It's another week and we seem to have earned a respite from poetry this week in our Fragile Reads schedule. Not that Mr. Neil is not a competent poet but it really does take a lot for me to love a poem (as you will see toward the end of October where I will finally gush over a poem).
Standard warning: mild SPOILERS ahead.
GOOD BOYS DESERVE FAVORS
I might have recognized the title of this piece if I had been a bass clef musician but, alas, I am mainly a treble clef one and I only know FACE (the notes between the lines of the staff) and EGBDF (the notes on the lines -- did I ever know an acronym for them? I don't recall). Well, apparently the notes between the bass clef staff are ACEG and the ones on the staff lines are GBDFA -- Good Boys Deserve Favors Always. As you can probably guess by now, this is a story about imaginary "young Neil" and his experience with the double bass. I would assume that the "real Neil" was never so fortunate as to escape an embarrassing situation with a celebrity by being possessed by his double bass and playing an amazing piece that saved the day. This is a simple story and might be one of my favorites. It's so matter of fact and then the little "haunting" is slipped in as if it was no big deal. The ending is sad but fitting and I think this is a very satisfying piece.
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF THE DEPARTURE OF MISS FINCH
The thing with this story is that I'm not sure if it's a good weird or a bad weird. I have really mixed feelings when I finish reading it. Was it too over-the-top, too strange without that certain something that gives it heft and cohesion? Maybe. I did like, however, the way that Gaiman played with the sentence transitions between sections to change the mood, lend a sense of movement and urgency to the story. I don't think this one will ever be a favorite but I don't really mind reading it.
STRANGE LITTLE GIRLS
I used to like Tori Amos more than I do now. I think I just became too content, too satisfied in life to connect with her particular brand of angst and sadness. The music is still beautiful but the lyrics break my heart. And I think I once would have found these "twelve very short stories, written to accompany Tori Amos's CD Strange Little Girls" interesting but now I find them dreary and depressing.
And, to finish the week, I was rather meh on this one as well. I could see how the story was inspired by the artist Lisa Snellings-Clark's brilliant little Poppets but it didn't grab my heart (haha!). Maybe like the previous piece, it was just too sad and bleak. I'll admit that Neil's descriptions of February made me shiver though!
So, one favorite this week and three neutrals. That's still better than the revulsion of last week!
Sticking to the simply supernatural,