Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
I'd heard the name Neil Gaiman whispered and discussed with great reverence, but it took me ages to get my hands on one of his books. Now I don’t know what the heck was wrong with me to take so long.
If you’re not familiar with his work you might not be sure exactly what he writes. Horror? Fantasy? Graphic novel? Screenplays? Poetry? Children’s?
All of those. And if you’re like me and new to this, I highly recommend Fragile Things. It’s a collection of short stories, poems, and prose that defies category. You’ll find mythology, aliens, imagination, fantasies and nightmares.
I have a copy and I’m hooked. Big fan. Big shiny new fan, that’s me.
Oh and also he’s English. I love English men. I really do adore English men. (If Johnny Depp was English I’d forget my own name. I digress, sorry.)
Neil Gaiman will entrance you and completely sicken you. He can make you smile or maybe even laugh. The emotional roller coaster ride is worth every second. He has the ability to make every single on of these pieces different from the one before it. Just be prepared-- late at night, you might need to read the next story looking for a less jolting memory as you drift off the sleep. And be warned-- you might be reading for a long time.
Fragile Things is subtitled “Short Fictions and Wonders” which I think is perfect.
A word about the packaging, because you know how much the visual and tactile senses appeal to me: this book is GORGEOUS. The smooth white hardcover wears a jacket of what appears to be tissue paper but I suspect might be a lot tougher. I'm not brave enough to try to rip it. I'm ridiculously precious with my books. The inside covers are a peaceful robin's egg blue. Nice contrast to the turmoil inside. And I can't do this packaging justice by describing it. It has to be picked up and felt and examined with your own eyes. Take the jacket off. Look what happens to the images. Run your hands over it. (Now, slink out of the bookstore before they all start lookin at ya funny. )
If you ever felt the need to have your brain opened and your imagination expanded, this is the tool for the job.
I have to award this collection with FIVE JOHN DEERE TRACTORS but they are time travelling, web spinning, phantasmagorical vampire tractors.