Another Neil Gaiman book, this one in audiobook format and narrated by the author! This is the second book of Gaiman’s that I’ve listened to and both have been narrated by the author. I really enjoy listening to author narrate their own stories- they just feel so emotive and I think it enhances the book. This is also the second short story collection that I’ve read of Neil Gaiman’s and I enjoyed it even more than Smoke and Mirrors.
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.
Of course, some of these short stories were better than others, but I overall really enjoyed this collection. I’ve mentioned in some other posts that I want to read more dark/horror books and I would say this fits that category.
This collection has the usual Gaiman writing style with interesting spins, particularly “The Thing About Cassandra”, and I finished listening to the book in about a day or two.
“Click-Clack the Rattlebag”, “A Calendar of Tales”, “The Lunar Labyrinth”, and “Black Dog (Parts 1 and 2)” are among my favorites from this collection. All of the short fictions here are a bit mind-bending, rather disturbing, and very entertaining. Gaiman’s various voices and cadences really help draw you into the stories and make the experience all the more enjoyable.
I would definitely recommend giving this collection a read. It’s got a lot of dark, twisted tales and is a great listen, though perhaps not at night when you’re alone 🙀