Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

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Source: TLC Book Tours
Paperback, 368 pgs.
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Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman is a fanciful collection of short stories in a variety of forms, including those that use letters, poetry, and stories within stories. In the introduction, Gaiman explains what he means by trigger warnings and subsequently explains the seeds that began the stories and the thought processes behind them.  Readers who like surprises may want to skip the explanations and head right into the stories, because on their own, you can see how trigger warnings might be necessary for some readers.

“I’m thinking rather about those images or words or ideas that drop like trapdoors beneath us, throwing us out of our safe, sane world into a place much more dark and less welcoming. … And what we learn about ourselves in those moments, where the trigger has been squeezed, is this: the past is not dead.” (pg. XV)

Stories in the collection are twisted, have dark shadows that play at the edges, and will have readers contemplating what on earth they’ve just read.  “A Calendar of Tales” was a fun experiment conducted with the help of Twitter in which statements from strangers spawned ideas for stories, and these tales are spontaneous and captivating with images that references the months of the tales.  Readers will love the tone used by Gaiman, who builds little mysteries one word at a time.  Gaiman has chosen his formats and language very carefully — sucking readers in quickly and astonishing them by the end.  However, one story — The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, previously reviewed here — that makes an appearance in this collection may be better read in its illustrated format — it’s so much richer.  But one of the creepiest and unsettling stories in the collection is “Click-Clack Rattlebag” in which a young boy asks for a scary, but not too scary story before bed from his babysitter.  The story that’s told is not what the babysitter or the reader expects, and it will have readers looking very closely about the shadows at the edges of the room.

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman was a satisfactory collection and while the theme seems to be the inescapable past, many of these fanciful stories also seek answers to what happens when you begin forgetting or when the future you expected does not come to pass.

Other Reviews:

The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains

About the Author:

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Find out more about Neil at his website, find all his books at his online bookstore, and follow him on Facebook, tumblr, and his blog.

Mailbox Monday #346

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Coming Up Hot: Eight New Poets from the Caribbean for review from Akashic Books.

Featuring poems from Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Danielle Jennings, Ruel Johnson, Monica Minott, Debra Providence, Shivanee Ramlochan, Colin Robinson, and Sassy Ross. With an introduction by Kwame Dawes.

With a generous sample from each poet, this anthology is an opportunity to discover some of the best, new, unpublished voices from the Caribbean. This is a generation that has absorbed Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Martin Carter, and Lorna Goodison, while finding its own distinctive voice.

Peekash Press is a collaboration between Akashic and UK-based publisher Peepal Tree Press, with a focus on publishing writers from and still living in the Caribbean. The debut title from Peekash, Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean, was published in 2014.

Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Kimberly Smith from Sterling Children’s Books for review.

The classic song gets a fresh new twist! The fun begins when Grandma and Grandpa send invitations to their far-flung, modern, and multiracial family: Come to our house for the holidays—and bring your favorite pie! Off everyone goes, driving down snowy roads, riding the train, boarding a plane . . . even sailing along in a hot-air balloon. As each family faces an obstacle that delays their trip, they learn that sometimes the most old-fashioned form of transportation works best . . . NEIGH!

Lego DC Universe Super Heroes Phonics Boxed Set by Quinlan B. Lee, illustrated by Dave White, one of the first orders by my daughter from her Scholastic book club.

Phonics comes to life with LEGO (R) DC Super Heroes (TM) Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and more! Learn to read with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and all the other characters in the LEGO(R) DC UniverseTM)!

These books will readily appeal to a wide audience–from LEGO fans to DC Super Hero fans! Beginning readers will enjoy LEGO DC Universe’s well-recognized heroes from movies, TV, comics, video games, and more. This set includes ten books and two workbooks (focusing on short and long vowels), all held in a sturdy box with plastic handle.

Frozen: An Amazing Snowman by Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrated by Olga T. Mosqueda, a second book she ordered.

Featuring Olaf, the happy-go-lucky comic relief of Disney’s Frozen, this humorous tale of what it means to dream is told in verse and features charming illustrations.


Frozen: A Day in the Sun illustrated by Frank Berrios, her third book.

Love this GoodReads description: “Boys ages 3 to 7 will love this full-color storybook that features Kristoff and Sven from Disney’s Frozen!”


My Little Pony: Tricks and Treats by D. Jakobs, her fourth book selection.

It’s Nightmare Night in Ponyville! Join the ponies and their pals as they celebrate their version of Halloween. They dress up in silly costumes, collect lots of candy, and tell spooky stories about the evil Nightmare Moon!



Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman for review from TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins.

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.

What did you receive?