ISBN #: 978-0062330260
Page Count: 352
Copyright: February 3, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow
(Taken from Amazon)
A 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.
Confession: I've never read a Neil Gaiman book before.
I've seen all the fandom comments about his works, but I've never jumped on the bandwagon. When I was offered a chance to review his latest, TRIGGER WARNING, I figured now was my opportunity to see what all the fuss was about. And, if I didn't like it, at least I didn't pay for the book. So, it was with great anticipation that I read ...
If you don't know what the phrase "trigger warning" means, it is a caution to people. It mentally prepares them that something they encounter (i.e. images, ideas, a book, a program) could upset them and trigger flashbacks or anxiety or terror. In his Introduction, Neil Gaiman wondered if someone would one day put a trigger warning on his fiction ... so he decided to do it first.
The book is a hodgepodge of ideas and genres. The same theme does not run throughout and I like that. It gave me the perfect sampling of Gaiman's literary creativeness that helped me to decide whether or not he's worth another read. I'll cover a few of TRIGGER WARNING's stories in this review but you'll have to read the book for yourself if you want an opinion on all of them.
The Thing About Cassandra was the first story that intrigued me and made me want to know more. You begin reading about Stuart and then finish up with Cassandra. It's a constant tug-o-war wondering who's real and who isn't until you get to the end, then you're just left wondering what the heck happened and how. What abilities does the last person standing have and how did they get them? Are they cursed? Are they good or evil? Are they lonely or do they prefer to live this way?
It was good to visit my old friend Holmes in The Case of Death and Honey. It was a classic, seemingly unsolvable whodunit, with just a slight twist of difference and originality. Holmes, of course, shined bright and solved the case - and is now on a mission to find Watson before it's too late.
I've never thought about what it'd be like to visit a holy city. Will the overwhelming religious vibrations affect how you think and act? Will the past come crashing down on you changing the very person you are? In Jerusalem, Gaiman explores what changes visiting a holy city might make on a person's psyche and, in turn, their behavior.
Finally, my favorite of the bunch, Feminine Endings. It begins as a love letter. The writer's adoration of his love is apparent. The sweetness of the letter turns questionable partway through. Does the recipient even know the writer? Have the two ever interacted? Towards the end, the writer seems a bit stalkerish and unstable. It's quite disturbing how, throughout the course of one letter, a person can appear innocent and sane only to end up scary and avoidable. I loved it.
I didn't care for all of the stories in this anthology, but I think that's the beauty of something like this. You don't have to like all of selections. It did give me enough insight into who Neil Gaiman is as a writer to know that I would love to give another of his darker novels a chance. I'm not quite on the bandwagon but my foot is on the step. =)
*A hardcopy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.