of suspense. And he owns it.

I pretty much adored the entire thing.

Until next time,


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