Title: Trigger Warning
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publish Date: February 3, 2015
# of Pages: 310
(From Goodreads) Multiple award winning, #1 New York Timesbestselling 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.
Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 8
Pace – 5
Plot Development – 4
Ending – 4
Characters – 5
Enjoyability – 3
Ease of Reading – 3
Voice Acting – 7
Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️
Trigger Warning is a collection of short stories written by Neil Gaiman. Some of the stories are dark, some are light, some are set in present day, and others are set in the past. The stories are as varied as a bouquet of wildflowers.
As a Neil Gaiman fan, I wanted to like this audiobook. I really did. But I didn’t enjoy it.
The writing itself is beautiful, as one would expect from a Neil Gaiman book—Neil Gaiman is a master at wielding the written word. But while the writing was beautiful, I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing.
Each story was interesting enough, but I had a hard time going deep and engaging in the stories. I’m not sure if it’s the short story format that was throwing me off (I typically enjoy short stories!), or if it’s because the stories weren’t cohesive. I struggled to stay focused on the stories, and my mind constantly wanted to wander. I did enjoy The Thing About Cassandra. This was the one story that I connected with—it was both intriguing and thought-provoking.
The endings of the short stories were not always clearly defined. Again, I think it is in part because I was listening to the audiobook. The stories almost flowed into each other without clearly defined beginnings and endings. The pauses between stories weren’t long enough, and the story titles often sounded like normal sentences, so sometimes it took me a little bit to realize one story had ended and another began. This was jarring and probably assisted in my lack of engagement with the stories.
The narrator was Neil Gaiman himself. He has a great voice for narrating. I enjoyed listening to him—I could probably listen to him talk all day. While the voice acting was great, I wish the audiobook execution had been different.
While I can’t say I would recommend this audiobook to others, if you’re a Neil Gaiman fan, the book is probably worth a read. But read it—don’t listen to it.
Are you a Neil Gaiman Fan? What was the last Neil Gaiman book you read?
Buy this book here*, or check it out at your local library.
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