160. Trigger Warning- Neil Gaiman


Title: Trigger Warning

Author: Neil Gaiman

Rating: ★★★★

On the Shelves: Fiction> Anthology/Fantasy

In this new volume, 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 as BLACK DOG, a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods.

Trigger Warning is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explores 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. (Goodreads 2016)

Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite writers, that has never been a secret. I find he has a soothing way of words, and an excellent skill of world-building, with diverse and marvellous characters filling his novels. I also enjoy his short story anthologies. His anthologies are collections of short stories, covering a wide range of genres, sometimes sweet, sometimes reflective, sometimes horrific and sometimes wonderful. Trigger Warning is no different. The term seems to have sprung up on the internet in the last ten years (in mainstream media, at least) and it tends to mean when material requires a consideration warning as some of the content may be disturbing to some observers, depending on their individual circumstances. For example, some people may find stories about strangers in alleyways more disturbing than a story about an empty dog park…but to others, the latter may be more formidable (Welcome to nightvale, anyone?)

Trigger Warning is suitably named- it is an anthology which could be filled to the brim with trigger warnings for it’s content. Gaiman himself calls it a disclaimer:

There are so many little triggers out there, being squeezed in the darkness even as I write this. This book is correctly labelled. Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurts you.

This collection is full of stories, of supernatural room-consuming blobs, the shadow behind the door which you can’t decide is real in the middle of the night, genies and wishes….I just feel like Gaiman can very rarely go wrong in pleasing the audience- whether it is to disturb or bring comfort.

I highly recommend the short story collections to any fan of Gaiman, or those who enjoy fantasy writing. I need to do reviews on his other short story anthologies “smoke and mirrors” and “fragile things”…which means I get to re-read them soon! YAY!

My other Gaiman Reviews:

Good Omens– Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett 

Neverwhere– Neil Gaiman 

Stardust– Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book– Neil Gaiman 

Unnatural Creatures (Anthology) 


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