After reading Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things , I’ve realized that Gaiman’s work these days just really doesn’t impress me. I’m not sure if it’s that Gaiman’s gotten worse, that I’m just over-familiar with his style, or what; but definitely, I don’t look forward to Gaiman’s books like I used to, and I don’t leave them particularly impressed.
But I do tend to leave them moderately respectful. Fragile Things is a perfectly adequate collection of short stories, almost all of which are “Is it or isn’t it?” quasi-supernatural stories — the kind that read as automatically fantastic to a fantasy reader, but which are textually implicit enough that it could all be metaphor and allegory and various other literary devices of your choosing. The sort of stuff that would be at home in a staid, buttoned-down literary journal where it wouldn’t have to worry custodians of respectability.
Recommended to people who are looking for a collection of pleasantly diverting sorta-ghost stories, but temper your expectations if you’re a Gaiman fan.