• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 27, 2015)
From one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved storytellers of our time comes a major new collection of stories and verse
"We each have our little triggers . . . things that wait for us in the dark corridors of our lives." So says Neil Gaiman in his introduction to Trigger Warning, a remarkable compendium of twenty-five stories and poems that explore the transformative power of imagination.
In "Adventure Story"—a thematic companion to the #1 New York Times bestselling novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the ways in which people take their stories with them when they die. "A Calendar of Tales" is comprised of short pieces about the months of the year—stories of pirates and 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." Also included is "Nothing O'Clock," a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the beloved series in 2013, as well as the never-before-published "Black Dog," a haunting new tale that revisits the world of American Gods as Shadow Moon stops in at a village pub on his way back to America.
Gaiman, a sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, entrances with his literary alchemy and transports us deep into an undiscovered country where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday is incandescent. Replete with wonder and terror, surprises and amusements, Trigger Warning is a treasury of literary delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul.
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I could not wait to get my hands on Neil Gaiman’s Trigger Warning! This is a short story collection and I would definitely advise you to read the introduction; not because you need it to understand the stories, but because it will help you appreciate them that much more. It will also help you to find the trigger in each story. All of us have something that bothers us at our core, “things that profoundly upset” us but teach us things and open our eyes, as Neil says in the introduction; these are our triggers. The stories with my triggers were the ones I enjoyed most in the collection.
The Thing About Cassandra was the first story to really make my heart flutter. It begins innocently enough with a young man creating a made up girlfriend to get his friends and even his mother off of his back. However, when the imaginary woman shows up in his adult life, things get interesting. This story triggered me for the power of the imagination. As someone who might make up whole worlds and timelines in their head, Neil’s interpretation of the impacts of imagining just one person were profound, along with the twist at the end, this story was something that got me thinking and felt like it was much more intense than the 20 pages that it lasted.
“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains…” had many small triggers, lies, deceit, revenge and judging people on appearances. When a smaller man, one we might call a little person today, seeks out a much larger man to guide him to a cave fabled to be laden with gold and a curse, each man will discover something from the journey that they did not expect. The best thing for me was the slow burn of the sweet revenge that I probably enjoyed more than I should have.
As a lover of fairy tale retellings, The Sleeper and the Spindle caught my attention. Something even more sinister is lurking within this fairy tale where good and evil may not be so easily determined. Obviously, an intelligent, savvy and strong hero is needed and will come from an unlikely source. This new version of the classic is now a favorite retelling of mine.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Find out more about Neil at his website, find all his books at his online bookstore, and follow him on Facebook, tumblr, and his blog.