Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fragile Things Group Read Week 6

My Life

Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot

Feeders and Eaters

Diseasemaker's Croup

from: Gaiman, Neil. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders. New York: William Morrow, 2006.

Here I am in lovely Maine, but it's a rainy day today, so I brought the computer over to the Southwest Harbor Public Library in order to weigh in late on the four stories in the R.I.P. Group Read of Fragile Things. I haven't had the chance to read what anyone else had to say, but here are my thoughts.

My Life
I've never been a fan of sock monkeys, thinking they're ugly. I guess I want my stuffed animals to be cute. I absolutely love this monologue, though. Gaiman explains in his Introduction that it was written to accompany the photo of a sock monkey who looked to Gaiman like his life had been hard. He certainly gave the heavy-drinking narrator of this monologue a hard, unbelievable life. Just like the stories in The Weekly World News, which Gaiman says were an inspiration, you don't know whether or not to believe the guy. Yet, you keep listening to him because he's extremely entertaining and you love wondering if anyone really could live such a life. Pass him another drink. He's someone I don't mind sitting next to in a bar (as long as he doesn't try to hit on me. He probably will. Only the weirdos ever hit on me in bars).

Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot
I don't know that much about tarot cards, but I absolutely loved this one anyway, probably because I so love vampires. In each of these vignettes, based on various tarot cards, like "Priestess" and "Magician," the vampires act the way vampires are supposed to act, that is, in monstrous ways. No Twilight-y, kind, falling-sweetly-in-love vampires here. These vampires are scary, and obsessive, and dangerous, which is exactly how I like my vampires.

Feeders and Eaters
If you love cats the way I do, this is not going to be your favorite Neil Gaiman story. I know it's a very effective horror device, but I hate it when harm comes to innocent animals. Still, I can't say I completely disliked this odd story that sort of merges the zombie-like with the vampiric. Anyone want to fry up some shaggy inkcaps, butter, and garlic with me? I promise we won't eat any sort of meat with them.

Diseasemaker's Croup
You would think that I, someone who suffers from a touch of hypochondria, would've appreciated this one. Instead, I found it a bit tedious. Gaiman, who usually seems to be so effortlessly clever was trying a bit too hard or something here. Then again, maybe I just didn't like it because I'm someone who suffers from a touch of hypochondria.

Now, if all goes as plans, my thoughts on the next four stories will post all by themselves this Sunday. A little bit of magic for you (or a little bit of telling Blogger when to post it, whichever you choose to believe).




3 comments:

dooliterature said...

I agree about the vampires. I'm so tired of the wimpy, over-sexualized vampires that have been all the rage lately. I want some terrifying blood-sucking machines in my literature, haha.

Kailana said...

I don't know a lot about Tarot cards, either, but I really enjoyed that story. I am glad to see you weighed in!

GeraniumCat said...

LOL, I think you and I must be providing a weirdo-attracting service on opposite sides of the Atlantic! I could just imagine getting stuck with him. I don't know that we really do sock-monkeys here.

The tarot was fantastic - I don't like icky vampires either.

What happened to the cat really made me wince - I sort of tried not to read that bit, but then I had to, to check out where the story was going. Apart from that, I thought it was a tremendous story, but I did wish it hadn't been the cat...and I saw the most *superb* shaggy ink cap by the road this week, but didn't stop for it. Gone off them somehow.