I have been a huge fan of Neil Gaiman since I read his first novel Neverwhere several years ago. When I received his latest collection of short stories as a Christmas present, I decided what better way to kick off the new year. I have always admired authors of the short story as it takes a considerable talent to tell a complete and entertaining tale in a shorter format than your traditional novels. Gaiman is a master of prose, and I was impressed with the incredible range of stories in Trigger Warning. There are horror stories that are sure to keep you up way past your bedtime, epic fantasy tales, and even some poetry thrown in for good measure. I loved how Gaiman includes background information on how he came up with each individual idea. As a writer, it creates a richer and more rewarding experience.
Although I am not reviewing each story, I will list my thoughts on my five favorites”
- “The Thing About Cassandra”-this is a very creepy story about an imaginary girlfriend who comes to life when the narrator becomes an adult.
- “The Case of Death and Honey”-Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes story is a fantastic read that is making me want to read all of the real Sherlock canon.
- “Nothing O’Clock”-I had previously read this contribution to the world of Doctor Who. Gaiman perfectly captures Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor.
- “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury”-this is a touching tribute to one of the greatest authors who ever graced our little world.
- “The Sleeper and the Spindle”-I love new takes on classic fairy tales, and with this one, Gaiman combines the legends of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty together. It sounds insane, but it comes together beautifully.
There are many other favorites in this collection, but I will stop here. In his introduction, Gaiman praises Ray Bradbury for crossing genres only to come into his own. I think it is fair to say that Neil Gaiman is someone who deserves the same to be said of him.
“There are things that wait for us, patiently, in the dark corridors of our lives. We think we have moved on, put them out of mind, left them to desiccate and shrivel and blow away; but we are wrong. They have been waiting there in the darkness, working out, practicing their most vicious blows, their sharp hard thoughtless punches into the gut, killing time until we came back that way.”