Monday, October 31, 2011

Fragile Things Group Read, Week 8

This is it, the last of the short stories for Neil Gaiman’s, Fragile Things. This has been a lot of fun. I want to say thank you to Stainless Steel Droppings for hosting this group read because 1) I finally read the book that’s been sitting on my shelf for over a year, 2) there have been some great treasures found within the pages of Fragile Things that I’ve enjoyed and 3) I’ve gained insight into different tales and folklores that I probably never would have read about had it not been for these discussions. So remember, there will be spoilers once again with these last four stories:

The Day the Saucers Came


Inventing Aladdin

The Monarch of the Glen

The Day the Saucers Came: So we’ve got flying saucers, zombies, Ragnarok (which I had no idea what that was until I did some research for The Monarch of the Glen!) warring Gods and Giants coming to get us. But we’re too busy to notice. The first thought that came to mind reading this… “Of course I wouldn’t notice! I’m too busy blogging!”

Sunbird: Zebediah T. Crawcrustle, the real director of a group of Epicureans who one day decide they’ve eaten everything there is to eat (vulture, mole, fruitbat, mammoth, etc.). Zebediah suggests they eat Sunbird.

I liked Zebediah, how he was found sleeping in odd places and eating fireflies and charcoal and you’re wondering where is this all leading?

It’s the story of the phoenix, rising from the ashes. And not only does a real phoenix rise from its own ashes after the Epicureans have eaten it, but they in turn burn until nothing but their ashes are left, with Zebediah then rising from their ashes, a young man ready to start a new Epicurean Club to go through the whole thing all over again. I’d love to read more about Zebediah and his eccentricities and learn who and what he really is and how he managed to harness the power of a phoenix for himself.

Inventing Aladdin: Another poem I liked. I loved the TV series Arabian Nights so based on that I'm somewhat familiar with Scheherazade and her stories. This reminds me of Neil’s idea that we need to tell stories, something mentioned in the Introduction and told wonderfully through Locks. In this case, for Scheherazade, it’s to save her life.

The Monarch of the Glen: It’s good to see Shadow again! But not so good to see Mr. Alice and Smith again, they of Keepsakes and Treasures. Those two are nothing but trouble and are up to no good in this story. And of course they have to drag poor Shadow into their scheme. I liked Shadow in American Gods and I like him here too. He doesn’t try to hurt or take advantage of anyone but it always seems there are others who try to do so to him. But so far he’s managed to get out of sticky situations. But being the son of Odin I guess he’s bound to get into more.

Ending Fragile Things with a story of Shadow two years after the events of American Gods was a good way to end this collection of short stories. I’m going to miss reading and discussing these stories. But there are still more Neil Gaiman stories out there I can pick up and you know I will. Stardust has been calling to me for a while now.

Hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!


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