Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book Review: Trigger Warning

Title: Trigger Warning
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

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 (goodreads).

Neil Gaiman is the only author who can write home-run short stories again after again. 
Trigger Warning fascinated me from the start. In his introduction, Neil Gaiman wrote about how he learned about the term "trigger warning." He was fascinated that a term that came from the internet had spilled over to the real world and curious about his own work. Would he ever have the label of a "trigger warning?" In order to beat the masses, Gaiman labeled himself as a trigger warning before anyone else could. With that knowledge, I was expecting some really tough topics, but I found Trigger Warning to be very Gaiman. Nothing made me queasy or squirm, it was what I had come to expect from Neil Gaiman's work - great fantasy novels with suspicious characters. Below you'll find my ratings for every individual short story.

Making a Chair

 A Lunar Labyrinth

The Thing About Cassandra

Down to a Sunless Sea

"The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains..."

My Last Landlady
Adventure Story


A Calendar of Tales

The Case of Death and Honey

The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury


Click-Clack the Rattlebag

An Invocation of Incuriosity

"And Weep, Like Alexander"

Nothing O'clock

Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale

The Return of the Thin White Duke

Feminine Endings

Observing the Formalities

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Witch Work

In Relig Odhrain

Black Dog


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