Trigger Warning, by Neil Gaiman

Find in catalogMy second Lucky Day find by Neil Gaiman. And I’m so glad to have discovered his work. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was stellar, so I gladly latched onto Trigger Warning. It is a collection of 25 short stories and poems. I recommend skipping the back story info for each piece in the introduction. I went back to read a few of them, but the stories stand on their own and let you come to your own thoughts on how they might have come to be or what they might mean. For me, “Black Dog,” “The Truth in the Cave in the Black Mountains,” and “Adventure Story” were the best of the collection. They deal with evil, revenge and what constitutes unusual (seeing an old teacher or having a totem sought by aliens)l. All three are dark but have lyrical writing and twists enough to leave you puzzling about humankind. In contrast, “Making a Chair” (poem) and “The Thing About Cassandra” made me laugh out loud. “Cassandra,” a made-up girlfriend to get friends and family off his back, had a real surprise element that I love in short stories and rarely see these days. Truly did not see this one coming. 🙂 Gaiman’s descriptions of place and characters entangle and take you between real and otherworld. Not my typical reading choice but involving enough to make me find out more about him and keep an eye out for his work. Lucky Day Sentence, from “Black Dog”: “Shadow was not certain how old she was. Her hair was white but she seems younger than her hair.” Refreshing when so many people seem older than their hair, thanks to L’Oreal and Grecian Formula.

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