Global phenomenon and Sunday Times best-selling 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".
In this new volume, 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 as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods.
Trigger Warning is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explores 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", is 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 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. Trigger Warning engages the mind, stirs the heart, and shakes the soul. Neil Gaiman is one of the most original and popular literary artists of our day.
©2015 Neil Gaiman (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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"Um! - leaves a lot to be desired."
a little bit disappointing for me as I expected a lot more from Gaimen - I was not left hanging in suspense as I was expecting to, or gripping my armchair - a bit of a sigh and waiting for the next story to be better - and they were all about the same - something of nothing stories - in fact, I cannot think of a single one that stands out - don't waste your money on this one....
"Can't get stuck in"
I absolutely loved Neverwhere which is why I got this. However, I think this is probably for die-hard Neil Gaiman fans only. The introduction goes on for an hour and the stories are too short to get into - perhaps good material for longer novels as sub-plots or for a Doctor Who episode.... Couldn't finish it however.
"Loved it! "
I was a bit thrown by the intro chapter though! There's 35 mins of Neil introducing each story in turn as though each time he's about to begin reading it. Then there's a pause and another intro. After a while panic sets in - have Audible forgotten to include the stories? But fear not - the stories are there and are all superb.
This collection of short stories turned out to be something of a mixed bag. Ranging in length from a couple of minutes to an hour and a half (I was listening rather than reading), some of the shorter ones are so fragmentary as to be rather pointless, while a couple of the longer ones feel too long for their content. However there are some excellent stories in here too and, as I'd been told by so many people, Gaiman is a wonderful narrator.
As a fairly new convert to Gaiman's work I was surprised to find that there are several stories in here that I had already come across elsewhere in other formats. This made me wonder how much new stuff there would be in the book for established fans, so it would probably be wise to check the contents list before purchasing.
There is a long introduction in which Gaiman explains the rationale for the collection. This may have been better if I'd been reading rather than listening, but on the audiobook it takes over an hour, most of which is made up of short introductions to each story explaining the inspiration for it. Some of these short introductions are as long as the stories themselves. I fear I clicked out of the introduction after 20 minutes – snippets of how a story came about because of something some bloke called Jimmy said down the pub one night failed to hold my attention. One of the drawbacks of audio is that it's not possible to scan read sections like this, as I would with a paper or e-book.
I found the first few stories quite disappointing to be honest. The title, cover and introduction had all led me to think that the stories would be dark and chilling, but a lot of them aren't. And while I think Gaiman does dark and chilling exceptionally well, I was less enamoured of his musing on the writing process by using a metaphor of making a chair, for example. I also found, and this is down to personal preference, that, of the stories I knew, I had on the whole preferred them in written format. Both Down to the Sunless Sea and The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains had worked brilliantly for me when I read them – the first as straight text and the second as a graphic novel – but didn't have quite the same effect when listening, mainly because, although Gaiman's narration was excellent, the voices didn't gel with the ones I'd heard in my head. However, where I hadn't read a story before, Click Clack The Rattle Bag, for instance, then the narration often worked superbly.
These three stories were still amongst my favourites in the collection though, and here are another few that I particularly enjoyed:
Adventure story – a son sits with his elderly mother having tea and discussing his father, now deceased. In the course of the conversation his mother reveals the story of an adventure his father once had long ago as a young man. The adventure becomes progressively more fantastical, and the appeal comes from the matter-of-fact way the mother tells it and the son's astonishment. Quite a short story this one, but cleverly done and enjoyable. I suspect the narration made this one work better than it would have on paper.
The Case of Death and Honey is a rather good spin on the Holmes stories, which provides an explanation for why the great man went off to keep bees at the end of his career. It's set in China with Holmes on the trail of the answer to the ultimate mystery, and while it is somewhat far-fetched it's well-written and interesting, and Gaiman's Holmes feels quite authentic. This is another one I had already come across elsewhere – in the Oxcrimes collection published last year.
Nothing O'Clock is a Doctor Who story and I found it thoroughly enjoyable. It fits perfectly into the Doctor Who style and Gaiman's narration of the many characters gives a unique voice to each. The story is imaginative and nicely chilling, but of course with the traditional happy ending we expect the Doctor to provide.
So quite a lot of good things in here overall, but also some that I found rather dull or a bit lightweight. A mixed bag – I'd say most readers will find some things to like in the collection but, like me, may also find there's quite a lot that leaves them a little underwhelmed. 3½ stars for me, so rounded up.
NB This audiobook was provided for review by the publisher, Audible UK.
"Short stories that captured me instantly"
I adored this collection of stories, they are all quite different. I love that they are narrated by Neil Gaiman. His voice and style makes me feel like a child listening to bedtime stories... absolutely brilliant!
"Some really good stories with lots of filler"
Some really good stories with lots of filler. Sorry Mr Gaiman, you did have me enchanted on occasion not often enough however.
"A hugely enjoyable slice of Gaiman"
As a longtime Neil Gaiman fan it was a genuine pleasure to listen to him narrating his own work and bringing it to life.
Gaiman's voice has an almost hypnotic quality to it, immersing you in the story without requiring over-the-top characterisation.
The big problem with any piece of work by Neil Gaiman is that it leaves you wanting more, and I've read pretty much everything I can get my hands on so far, so start down the dark and winding path of Neil Gaiman's imagination at your peril - it's hard to turn back!
"A must for Gaiman fans"
Immensely enjoyable stories and Gaiman is a surprisingly good narrator. Especially good to have another story of Shadow to round off the collection.
"A jewel of the storyteller's craft"
This book is a joy. Some of the stories are disturbing and Neil Gaiman's reading will make your hair stand on end during some of the stories. This genius book is so good you will want to limit your listening to make it last. Not always comfortable but always a compelling listen. Experience a master storyteller reading his own work. This is a gem of book. Savour it and then re-listen, you will notice new things on every listen.
As the author as well as the reader, Neil Gaimen is able to give the correct stresses and inflections that make these stories such outstanding examples of the art of story telling.
Beautiful and profound novels with the mix of wondrous fantasy and clever understanding of humans.
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