"I think... that I would rather recollect a life mis-spent on fragile things than spent avoiding moral debt." So begins Gaiman's introduction to this collection of "short fictions and wonders," which reads as a short story itself. The writing herein is some of Gaiman's best, and this oft-overlooked book makes an excellent gift for any fan of this master storyteller's other works. Recommended By Madeline S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“A prodigiously imaginative collection.”
—New York Times Book Review, Editors Choice
“Dazzling tales from a master of the fantastic.”
—Washington Post Book World
Fragile Things is a sterling collection of exceptional tales from Neil Gaiman, multiple award-winning (the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Newberry, and Eisner Awards, to name just a few), #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Graveyard Book, Anansi Boys, Coraline, and the groundbreaking Sandman graphic novel series. A uniquely imaginative creator of wonders whose unique storytelling genius has been acclaimed by a host of literary luminaries from Norman Mailer to Stephen King, Gaimans astonishing powers are on glorious displays in Fragile Things. Enter and be amazed!
"Hot off the critical success of Anansi Boys, Gaiman offers this largely disappointing medley that feels like a collection of idea seeds that have yet to mature. Among the ground covered: an old woman eats her cat alive, slowly; two teenage boys fumble through a house party attended by preternaturally attractive aliens; a raven convinces a writer attempting realism to give way to fantastical inclinations. A few poems, heartfelt or playfully musical, pockmark the collection. At his best, Gaiman has a deft touch for surprise and inventiveness, and there are inspired moments, including one story that brings the months of the year to life and imagines them having a board meeting. (September is an 'elegant creature of mock solicitude,' while April is sensitive but cruel; they don't get along), but most of these stories rely too heavily on the stock-in-trade of horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Gaiman only once or twice gives himself the space necessary to lock the reader's attention. 150,000 announced first printing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Gaiman again proves himself a perverse romantic....He wears his pop cred in boldface, and street-smart hipness saturates these eerie epiphanies. But the collection also boasts lush prose, a lack of irony and a winning faith in the enchantment of stories." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"[These stories] exude the romanticism, often erotic, that makes [Gaiman's] first two novels, Neverwhere and Stardust, for all their darkness and grit, so powerfully attractive....One delight after another." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Gaiman follows no overarching theme, but that is what makes these stories charming, at times creepy, and good fun....[H]ighly recommended." Library Journal
"The tales of Fragile Things are nibbles and bits of Gaiman's immensely satisfying inner landscape. They are fiercely playful and very grim, wisps of whimsy and wonder buoyed by the happy heart of a tragic poet." USA Today
"[Gaiman] can't resist using many of the pieces as stages themselves, having deftly drawn characters tell strange, or sweet, or eerie, or heartfelt stories to others....[P]erhaps, Gaiman relishes the sacred act of telling stories even more than he does writing them." Entertainment Weekly
"Gaiman has fun playing with pop culture, fairy tales and fables, and even when the stories dissolve too easily, a sense of mischief separates him from some of his cliché-addicted peers in the genre." San Diego Union-Tribune
"The form and content of the collection varies wildly from tale to tale...but nearly all of them show off Gaiman's consistent and considerable craft, along with his contagious enthusiasm for storytelling itself." Newsday
"The wide variety of selections shows Gaiman's influences and his amazing range as one of the world's most popular fantasy writers....I hope Gaiman has room on his shelf for a few more trophies. Readers will be hard-pressed to find a better collection this year." Rocky Mountain News
"There's not one piece of prose or poetry in Fragile Things that won't repay re-reading....[W]ords, when they're as well-chosen and deftly arranged as those in this book, can...[stay] with their audience long after the breath and ink that gave them birth have vanished." Seattle Times
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.
The author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Anansi Boys releases his second collection of short fiction. This book includes a novella featuring the hero of Gaiman's masterpiece American Gods and charts the terrain between life and death, perception and reality, darkness and light.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed, award-winning creator of the Sandman series of graphic novels and author of the novels Anansi Boys, American Gods, Coraline, Stardust, and Neverwhere, the short-fiction collection Smoke and Mirrors, and the bestselling children's books The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and The Wolves in the Walls (both illustrated by Dave McKean). Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in the United States.