If you’re looking for an entertaining book to read, you need look no further than the diverse collection Trigger Warning by New York Times Bestselling author Neil Gaiman. Known largely for his contributions in science fiction, fantasy, and horror, the versatile writer does not show any hesitations when dipping his pen into other genres. Trigger Warning is a delightful example of Gaiman’s ability to write short stories and poetry pertaining to just about anything.
Unlike many anthologies where some lucky editor gets to add his or her personal comments to introduce each piece of a collection to the reader, Trigger Warning begins with a lengthy but well deserved introduction by the author explaining what the title means as well as the specifics behind creating each of his installments. And it is in this section where future want-to-be writers might get a unique insight to the evolution of ideas and find themselves confidently facing their own daunting hurdles.
Trigger warnings are those little cautionary measures often taken to notify people of impending moments of anxiety or discomfort. This can be as subtle as the carbohydrate count on a nutrition label or as confusing and often maligned rating system touted by the motion picture industry. But here, the only warning you get is the conceptual background of each piece provided by Gaiman in the introduction. And this isn’t such a bad thing. Because if you are a fan of Gaiman, you understand the value of surprises and welcome that awkward feeling of anxiety or discomfort you might get when cautionary measures are left out. Perhaps this book should have been called Trigger Warnings Not Included…but I guess that in itself would be a trigger warning.
You will find monsters and nightmares along with a slew of characters from notable works like American Gods and Doctor Who, but when you come across Obediah Polkinghorn, you will understand the true genius behind this entire collection. Just like the uninventor in “And Weep, Like Alexander” who made the world a much better place because of the things he uninvents, Gaiman makes the literary world a much better place by deconstructing the genre norm and providing unique works of fiction we will never find elsewhere – or neverwhere.
With a total of twenty-four selections making up this collection of poems and stories, Trigger Warning is the perfect traveling companion. No worries if you have to put the book down (though it may be difficult), because each new adventure will take you away from the previous one and smack you with an entirely new journey in the mind of Neil Gaiman when you pick it up again.