This collection comes with 31 short stories and poems as well as an introduction that’s as compelling as Smoke and Mirrors. Of all of Gaiman’s collections, I think this is by far the most superior as it features more of his later work and has a more polished style.
I’ve also read several of the stories here before in various anthologies but it was great to revisit them as I wasn’t the same reader I was several years ago. Reading them today, I enjoyed them more the second time around.
Here’s my top three stories: “A Study in Emerald” is a hybrid between Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Gaiman parallels the original Sherlock Holmes story quite well while infusing it with his own unique elements.
“Sunbird,” on the other hand, is quite mythic and having read this story the second time made it an even greater read as this is one of those stories that is seeded quite well.
“The Monarch of the Glen” features one of my favorite Gaiman characters from American Gods and, while I didn’t quite get it the first time around back in 2004, reading it now made perfect sense and was quite an enjoyable experience. Overall, this is a fun collection that’s not intimidating and is easily accessible. Gaiman’s prose, in my opinion, has been evolving for the better and it’s evident in Fragile Things
Oh, and you get poems to boot.
FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.