Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fragile Things Group Read: Four Stories (Starting with a Poem)

Last week's reading had some real gems in it and a lot of discussion which was fun! Let's just get into this week's "things" --

(As always, these are short stories and poems so there are bound to be SPOILERS ahead ...)


Okay, this might be the first time I have found anything really funny in this volume.  This free-form piece was just like a country song -- "my dad was blind but then he could see so he divorced my mom who became my dad after my dad died from being hit by alien debris from outer space". And that's just the first verse! The drunk on a barstool is always good for a story or two, right? And the thought of that drunk being a sock monkey just pushes this all over the edge into pure hilarity.


Unlike my feelings about the "Strange Little Girls", I loved these vampire studies! It's strange to think of them paired with the art of Rick Berry though because they are so much more vivid than Berry's blurred art. I can't find why it's called "Fifteen Painted Cards" when there are twenty-two. Did anyone find that out? Anyway, I don't think there was a bad one in the bunch here.


This story is gross and gory but still a good read. It's interesting that it came to Gaiman as a dream (or as he says, a nightmare) because, if I had dreams like this, I would never sleep again. I'm happy that I read this while it was still light outside and not right before bed because I would be afraid to sleep. Is the woman a vampire or a cannibal? I don't know but she sure ain't right.


This piece is indeed "...a netherworld of pseudo-medical nonsense." It takes one a little while to realize that the problem is not in the reading of this piece but in the writing. The brain tries to make sense but it is really nothing but nonsense. I think if one admitted to liking this, one's mental condition would be questioned. And yet, how can one not enjoy a bit of tongue-in-cheek nonsense every once in a while?

Living a normal life,


  1. Diseasemaker's Croup is a bit of nonsense, but fun nonsense. It works so much better, in my opinion, on the audio version of the book. Fun to hear Gaiman perform it.

    Feeders and Eaters is disturbing but in the good way that I like from horror stories. I don't need all the gory details, just a hint or two of the madness will do. I find this a very, very effective horror story.

    If you've seen some of Berry's digital art, the stuff that in some ways has a kinship to McKean's art, I think it would actually work really well with these stories. I'd so love to see an illustrated version of this. Gaiman does such a great job with these vignettes painting various pictures of the vampire culture.

    My Life is my favorite from this week. Gaiman reads it with such skill that when the end comes you cannot help but want to keep buying him drinks for more stories.

  2. Haha, I love the idea of My Life being a country song. It would make for a good one, wouldn't it?

    I couldn't figure out what the woman in Feeders and Eaters was supposed to be, either. Cannibal, sure, but only if we can determine if she's human or not... Scary story. I loved it!

  3. I actually think My Life would be worth listening to on audio. I am going to have to get the audio collection at some point.

  4. Carl - I will definitely seek out the audio of many of these pieces the next time I go through the collection. And My Life was my favorite too. Maybe there's a reading of it up somewhere!

    Dooliterature - It sure would! And Feeders was a great Halloween story. So creepy!

    Kailana - Me too. I think I'm missing out on some of the enjoyment by not listening to a few of these.