Review: Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (February 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062330268
ISBN-13: 978-0062330260
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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.


I’ve never read Neil Gaiman’s work before. As such, I’m not 100% sure how qualified I am to critique it. When I was approached to do this review though, I thought it was a great opportunity to get to know his work. I expected, that with a title like Trigger Warnings, that there would stuff that offended my sensibilities. That really didn’t seem to occur.

What did occur, is that I struggled with the book. My first impressions was of someone on an acid trip, writing about the things he was having during his hallucinatory fantasies. I wasn’t sure that I was able to finish, then I talked to others, and discovered this was just Mr. Gaiman’s style of writing, and was intended to leave me scratching my head.

With that knowledge in hand, I returned to the book and continued to trudge through the stories, and found a few that I really liked. My personal favorites: A Doctor Who story, an elderly Sherlock Holmes story, and a twist on the Sleeping Beauty story.

While I didn’t love or even understand the point of everything written, maybe the point was there was no point, I found myself entertained, and for that alone I’d recommend this. I’d say definitely due to content, that it is only for older audiences. But for those who are fans of Mr. Gaiman, or of his style, I think you’d like this. Check it out and be sure to drop back by and let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Neil GaimanA 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.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Heid at Harper Collins for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review. You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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