Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Global phenomenon and Sunday Times best-selling 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".
In this new volume, 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 as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods.
Trigger Warning is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explores 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", is 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 Holmes in 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 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. Trigger Warning engages the mind, stirs the heart, and shakes the soul. Neil Gaiman is one of the most original and popular literary artists of our day.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 58 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||03 February 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 11,837 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
23 in Science Fiction Anthologies & Short Stories
29 in Literature Anthologies
39 in Fiction Short Stories
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And all those things come up in "Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances," Gaiman's third collection of his short stories and poems -- while these stories can be as different from each other as humanly possible (an ode to David Bowie, a few twisted fairy tales, a historical story about a Scottish dwarf with revenge on his mind), they share a sense of magic and cosmic wonderment, misting through his elegant, versatile prose.
Among the tales here:
* "Black Dog," a story set a few years after "American Gods." Shadow is wandering through England on his way back to the US, when he meets a kindly couple who allow him to stay in their home. But the specter of a faerie dog brings death, mystery, and an ancient magic that could be fatal even to an American god...
* A Scottish dwarf asks a former reaver to help him find a certain cave, supposedly filled with magical gold. As the two men journey to the Misty Isle, the dwarf gradually reveals his true reason for being there.
* A haunting look at the old age of Sherlock Holmes, reflecting on the decay of the British empire and solving one final mystery.
* A timid young artist hears that his first teenage girlfriend has been in contact with some of the people he knows... and the problem is, he made her up.
* Jemima Glorfindel Petula Ramsey's questionnaire, and exactly what happened to her fake-tan-loving sister Nerys. Hint: it involves floating, glowing, claims of godhood and dark chocolate.
* A year's worth of mini-stories, involving ghosts, pirates, genies, preteen soldiers, vicious ducks, a brazier, a homeless kid, a mysterious string of bizarre deliveries, disagreeing parents, igloos made of books, Australian fires and what they create, and a magical ring that keeps coming back.
* A handful of poems, about chairs, landladies, Saint Columba, a witch who "hid her life in a box made of dirt," and the evil fairy from "Sleeping Beauty."
* A flea market seller who has a strange story of time travel, interdimensional rooms, ancient empires, tiny statuettes and a boy named Farfal The Unfortunate.
* Obediah Polkinghorn, the Uninventor, who has the ability to alter reality so that certain inventions (flying cars, jetpacks, the Wispamuzak) never come into existence, and what he does when he finished uninventing forever.
* "Nothing O'Clock," a Dr. Who fanfic (does it count as a fanfic if it's professional published, and is by a man who has written actual episodes?), where the Doctor and Amy arrive on Earth... only to discover that it is devoid of humans, after being officially sold to the Kin. How to fix it? Go back to when it was first sold by an unwitting family!
* A pair of fairy tales retold in Gaiman's sensibilities -- an update of "Diamonds and Toads" set in a bleak, dreary urban environment, and "The Sleeper and the Spindle," a sort of mash-up of "Snow White" and "Sleeping Beauty," starring a queen who decides to rescue a legendary sleeping princess with the help of her dwarf sidekicks.
* And several other stories that linger on the fringes -- a "lunar labyrinth" that grants wishes to people who successfully navigate it, a love letter, a mother lamenting her son's horrifying death at sea, a pleasantly unimpressive mother who knows of interesting "adventures," a man struggling to remember the name of a great author, a guy who learns of the madness that comes from visiting Jerusalem, a spooky little story about the terrifying Click-Clacks, and a mythic sci-fi ode to David Bowie.
Many authors are commonly called "magical," but Neil Gaiman deserves the label more than most -- he has a special knack for unpredictability that few authors can even approach. Not only can anything happen in his collections of short stories, but you have no idea what KIND of "anything" will flow from the wellspring of his mind. There's no obvious pattern, no overarching theme that might restrict his imagination.
And that is one of the best aspects of "Trigger Warning." In this collection, Gaiman deftly leaps from the macabre to the whimsical, the gloriously weird to the dramatic, the haunting to the magical. No matter how mundane the setting, he can draw back a veil and reveal something that was hidden from our eyes, whether it's dark magic ("Black Dog," "About Cassandra"), personal tragedy and drama ("Down To A Sunless Sea," "The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains") or just the strangeness of the world we live in which we otherwise might not notice ("Jerusalem").
