Fragile Things

I love Neil Gaiman. It’s official. I used to only love Stardust, but now that I’ve read his book of short stories, Fragile Things, I can officially say that I love him, too.

I bought Fragile Things in an amazing second-hand bookstore in Alnwick, UK. Alnwick is one of my favourite towns in the UK so far. It’s home to the beautiful Alnwick Castle, where the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland live and where they filmed parts of Harry Potter. It’s also an adorable little town - I’ve been a few times because I was doing some volunteer work for a museum there. My favourite cafe in England (so far) is there too. And this bookstore, Barter Books, which was the original point of this paragraph (I have had FAR too much caffeine today).

Anyway. Fragile Things is a collection of “short fictions and wonders” by Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman is truly a wonderful story teller. All of the stories are very different. Some of them I liked better than others. But they were all very engaging. Gaiman has a knack for create a very powerful narrative voice.

He also has a knack for great one liners, which you may or may not have noticed by now are my absolute favourite things in books/songs/movies/life.

“I like things to be story-shaped. Reality, however, is not story-shaped, and the eruptions of the odd into our lives are not story-shaped either.” - The Flints of Memory Lane

“I’ll tell the wind my name, and no one else./ True madness takes or leaves us in the wood/half-way through all our lives. My skin will be my face now.” - Going Wodwo

“In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the face and lips and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smiled and kept moving.” - Bitter Grounds

“You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood. She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrow’s state here.” - Strange Little Girls

“‘And if I could,’ my father wrote to me,/huge as a bear himself, when I was younger, ‘I would dower you with experience, without experience,’/and I, in my turn, would pass that on to you./But we make our own mistakes. We sleep/unwisely./It is our right.” - Locks

“We owe it to each other to tell stories,/as people simply, not as father and daughter.” - Locks

“‘Your turn in the chair next time,’ said October.
‘I know,’ said November. He was pale and thin-lipped. He helped October out of the wooden chair. ‘I like your stories. Mine are always too dark.’
‘I don’t think so,’ said October. ‘It’s just that your nights are longer. And you aren’t as warm.’
‘Put it like that,’ said November, ‘and I feel better. I suppose we can’t help who we are.
‘That’s the spirit,’ said his brother. And they touched hands as they walked away from the fire’s orange embers, taking their stories with them back into the dark.” - October in the Chair

“Within a generation their children would be born already knowing the poem, and sooner rather than later, as these things go, there were no more children born. There was no need for them, not any longer. There was only the poem, which took flesh and walked and spread itself across the vastness of the known.” - How to Talk to Girls at Parties

2 Comments

  • By Shaun, January 6, 2010 @ 8:58 pm

    Yay for Barter Books! And yay for Mr Gaiman! How can you love him and yet never have read a graphic novel? The man is a master of the graphic novel! His Sandman collection is amazing and Coraline is wonderfully dark and twisted I think I may just have to get you hooked on graphic novels this year And if all else fails there is always the Stargate comics hehe

  • By Hezabelle, January 6, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

    Do you have the Sandman books? I’ve always wanted to read them, but they’re quite expensive!

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