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Selections from Fragile Things, Volume Two: 6 Short Fictions and Wonders

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“A prodigiously imaginative collection.” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s 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 o “A prodigiously imaginative collection.” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s 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, Gaiman’s astonishing powers are on glorious displays in Fragile Things. Enter and be amazed!


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“A prodigiously imaginative collection.” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s 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 o “A prodigiously imaginative collection.” —New York Times Book Review, Editor’s 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, Gaiman’s astonishing powers are on glorious displays in Fragile Things. Enter and be amazed!

30 review for Selections from Fragile Things, Volume Two: 6 Short Fictions and Wonders

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Fellow Goodreaders, come inside and discover: Forbidden Brides...Faceless Slaves...Secret Houses...Nights of Dread Desire...and that's in just ONE of the stories in this silky, smooth, scintillating selection of gorgeous Gaiman GOLD. Fragile Things, Comprehensive Review Part 2 As I mentioned in my review of Part 1, this collection is on my All Time Top 5 for best single author collection of short fiction ever. Since the collection is now available in ebook format as multiple selections (each con Fellow Goodreaders, come inside and discover: Forbidden Brides...Faceless Slaves...Secret Houses...Nights of Dread Desire...and that's in just ONE of the stories in this silky, smooth, scintillating selection of gorgeous Gaiman GOLD. Fragile Things, Comprehensive Review Part 2 As I mentioned in my review of Part 1, this collection is on my All Time Top 5 for best single author collection of short fiction ever. Since the collection is now available in ebook format as multiple selections (each containing up to 9 stories depending on the length), I thought it might be helpful to do a more detailed review for each story which this format accommodates nicely. Otherwise, I would have ended up either skipping over stories or doing one monstrously huge review that may have just been too much. Anyway, hopefully this is helpful***. ***NOTE: Each of the six different "Fragile Things" selections will have their own review but the opening paragraph above will be substantially similar in each. I wanted each review to stand on its own, but also contribute to the overall whole. Anyway, if you are reading this note for the first time and want to read the other 5 reviews, you can skip down to the BEGIN REVIEW for the other installments. BEGIN REVIEW: This selection contains the following stories: 1.The Hidden Chamber, 2.Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire, 3. The Flints of Memory Lane, 4. Closing Time, 5. Going Wodwo, and 6. Bitter Grounds. Overall, these next 6 pieces get 4.5 to 5.0 stars with the BIGGEREST STANDOUTS being Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire, Closing Time and Bitter Grounds. The Hidden Chamber is another of the short poems interspersed throughout the collection. As with the poems in Part I, these are my least favorite parts of Fragile Things which may just be my personal taste (or lack of it). In this poem, Gaiman retells the story of Bluebeard and I found it simply so so. I may not be the best judge of good poetry but it came across as rather pedestrian. 2.5 stars   Next down the catwalk is one of my favorites, Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire . As you can glean from the title, this is a very tongue-in-cheeky story that does not take itself too seriously. However, it is incredibly unique and I thought wonderfully clever. I don’t want to spoil the plot as the "reveals" are a centerpiece of the fun. Thus, I will only mention that it is a story-within-a-story and involves a writer’s difficulty in crafting a tale within his chosen genre. In the introduction to the piece, Gaiman mentions this as a story that gathered dust for many years and was turned down by countless publishers before it was finally purchased. It then went on to win the Locus Award for Best Short story in 2005. Go figure. 5.5 stars.   Up third we have The Flints of Memory Lane which Gaiman describes as a true story. Gaiman had earlier mentioned that life and dreams are not always “story” shaped in so far as things don’t always have clear beginnings, middles and endings and I think that a lot of his stories invoke that same kind of formless slice of time feel. This piece is a prime example of that and one that I thought was interesting. 4.0 stars.       Closing Time is the next course on the menu and is one that was extremely effective and left me deeply unsettled. Gaiman describes it as a “club story” which I gather is a way of describing a tale told by a character to fellow patrons in a bar or club. In this story, four patrons are in a club and one of them recounts an event that occurred to him as a child involving a strange, sinister playhouse. The horror is diabolically subtle and Gaiman leaves much to the imagination. Well apparently my imagination decided to drop acid and go on a weekend bender because this story shook me to the core and is one I still ponder on occasionally. 5.5 stars.   Going Wodwo is probably my favorite among the poems that Gaiman includes in this collection. It's the story of a person choosing to live the life of a Wodwo (a wild man of the forest). The final lines were effective and moving and describe the completion of the subject's transformation when he gives up the power of speech: And [I] feel the silence blossom on my tongue Like language Again, I am not the best critic of good poetry, but it is obvious to me that the man has serious talent. 4.0 stars.   That talent is nowhere better displayed than in the final story in this selection, Bitter Grounds. This may be one of the final short stories ever written in the realm of speculative fiction, but I must admit it took me until my THIRD READING to be able to make that statement. In fact, after my initial reading of this piece, I thought it was merely okay. I was kinda, “Meh, its well written and entertaining but…that’s it.” The fault for that initial assessment was entirely mine and a classic example of not reading (or listening) with your full attention. The result is you miss things. In essence, the first time around I just failed to get it. The second time around, I absolutely loved it and then read it a third time to see if I could pick up anything new. I can tell you know that there will be a fourth time reading of this story at some point as well.   All I want to tell you about the story is what Gaiman says about it in the introduction plus three things I want you to pay attention for while reading it. Gaiman describes it as a zombie story and I think that is a sufficient information in which to go into the piece. As for my advice (besides that you should definitely read this) is to pay close attention to the story as you read it as almost every sentence has meaning. This is particularly true of both the first and last sentences in the story. Sorry for slobbering all over this one but I really think this is a special, special story. 6.0 stars.       Finally, for those interested in audio books, I wanted to point out that the audio version is read by Neil Gaiman himself and no one could do a better job of reading his stories than he can. He is a tremendous narrator and I would certainly recommend checking it out if you have the chance. Next up in Volume 3: Other People, Keepsakes and Treasures, Good Boys Deserve Favors, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch, and Strange Little Girls To continue onto Part 3, follow the link: My Review of Fragile Things Part 3

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Tower

    I expected something a bit more, but this is a fun treatment by Neil Himself of Sherlock Holmes (without ever using the name anywhere in the text). In fact, Watson is also not named and at the end the great reveal is that maybe this is neither Watson nor Holmes? And yet it is. A Study in Emerald is available as a separate audio book file and is worth the $3 listen.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Burridge

    Excellent.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Suellen Almeida

    Expected so much more, considering how I loved the first volume. The Scheherazade tale though, short and amazing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

  6. 5 out of 5

    Francesca

  7. 4 out of 5

    Niel Patel

  8. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  9. 4 out of 5

    Filipe Velosa

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katherine R mudd

  11. 5 out of 5

    Candida F.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bibliofeline

  13. 4 out of 5

    Zdeňka

  14. 5 out of 5

    Raphael Leib

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alícia Cohim

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nichole

  18. 4 out of 5

    JM

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thiago Rafael

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nathalie

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tony Kless

  23. 5 out of 5

    Eduardo Discaciate

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kati

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sadie-jane (Say-dee-Jane) Nunis

  27. 5 out of 5

    João Falcão

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan Degnan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ευαννα Γαλατη

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