And his writing is no less versatile. While every story is written in a crisp, shimmering style that is very recognizably his, he drifts around through different kinds of stories -- one is told through a questionnaire, another is an overheard monologue, and some are just conversations. What unites them is the glimmering clarity of his writing, full of beautiful similes ("His hair framed his face like a wolf-grey halo") and snappy cleverness ("And pterodactyls have been extinct for fifty million years." "If you say so, dear. Your father never really talked about it").
Neil Gaiman at his best is on display in "Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances" -- a collage of shorter pieces, ranging from darkly enchanting novellas to magical little puffs of whimsy. There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy, but a few of them can be found here.
Top reviews from other countries
On the whole, I wasn't disappointed. Though there were inevitably some stories I liked more than others (and some that were probably objectively better or worse) a pretty high standard was kept up throughout and there were a couple of really great ones.
Unlike some short story collections, there's a lot going on here, in terms of both volume and variety. It's 350 pages long with 24 individual stories and poems. As you'd probably expect from Gaiman, to a greater or lesser degree, they could all loosely be described a belonging to a broad fantasy/supernatural/horror genre, but they span a wide range of themes and styles.
Interestingly, several stories in the collection are either what you'd almost call fanfiction if they had been written by a less well-known author (a Sherlock Holmes story, a Doctor Who story), are retellings of classic fairytales (most notably sleeping beauty and snow white), or are homages to fellow writers or musicians (Gene Wolfe, Ray Bradbury, David Bowie). Others take on folklore and history. One, Black Dog, is a spin-off from Gaiman's own American Gods. And then there are plenty of completely original pieces. They are all well-written, and most create an enjoyable sense of creepiness or mystery.
I love American Gods, so I enjoyed the story related to that, especially as it was set in the Peak District, near where I grew up. I also liked the spookiness of "A Lunar Labyrinth." My overall favorite though was "the truth is a cave in the black mountains," set in historical Scotland and merging folklore and magic, an adventure story, and a grittier tale of cattle-rustling, murder and revenge.
Overall, definitely worth a read, whether you're a fan of short stories or not, but while I enjoyed it all, only the stories mentioned above really captured my imagination.
The first piece is the biggest departure from his normal style - a poem about assembling a chair when he should be (or would rather be) writing. I rather liked that - it's a gentle way into a collection that generally has a darker edge - hence the title.
The mix includes re-telling of fairy tales, a Doctor Who story (you don't need to know anything about the Doctor to enjoy this one), one set in the world of American Gods (again no prior knowledge is necessary, but it's made me want to hunt down a copy), the truly fantastical and the downright spooky. I particularly enjoyed the introduction which includes an explanation of the genesis of each story.
Of course, realistically speaking, not all stories were my cup of tea, but I would say 90% of the stories were enjoyable for me. I admit I was not a fan of the poetry segments included, but then again, I was never a fan of poetry to begin with. I also did not enjoy Nothing O'Clock at all, but again, I have never actually watched Doctor Who (I know I know, the horror!), so could not relate at all and did not really care for it.
That being said, the rest of the stories all ranged from good to great to I-can-read-this-over-and-over-and-over-again amazing. Some of my favourites included The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain, which I have as a separate graphic novel, The Sleeper and the Spindle, which I also have as a separate graphic novel and is a great twist combo on Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, A Calendar of Tales in which Gaiman tells a different story for each month, The Case of Death and Honey is a fantastic Sherlock Holmes story which tells the tale of Holmes moving to China for a number of years to keep bees with a great twist in the end and Orange, where Gaiman provides answers to questions that we assume are part of a police interrogation, which makes for an interesting format.
In general, this is a great collection of stories that definitely has something for everyone. They are all written quite brilliantly, even the ones I didn't enjoy so much, and I think Neil Gaiman once again demonstrates his ability to write a story that falls under every genre imaginable!
That's what you'll find in Neil Gaiman's short story collection - "Trigger Warning."
Ranging from the experimental and grotesque to the ludicrously eccentric, Trigger Warning guides you through a disturbingly dark and macabre menagerie of Gaiman's musings of what it like crossing the border between 'make believe' and 'I don't want to believe that could possibly happen.'
Invite the shadows into your life...
My favorites: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains,The Case of Death and Honey, Click-Clack the Rattlebag, Nothing o'clock, The Return of the Thin White Duke and Black Dog.