Title: Fragile Things
Author: Neil Gaiman
Page Count/Review Word Count: 440
I say this every time I read a Neil Gaiman book, but I have a pretty weird relationship with him and I tend to find that I either love or hate his stuff. This one is weird in itself because I was pretty indifferent about it, which doesn’t usually happen with Gaiman.
There were a couple of decent stories here, but there were also a fair few that just felt like filler. And then there was the poetry, which I quite liked, although it wasn’t my usual style. Then there was a Sherlock Holmes retelling that just wound me up a little bit because I’ve never been much of a fan of retellings, even when Gaiman puts his own spin on it. He seems to have a thing for retellings, which might be why I don’t always get on with him.
Unfortunately, I’m already at the point at which I don’t really have anything else to say. It was an okay enough read and I pretty much sped through it, but it didn’t leave a lasting impact. It certainly didn’t hit me in the same way that Stephen King’s short story collections usually do, although maybe that’s an unfair comparison because King is a master.
With all that said, I am still glad that I read this, and it’s been good to tick it off my list after having it on my shelves for years on end. It’s just that I can’t imagine ever having any particular desire to come back to it.
If you’re a Gaiman fan then don’t let this put you off, because I do think that it’s pretty typical of his work and possibly even a decent introduction, though I’d recommend getting started with something like American Gods.
There are also some pretty neat ideas here and there, as well as stuff like a homage to the one and only Ray Bradbury. Personally, I’d rather be reading Bradbury, and I’d much rather be sitting down with King or an Isaac Asimov collection if we’re going further along the Bradbury route, but I’m a little different to most, I guess.
So overall, would I recommend this one? I mean, probably not, unless you’re a big fan of Gaiman. If you’re just a general reader, there are better short story collections and there are better Neil Gaiman novels, so I don’t know why you’d pick it up unless you see it going cheaply in a charity shop. That’s what I did, and even then, it was just okay.