Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trigger Warning

Book 46 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from July 21 - 28

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances
by Neil Gaiman

Summary (via Goodreads)
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 Holmesin 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 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.

My Opinion
Uh oh, when I first started reading I wasn't sure I was mentally ready for the book; this will definitely have some triggers for me.  Personally, I read the stories first and then the explanatory introductions.  

I don't have things to say about all the stories but here are some notes on a few of them:

- I liked the quiet eeriness of A Lunar Labyrinth.
- The Thing About Cassandra was very strange.
- The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains was intense; it may have been my favorite.
- A Calendar of Tales was random with a little bit of everything and after reading the intro I see why.  It also had the best out-of-context line, "That was the April my father learned not to trust ducks".
 - The Case of Death and Honey bored me, I couldn't even read it all in one sitting.
 - The explanation for The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury was longer than the story!
 - Feminine Endings had enough realism to be truly creepy.

Some didn't bother me at all but others took my breath away.  I guess that's the nature of the beast; triggers will mean everyone's reactions will be different and ratings will be pretty emotional and personal. 

A Few Quotes from the Book

"And I think of us, all the people, and the masks we wear, the masks we hide behind and the masks that reveal. I imagine people pretending to be what they truly are, and discovering that other people are so much more and so much less than they imagined themselves to be or present themselves as. And then, I think about the need to help others, and how we mask ourselves to do it, and how unmasking makes us vulnerable...
We are all wearing masks. That is what makes us interesting.
These are stories about those masks, and the people we are underneath them." from Introduction

"She wondered how she would feel to be a married woman. It would be the end of her life, she decided, if life was a time of choices. In a week from now she would have no choices. She would reign over her people. She would have children. Perhaps she would die in childbirth, perhaps she would die as an old woman, or in battle. But the path to her death, heartbeat by heartbeat, would be inevitable." from The Sleeper and the Spindle

No comments:

Post a Comment