Gaiman fans will welcome this collection. Review by Violet Kane

Book Cover

In Print
Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman's recent collection of short stories, will find a welcoming audience among devoted Gaiman fans. However, if you've never read Gaiman, there are much better places to start.

With this collection, Gaiman offers up an assortment of tales, all in his variously literary, lyrical and quirky style. Fragile Things offers poetry, short fiction, longer stories and even a novella based in the "American Gods world" starring familiar protagonist, Shadow. Some of the selections are fantasy, others dabble in horror and even science fiction. Gaiman delivers what fans have come to expect, from his sneak-up-on-you-from-behind wit, to conceptual peculiarities. An added appeal for collectors on the audiobook version is the fact that Gaiman himself reads this collection—and in doing so makes many noble attempts at an American accent.

Book Cover

On Audio
While this collection does scratch the Gaiman itch to a certain extent, it's also not my favorite of his prose (or, shall I say, predominantly prose) works for a variety of reasons. First off, I am admittedly not a fan of the short story as a form. In general, I found the longer stories in this collection much more entertaining than the shorter ones as they allowed me to get interested in particular characters. The shorter stories in this collection are much more conceptually driven and did not hold my interest as well. Gaiman shines in this collection where he lets the characters take center stage—and where he lampoons academia.

If you have been wanting to give Gaiman a try, but have been reluctant to tackle American Gods, you would do better to start with Gaiman's recent Anansi Boys than Fragile Things. If you're a seasoned Gaiman fan, then this collection will likely make a welcome addition to your bookshelf.

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Violet "Violanthe" Kane is the Webmaster and Founder of ARWZ.com. She is an editor of ARWZ Literary Zine and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Medieval studies.