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Fragile Things | [Neil Gaiman]

Fragile Things

Marvelous creations, including a short story set in the world of The Matrix and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction, can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his entertaining (and dark) sense of humor.
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Publisher's Summary

A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it.

In a novella set two years after the events of American Gods, Shadow pays a visit to an ancient Scottish mansion, and finds himself trapped in a game of murder and monsters.

In a Hugo Award-winning short story set in a strangely altered Victorian England, the great detective Sherlock Holmes must solve a most unsettling royal murder.

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

In a Locus Award-winning tale, the members of an excusive epicurean club lament that they've eaten everything that can be eaten, with the exception of a legendary, rare, and exceedingly dangerous Egyptian bird.

Such marvelous creations and more, including a short story set in the world of The Matrix and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction, can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his entertaining (and dark) sense of humor. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most unique writers of our time.

©2006 Neil Gaiman; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

  • Locus Award, Best Collection, 2007
  • Audie Award Finalist, Short Stories, Collections, 2007

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Jill Granby, CO, USA 04-24-07
    Jill Granby, CO, USA 04-24-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Aother winner from Gaiman"

    Not all of the pieces in this selection work (some things are just not meant to be read aloud) but for the most part, Fragile Things is a wondrous collection. There's something for everyone here, from dark gothic stories and spot-on human insight to wry humor and brilliant fantasy. If you liked American Gods and Anansi Boys you will love this collection. (And if you haven't read those two, I recommend them even more highly!)

    Neil Gaiman is also one of the rare writers who read his own work and do it justice.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy L Gantt 12-02-06
    Amy L Gantt 12-02-06 Member Since 2005
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    "excellent"

    Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors, and he didn't disappoint with this audiobook. It's a real treat to hear him read his own work, and as a collection of short stories (collected from anthologies, primarily), Fragile Things is an excellent introduction to the breadth of Gaiman's talent. His stories range from epic (as in Sunbird) to mundane with a twist (How to Talk to Girls at Parities).

    I'm thrilled that Audible offered this book, and I hpe they continue to add science fiction and fantasy to their libraries.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 11-03-10
    Karen Everett, WA, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Perhaps a different format?"

    Neil Gaiman is probably my favorite author to listen to in audio format out there. I have listened to nearly everything he's ever written that's been recorded and consider "The Graveyard Book" the closest thing to a perfect audio book ever produced. So I had looked forward with anticipation to "sinking my ears into it" when I downloaded this book. It unfortunately fell a bit short of my expectations.

    So what's wrong with this one? Well... a number of little things that add up to enough to make me unable to give it more than 3 stars. The stories are generally good, though some certainly better than others, and Neil reading them is always a bonus, as he reads his work so well. But, perhaps (and probably) because it is in an audio format, one does not really have the time to digest the individual pieces. There is mere seconds of transition time between the various stories/poems/commentary. If you listen to your books while doing tasky things, as I often do, it is not feasible to stop between pieces, digest the tale, think about the work, etc. Some of the pieces are short enough and esoteric enough that it is not automatically clear that one story's ended and another begun. I think it likely that, had I read this book in paper format, I might have had a different experience.

    That said, in the end the book is redeemed by the novella taking up with the character Shadow from "American Gods". It is epic enough, long enough and in keeping enough with the original tale that it made muddling through the rest of the book worth it. I have no regrets for having added this title to my Gaiman library, but it falls rather to the bottom of the list.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura MOORHEAD, MN, United States 04-02-07
    Laura MOORHEAD, MN, United States 04-02-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Shadow Returns!!"

    I've been a fan of Neil Gaiman since "American Gods" and bought this book pretty much only for the Shadow novella (which was great). Sometimes I find Gaiman's short stories hard to enjoy because they're SO short. There's not enough time to get really involved. That's not to say I didn't like this book, because I did. I just got a little frustrated at times.
    By far the best part of this purchase was Gaiman's narration. His voice is hypnotizing.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason stittsville, Ontario, Canada 01-31-07
    Jason stittsville, Ontario, Canada 01-31-07
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    "great collection"

    not for the faint of heart, neil gaiman has collected some amazing short stories and poems in this volume. a few of the works would be for "adult" ears only. this should not, however, take enjoyment away from the discerning bibliophile. gaiman creates vividly painted worlds for the reader to explore. his descriptive prose is beyond compare.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saye Madison, GA, USA 03-07-07
    Saye Madison, GA, USA 03-07-07
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    "Great stuff"

    Neil Gaiman is a master of short fiction! This is a fine collection of stories that range from the terrifying to the comic, sometimes masterfully blending both. I think the introductory material, in which he discusses the genesis of the stories, runs on a bit, but the stories are worth the wait and the price.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cathy palmdale, CA, United States 11-16-07
    cathy palmdale, CA, United States 11-16-07 Member Since 2005

    Middle School teacher with a 100 miles round-trip daily commute; which I could never maintain all these long years without audible books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trippy"

    This fractured anthology of fantasy tales is indeed fragile. The author tries out ideas in a non-linear manner; he hypnotizes and bemuses the reader with a syncopated beat making you wonder, "what the heck?" and, "is that all?", and "why did we stop here?" I became infatuated with Gaiman's sheer creative phalanx of ideas in this work especially the character of Shadow and have ordered the "American Gods" title to hear more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Stockbridge, GA, USA 04-09-07
    James Stockbridge, GA, USA 04-09-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Great Writer"

    Neil is an excellent writer. American Gods is probably one of my favorite books. These short stories have the same wit that made American Gods so good...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruby Chandler, AZ, United States 05-27-14
    Ruby Chandler, AZ, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2001
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    "The last book by this author I'll ever read."

    I have read and enjoyed many books by this author. He had delighted, rattled, and challenged me. This is the first anthology of short stories. I wish someone had warned me that this is like a field of flowers. .. with landmines. Got halfway through. Will be returning it. I feel fouled and damaged. It's like being assaulted by a trusted friend. I will never trust this author with my mind again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 01-06-14
    Sandra Arlington, VA, United States 01-06-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Disjointed and Spiritless"

    Title says it all. He should have kept these stories under wraps. I prefer to remember how much I enjoyed American Gods, the Graveyard, Stardust.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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