Trigger Warning: Short Stories and Disturbances, Neil Gaiman
To Be Published: February 3rd 2015 by William Morrow
Hardcover 352 pages
Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss
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.
I’ll be honest and say that Neil Gaiman could publish his grocery list and I’d read it. American Gods is pretty much my favorite book in the world. I reread it once a year and I always find something new. So I basically stood up and danced around my office when I received an early copy of these short stories. I know I just said last week I don’t really do short stories, but people, it’s Neil Gaiman. I would rather have a full length novel, but I really enjoyed these overall.
To begin, I actually loved the lengthy prologue. Gaiman goes through each story and describes why it was written or who it was written for. I really liked that extra personal touch and I felt it made for richer reading-despite the short format. I loved the female pirate in “A Calendar of Tales” and “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” touched my heart. There’s even a story of an igloo built of books-what booklover wouldn’t be drawn to that? “The Sleeper and the Spindle” was a fantastic fairy tale twist and definitely gave me the shivers while I was reading. “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” was deliciously creepy.
My issue often times with short story anthologies is the tie-ins to other books or series that I might not have read. Two stories in Trigger Warning reflect two of Gaiman’s own books, American Gods and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. “The Case of Death and Honey” is Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes story but also with a nod to Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Holmes series. Though that series is still on my lengthy to be read list, I still found that story to be one of my favorites. I’ve never read a Doctor Who book, despite the fact that I’ve been watching the show since I was 3. While I doubt I’ll seek out a full length book, I did still like “Nothing O’clock”, the story featuring the Doctor.
In the past when I’ve read short stories I find my mind wandering trying to figure out how much is left-because its not usually enough. The best praise I can give Trigger Warning is to say that I was completely immersed in most of the stories. I was intrigued, entertained and even a bit rattled by Gaiman’s words.
Thank you William Morrow and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!