It's been quiet around here, I promise to return tomorrow. But for today, I have a book review for you. It's been on my list of much anticipated books since I even heard it was coming out, and I'm happy to be a part of this book tour!
Trigger Warning, short fictions and disturbances - Neil Gaiman
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.
We are never going to see another writer like Neil Gaiman in our life time so you may as well get on the boat with the rest of us and enjoy the ride. Each and every short story in this collection is bizarre in the best way possible. Some I had to read more than once to really get it, others I got right away. Some are longer and some are rather short, and that's exactly the kind of book everyone of you "I don't have time to read" people need in your life. Literally every chapter is a story and if you've got five minutes, you can read a story. It's a total win win.
Easily the best part about this book for me was the introduction, actually. Each story is great in it's own right but Neil Gaiman has given us a little gem of an introduction that not only talks about his writing style and basically how the book came to be. Each short story has it's own little explanation and it's nice to read the story and refer back to the introduction and see if your thoughts coincide with Neil's notes. He talks about how trigger warnings may be featured in the beginnings of books to warn a reader that the writing ahead might make you feel something, maybe something unpleasant, maybe something wonderful, but nonetheless- a feeling. Which, alert the presses, isn't that what a good book should do? If it doesn't make you feel something, I feel like you've wasted time. But there is this line, that I just loved and I highlighted it in my book:
"What we read as adults should be read, I think, with no warnings or alerts beyond: enter at your own risk. We need to find out what fiction is, what it means, to us, an experience that is going to be unlike anyone else's experience of the story."
Is that not the most perfect thing? It's certainly the perfect way to start this book which is full of potential feelings. Lots of death, sadness and uncomfortable feelings. Lots of violence, sometimes crossing over into abuse. My two favorite short stories in this collection were The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury and Black Dog. Black Dog feels like it could have been it's own stand alone book if it had been expanded. Ray Bradbury has written some of my favorite books so maybe that's why I was drawn to that one. The Chair reminded me of the time I attempted at putting an IKEA bookshelf together and decided it wasn't worth my children seeing the worst part of their mother so I gave up.
Is this the best collection of short stories I have ever read? No, it certainly isn't. I think short stories can go bad real quickly, but if you are a true Neil Gaiman fan, you will adore this collection because it's really everything he really is as a writer. It's all weird, it's all a little creepy, and you aren't totally sure how you feel at the end. I did enjoy this because this is exactly what I needed to be reading right before Halloween when you're craving weirdness anyways. Certainly not a light beach read or a cozy holiday read but if you want to have some imaginative dreams at night, keep this by your bed.