Let me tell you stories of the months of the year, of ghosts and heartbreak, of dread and desire. Of after-hours drinking and unanswered phones, of good deeds and bad days, of trusting wolves and how to talk to girls.And so we come to the end of the Fragile things reeadalong. I can't remember the last time that it took me this long to read a book from beginning to end, but I really did enjoy the experience of taking just a few stories at a time and concentrating on them rather than rushing through such an eclectic mix of stories. From the topics of the stories, to the tone employed to the poems and the final novella we have run the gamut of emotions and the breadth of storytelling. I can definitely see what it is that makes Gaiman one of the more popular authors out there today.
There are stories within stories, whispered in the quiet of the night, shouted above the roar of the day, and played out between lovers and enemies, strangers and friends. But all, all are fragile things made of just 26 letters arranged and rearranged to form tales and imagining which will dazzle your senses, haunt your imagination and move you to the very depths of your soul
This week's selection of stories was:
Sunbird - The members of the Epicurean Club are becoming a bit jaded. There is no food that they haven't tried, no taste that they haven't experienced, until someone mentions the possibility of trying to eat a Sunbird.
I might post more about this short story in a future Weekend Cooking post ... maybe.
One of the strengths in this book is the way that Gaiman incorporates myths and legends in his own storytelling. In this case the story that is being incorporated is that of the Phoenix - the bird that is regenerated by fire over and over again for all eternity.
Inventing Aladdin - speaking of incorporating mythology and legend, this poem does this with not only one but two stories. The first is of Scherheredaze - a wife who needs to keep her husband sufficiently interested in her stories in order to save her life because she knows that once he is bored with her then he will kill her. The story she chooses to tell him is about Aladdin.
The Monarch of the Glen - this is by far the longest story in the book and is labelled as An American Gods novella. Now I haven't read American Gods so I was a bit worried that I would be a bit lost, but I was drawn into the world that Shadow inhabits quite easily. I was interested to see Mr Alice make another reappearance. We met him earlier in the collection in the Keepsakes and Treasures story.
What this novella has most definitely done is whetted my appetite to actually finally get around to reading American Gods. I have already requested it form the library.
I would like to thank Carl for hosting the readalong and also the other participants for their comments. Having to stick to the schedule outlined was sometimes challenging but I enjoyed taking a leisurely wander through the various worlds we were introduced to.
I was going to try and figure out what my favourite stories were, but that would take a lot of revision. I do find it difficult to go past the story embedded in the introduction - The Mapmaker. It had such charm as did another of my favourites October in the Chair. There are others that I will remember fondly as well!