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Review: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trigger Warning
Neil Gaiman

Genre: Short Story Anthology
Hardback: 310 Pages
Publication: February 3, 2015
by William Morrow

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.


Trigger Warning is an eclectic collection of short stories that range from the fantastic and weird to the horrific and macabre.

Short stories tend to either pull me in or drop me early on. There is only so much room for a short story to get told while also demonstrating a writer's knowledge of the craft. This is the first Neil Gaiman short story collection that I've read. His stories not only piqued my interest, they had me thinking—and wanting to think—about their worlds even after I read the last word. And these stories do ask us to think whether it be about what just happened in the story or about similar events that have happened in our world.

Gaiman's writing is both poetic and striking. As I read, phrases would flicker asking to be read and reread. For example: "The Thames is a filthy beast." A phrase that says a lot even before Gaiman goes on to describe the Thames and why it is a filthy beast. Or "we smile in bursts, like the sun coming out and illuminating the fields and then retreating again behind a cloud too soon." Beautiful imagery that takes me back to days reading when the sun would come and go, lighting up the pages in short bursts. Then there are the mind-boggling plot twists that force you to question everything that you'd read up to that point (as in "The Thing About Cassandra"). And these are just to name a few.

One of the best parts about this collection is the introduction, which explains the meaning behind the title and also gives a little background about the stories in this collection. I enjoyed learning about the inspiration behind the stories and a little about the writing process. There is even some humor thrown in (just read the introduction for "Click-Clack the Rattlebag"). I can get bored working from front to cover, so I enjoy the freedom that short stories give me to move around. I read this collection by picking titles that interested me, looking up their backstories in the introduction, and then turning the page to read the story.

All in all, this is an anthology that I will definitely return to. I recommend this to readers who enjoy a good, short speculative fiction read.

About the Author

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.

Connect with Neil
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This post was made as part of TLC Book Tours
Click here to see the full tour schedule

5 comments on "Review: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman"
  1. I love anthologies, and have had my eye on this for months. Currently on hold at my library, I hope to get it soon. Thanks for sharing!

    1. It's a fantastic anthology. I hope you enjoy this one, Lekeisha!

  2. Gaiman is a fascinating writer - I'm looking forward to exploring this collection.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. I love short stories, and I love Neil Gaiman. I'll definitely be picking this one up!

  4. Short stories aren't always my favourite, but I love Neil Gaimon. Your review has got me wanting to look this one up right away. Thanks.


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