I only had time to read a bit of Fragile Things tonight - short story "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" and his fairy-tale poem "Instructions".
"How to Talk to Girls at Parties" is a neat twist on the 'girls are from another planet' idea, a line that one of the characters Vic actually uses in the story, pun intended by the author! It makes me wish Gaiman had written more of this story - it is like a mix of 'Day of the Triffids' and a Dr Who episode. And it has poetry and music from the '80's in it! It is a coming-of-age - slightly - story, and again, like the ones read last week, haunting. I'm not sure I would want to go to that party myself - but I like the idea that the girls carry the universe in their eyes. You will have to read it to find out more, Gentle Reader. (wicked grin)
"Instructions" is the kind of poem I would write if I were trying to write down how to survive a fairy tale. Worth reading, printing out, carrying with you in case you encounter any fairy tale creatures or settings in your daily travels.
I am definitely enjoying the stories and Neil Gaiman's writing in Fragile Things. Some, like "The Problem of Susan", keep returning to me at odd times, pieces of it swimming up in the surface of my mind this past week. I'll keep you posted on how I do with the two from this week. I think I will read "Instructions" again before bed, and see if it brings me any interesting dreams.
Happy Short Story reading!