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Fragile Things

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The novella, as it would turn out, would have an entirely separate and distinct plot from American Gods. For me, by far the most enjoyable was 'Monarch of the Glen,' in which the American Gods's character, Shadow, is visiting Scotland. But this is a mostly almost-horror collection of short story ideas rendered in a not particularly clever way, and I often had the feeling I was reading bits and pieces of autobiography tucked into larger tales. Her last thought, before that bullet, was that she was four months' pregnant, and that if we do not fight to create a future there will be no future for any of us.

In the spirit of mild self-immolation, I plowed my way through in bits and pieces over perhaps two weeks--okay, now it's more like four--never able to take more than a story or two at a time. Comentario al margen: tengo la teoría que la historia que cuenta October es su historia, él es el niño pequeño que escapa de su casa. From aliens to ghost and vampires, Sherlock Holmes and even into the Matrix, these stories will delight and frighten, which brought to mind my childhood of hiding beneath the sheets reading Steven King’s short stories far past bedtime. The short story is unforgiving; you don't have time for slow bits, or parts that sound like you've read them already somewhere before. On the whole most of the stories worked and the poems additionally added an extra level to this collection.A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it . I especially enjoyed Gaiman’s way of affecting a sense of a ‘story within a story’ where he puts near equal emphasis in the context in which the story is told as in the actual tale much like Henry James does in The Turn of the Screw, or Nikolai Gogol does to exemplify the oral tradition of storytelling. Diseasemaker's Croup' was mildly interesting, but not a fitting read for a hypocondriac, and 'Goliath' just missed me entirely. Damn you, medical technology, messing with the supply and demand of souls), it's just bruised right now and I need a breather.

Despite my overall disappointment, there were some things I liked, especially the science fictiony "Goliath" (inspired by the Matrix movies) and "How to Talk to Girls at Parties". The most staggering twist is contained in the very short yet very disturbing Other People, which I would label one of the ‘must reads’ of this collection. Some of the stories have been published elsewhere, like Sunbirdand October In The Chair, which were included in his M Is For Magic compilation, and some were published in other authors' works, written specially by Neil Gaiman, upon their request. Also, Gaiman is so brilliant and creative but he's also sometimes gruesome and occasionally really off-putting.Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. On the other hand, something like “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire” frustrates me, because I feel like I’m almost-but-not-quite getting it. The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch" – inspired by a painting by Frank Frazetta of a savage woman flanked by tigers. That said, Instructions, a poem that illustrates the clichés of fairytales in the manner of laying out ground-rules for what to do should one find themselves in a fairytale, is highly creative and one of my favorite pieces here.

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