I got in on the Neil Gaiman craze late; my first exposure to him being an encounter with American Gods. I was in awe. Mythology is one of my favorite topics, so to read how masterfully Gaiman created his own mythology while still paying respect to the old tales was mindblowing.
Then Stardust the movie came along. I stuffed myself with popcorn and reminded myself that I didn’t like Claire Danes to stop prostrating myself in front of the screen because ugh. It was brilliant.
But perhaps the most brilliant story of his that I’ve read (I haven’t read a lot of his work) is a short story from the book Fragile Things, which is, yes, a collection of short stories and poems. Other People is the story I think is the most brilliant. People have different versions of hell: Dante had his circles, Sartre thinks hell is other people, and mine is my neighbor constantly belting out Pusong Bato off-key on their videoke machine on full volume.
Then here comes Gaiman traipsing in on my life with his new version of hell. And I’m thinking: what the hell is so fragile about demons and hell? They scare the hell out of me! (Okay I’ll stop with the “hell” already :D)
In all seriousness, though, when I started wondering about how demons and hell fit into Fragile Things, I began to wonder about the other stories and how they fit in the book. And what I realized is… nothing.
All I know is this: Fragile Things made me want to rip open Neil Gaiman’s skull and steal his brain.