Sunday, November 26, 2006

Fragile Things

Early, early this morning I finished reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. It's another collection of Gaiman's short stories and poetry and, as always, it left me feeling a little jealous. This man has undeniable talent when it comes to writing. It's little wonder that he continues to hop onto the bestseller lists; if anyone deserves to be there, it's Gaiman.

That isn't to say that everything Gaiman did was perfect. His take on the Chronicles of Narnia, The Problem of Susan, ticked me off to no end. I saw the ending coming in How to Talk to Girls at Parties. There were a few stories and poems that left me scratching my head.

But by and large, Gaiman is a mster of his craft. I loved A Study in Emerald. Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire, while a finger-twisting title, really made me laugh out loud. Seeing as I majored in theatre in college and for a senior year project directed a play based in commedia dell'arte, I felt right at home reading Harlequin Valentine. And The Monarch of the Glen was a worth addition to the American Gods canon.

But the biggest surprise was, by far, Goliath.

If you've read Gaiman's collections of short stories, you know that he always has notes about the stories in his introduction. He explains his inspiration, that sort of thing. After reading Smoke and Mirrors, I decided that in the future, I would avoid reading those notes until after I've read the story. There were a few cases where the notes ruined the ending for me and I wanted to avoid that this time around.

Anyway, I read Goliath with a certain amount of frustration. It was clear that Gaiman was ripping off a very popular movie (or so I thought) and I wondered how he could have done such a thing. Then I went back and read the notes and realized that he didn't actually rip off said movie; instead, he was asked to write a short story for said movie's website.

That's all I'm going to say. Read the short story yourself to see which one it is. You'll figure it out within the first page or so.

Anyway, good read, as always when it comes to Gaiman. I may not always appreciate his philosophy (and definitely not his theology), but he always gives me something to think about and shows me how woefully inadequate my own writing is.

No comments: