REVIEW: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
by Neil Gaiman
Horror/Fantasy Short Stories
Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things–which includes a never-before published American Gods story, “Black Dog,” written exclusively for this volume.
In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction–stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013–as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.
Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In “Adventure Story”–a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane–Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience “A Calendar of Tales” are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year–stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe. Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale “The Case of Death and Honey”. And “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness.
A sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, Gaiman entrances with his literary alchemy, transporting us deep into the realm of imagination, where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday incandescent. Full of wonder and terror, surprises and amusements,Trigger Warning is a treasury of delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul from one of the most unique and popular literary artists of our day.
MY THOUGHTS: 3 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
I have yet to find a short story collection that I love from start to finish, and Trigger Warning was no exception. I should also add that this book was my first foray into the weird world of Neil Gaiman.
The author provides a lengthy prologue that attempts to explain the idea behind the book’s title, but ultimately I don’t think the title fit well with the book at all.
I found myself more entertained by the stories with a weird twist or something ominous most of all. Here are my faves.
“The Man who Forgot Ray Bradbury.”–A haunting and touching look inside the mind of a man growing old who probably is in the first stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
“Click Clack the Rattlebag.”–Chilling and quick, a story that reminds you that the worst dangers are most often in the places you’d never suspect.
“Down to a Sunless Sea.”–A bit confusing, but sad and unexpected story that reads like a ghostly tale from New England.
“Feminine Endings.”–Very creepy, a one sided love story that begs for a reread.
The longer stories seemed to drag for me, and I think Gaiman’s magic lies in the way he reveals just enough in his shorter stories to give you the feeling of unease.
It seems that the author can write in several different styles, and that’s certainly commendable. As a whole, the book was not cohesive enough for me, though; but take stories one by one and you can find some amazing tales.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains.” Originally from England, he now lives in America.