I was a little underwhelmed by the most of the reading during this second week of the Fragile Things readalong, hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings as part of RIP VI.
The Hidden Chamber - This is the second poem of the collection, and I liked it a lot more than the first one! In the introduction, Gaiman talked about being asked to come up with something gothic, and with an opening line of "Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries." the tone is definitely set. At first I read it as a person telling another person about the house, but by the time I go to the end I had decided that it was actually a ghost telling the human. No idea if it is meant to be read that way or not.
Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire - pretty long title for a short story! This is a short story that Gaiman started years ago but it was rejected by the two people he showed it to. Fast forward twenty years or so and the story was reworked and published, winning a Locus award. Whilst I was left wondering what other hidden gems that Gaiman might have sitting around in his house, I am not sure that this was a gem for me! There were mythical creatures, seemingly haunted houses, a struggling author and more, but it just didn't quite come together for this reader!
The Flints of Memory Lane - This piece was written for an anthology of real life ghost stories. I think I missed the imagination!
Closing Time - This was my favourite of the four chapters to be read this week.Take an atmospheric drinking club, some almost strangers and mix in a story from long ago which features abandoned mansions and mysterious events and you have the ingredients for a perfect spooky story! When a young boy wants to be accepted by a group of older boys, how far will he go in accepting the challenges they set for him, and what will be the consequences for them all!
Looking forward to reading the next section of the book for next week's post.