Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by: Jen
Find it/Buy it here:Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
Trigger Warning is a Gaiman’s most recent collection of short stories that cuts across genres and includes horror and ghost stories, science fiction, fairy tales, and poetry. The collection includes a never before published American Gods story, a Doctor Who tribute, a Sherlock Holmes story, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The book also contains an interesting introduction by the author where he discusses the meaning of the title and background on each story.
Gaiman has lots of VERY intense fans in whose eyes he can do no wrong. I can understand the fascination. He has to be one of the most responsive authors to his fans, he supports independent bookstores, and his books are kind of awesome! Although I really like his writing, I’m not one of his super obsessed fans. I have loved some of his books (Neverwhere is my favorite) and I’ve been underwhelmed by other books (e.g., the Ocean at the End of the Lane – I’m in the minority here because everyone else loves this book). But, I have to admit that when I snagged a signed first edition of Trigger Warning, I literally jumped up and down in the bookstore like a child in a candy store.
I normally don’t care for short stories. In fact, this may be the only short story collection I’ve ever bought. But, I think Gaiman may have made a believer out of me. Overall, I really liked this collection. I didn’t love every story, but I loved some and liked most of them. I even enjoyed the poetry (another genre that has never been that appealing to me). I loved the blend of genres and the reworking of, or tributes to, some classics (sherlock holmes, Dr. Who tribute, Sleeping Beauty). My favorites included: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, The Thing about Cassandra, My Last Landlady, Click-Clack the Rattlebag, & Black Dog (the American Gods story) — you’ll have to read them yourself to see why I liked them! The stories are imaginative, dark but not too dark, and filled with unexpected twists and turns. I think I liked the creepy ones the best.
I highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy fantasy with dark, creepy tones and for those who would like an introduction to Gaiman’s work. Those who love Gaiman’s work won’t be disappointed by this collection, although super fans will likely have read most of these stories elsewhere. The NPR book reviewer puts it better than I can when he writes that the stories in this collection are “Like eating a delicious piece of chocolate and, halfway through, finding a finger in it.”
If you’ve never read anything by Gaiman and would like a flavor of his short stories, here is a clip of him reading one of his short stories (not from this book though). Although, this version is not the best video quality, I generally LOVE his readings. I mentioned early that I’m not a super-obsessed fan, but I do have a mild obsession for his narrations. I feel in love with audiobooks after resisting them for many years, thanks to the wonderful job he does with the narration. Authors often make terrible narrators of their own work but Gaiman’s renditions are incredible.
Now I just have to run out and buy his other short story collections!