Friday, March 13, 2015

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

by Neil Gaiman
310 pgs

I always get excited when an author I enjoy puts out a collection of their short stories. Since I rarely read anthologies or the magazines where these stories are first published, they're almost always new to me. I'm also a big fan of the short-story format itself. I love the fact that there's no character development or backstory that needs to take place. There's also very little plotting or the slow build up of suspense. It's just a quick and hopefully captivating moment in time that the author delivers in 10 or so pages. Neil Gaiman is one of the best at accomplishing this well. In fact, his short stories usually tend to stay with me even longer than his novels do.

Trigger Warning is Gaiman's third collection of his short stories, and like the previous two, in it he offers up a strange and category-defying assortment of stories, along with a few poems he describes as "free bonuses." Among the stories is a retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty, a Doctor Who story, a return to the world of American Gods, a fantastic story of an "uninventor," who makes the world a better place by uninventing the things that the world would be better off without, and my personal favorite in the book, a story he wrote as a birthday present for Ray Bradbury.

Each story is worth reading, and every one of them is unmistakably Gaiman. The man can do no wrong.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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