Fragile Things Groupread, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of the “Fragile Things” groupread, hosted by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings.  The Groupread is also a part of the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge.

This week’s discussion will focus on the next four stories in the collection.  From this point forward, there may be spoilers.

Going Wodwo

This is another of Gaiman’s poems, and I was not disappointed.  Then again, I am also a fan of nature, despite being allergic to life itself (that’s only a slight exaggeration… pollen, dust, nuts, shellfish, cute fuzzy things, etc.).  Reading about other people experiencing nature tends to have a far better outcome than attempting to experience it myself.

Bitter Grounds

This one was my weekly favorite.  Sometimes when I read a variety of books at once, they just seem to play into each other.  That happened with this one, as I had just finished reading Hurston’s novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” and had read up a bit on her biography.  I was delighted to see her influence in this story.  I still wonder about the man with the lost wallet.  Overall, quite a surreal story strewn with the academic equivalent of pop culture references.

Other People

This story is a nightmarish depiction of hell, where time is circular and a man becomes his own torturer.  It reminds me of Catholic school as a kid, where “What is hell like?” was a good way of derailing religion class.

Keepsakes and Treasures

I wanted to pick up most of the characters in this story and drop them into the previous one.  I’m generally the type of person who could never wish harm upon another human being, but I make exceptions for those who sexually abuse children.

Concluding Thoughts

I liked the first two stories this week, but wasn’t a huge fan of the second two.  Hopefully I’ll like next week’s stories better.

Sorry my post is a day late; I’ve been busy with grad school work over the past few days.  I’ll be stopping by to read everyone else’s thoughts on the stories within the next day or so.  See everyone next week for round four!

Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Horror/Gothic, Short Stories | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Fragile Things Groupread, Part 3

  1. I was a bit disappointed with the stories this week. I am reading the next batch, though, and they are working a lot better for me. 🙂

  2. Sounds semi-interesting.

  3. “Reading about other people experiencing nature tends to have a far better outcome than attempting to experience it myself.” Isn’t that the truth! LOL! Although I do continue to make the attempt. I am sometimes successful and other times wish I had stayed at home with a good book. I’m hoping one day Going Wodwo stirs something in me. It is a poem I ought to like, a poem I want to like, but one that falls flat for me.

    I might have enjoyed Bitter Grounds more had I had a similar crossover reading experience like you did. As it is I find it to be a story filled with great parts but the sum of the parts end up falling short and being disappointing.

    Other people would be a fascinating story to discuss in a religion class, wouldn’t it? I think Gaiman does a great job with the execution of this one. It just isn’t one I want to read again and again.

    I agree with your thoughts on Keepsakes and Treasures, although the characters in it would unfortunately probably enjoy living in the world of Other People.

    No worries on your post being late. I for one didn’t have time to visit other sites yesterday and am only getting around to it today.

    • I think that what sold me on “Going Wodwo” was the line about the guy’s stomach being cramped. I laughed, because that would happen when someone (probably a city someone) who really knows little about forests decides to eat random berries and shit. I get the feeling that he’s attached to the idea of returning to nature, but probably hasn’t figured out the practicalities quite yet.

      I agree with you on “Other People.” I thought it was clever, but I can’t say that I enjoyed reading it. It makes me wonder what the narrator did to deserve such a fate, or even if he did.

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