Monday, September 26, 2011

Fragile Things Group Read, Week 1 Ketchup

Stainless Steel Droppings, the same blog hosting the R.I.P. Challenge I’m participating in, also hosts group readings. One of them is a group read of Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, a book I happen to have that had been sitting on my shelf, unread for the past year, so I figured why not.

I am, however, a bit late to the party, having missed the first three weeks of discussions, so this week I’ll be playing ketchup.

So, the first week stories are:


A Study in Emerald

The Fairy Reel

October in the Chair

Be warned, there will be SPOILERS!

Introduction: I really liked reading about the inspiration and back-stories to some of the writings in this collection. There’s also a secret short story hidden within. Plus, there was this:

“Writing’s a lot like cooking. Sometimes the cake won’t rise, no matter what you do, and every now and again the cake tastes better than you ever could have dreamed it would.”

This made me smile and brought a tear to my eye when I first read it. Still does. I’ve been writing an original story of my own and sometimes it won’t speak to me. This made me not lose hope.

A Study in Emerald: A role reversal with Moriarty investigating a crime committed by Holmes and Watson. I’ve never read any Sherlock Holmes. My husband has and the style of Neil’s version is similar to what my husband described. However, it is not revealed who is looking for who until the end, so throughout I was under the impression it was Holmes and Watson and therefore imagining Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I was a little disappointed that they were the bad guys. But it was an interesting idea.

This story was a mixture of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft. Having not read either I didn't really get it. I'll have to revisit after doing some homework.

The Fairy Reel: A poem. I don’t read much poetry and it was nice but it didn’t leave much of an impression on me when I first read it. Neil said it was fun to read aloud so I read it to my daughter and it was quite nice.

October in the Chair: I really liked this one. I didn't really get the months of the year, portrayed as people sitting around a camp fire, who gathered together to tell stories. I did like October's story very much though. There is some lovely writing here:

“Then the railroad came and they built a stop in the next town over, and our town sort of dried up and fell in and blew away.”

“Everything waited. The night was ending. The world was holding it’s breath, preparing to begin again.”

In the Introduction, Neil wrote this was a “dry run” for The Graveyard Book, a book I will have to read on my own very very soon now.

So far so good. Looking forward to the next four stories. I’ll have a write up for them on Wednesday.

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