Neil Gaiman — he of American Gods and Sandman fame — is a bit of a showman. You can tell because in Fragile Things, his second story collection, he can’t resist using many of the pieces as stages themselves, having deftly drawn characters tell strange, or sweet, or eerie, or heartfelt stories to others (as when, for example, October thrills the other months of the year with a perfectly October story). Of course, there are some that don’t share that nesting-doll logic (like the wonderfully peculiar Sherlock Holmes remix ”A Study in Emerald”), but it becomes clear that, perhaps, Gaiman relishes the sacred act of telling stories even more than he does writing them.