Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances Book Pdf ePub

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

3.9243,065 votes • 4,967 reviews
Published 03 Feb 2015
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher William Morrow
ISBN 0062330268

Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling 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," written exclusively for this volume.
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. 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" are 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 sophisticated 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. Full of wonder and terror, surprises and amusements, Trigger Warning is a treasury of delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul from one of the most unique and popular literary artists of our day.

"Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances" Reviews

- Wilkes Barre, PA
Mon, 02 Mar 2015

The monsters in our cupboards and our minds are always there in the darkness, like mold beneath the floorboards and behind the wallpaper, and there is so much darkness, an inexhaustible supply of darkness. The universe is amply supplied with night.
There is a diversity of material in Neil Gaiman’s third and latest collection of short fiction, Trigger Warning. It is a potpourri of twenty four pieces, if we take as a single piece the entry called A Calendar of Tales, which, itself, holds a dozen. They are not all, despite the collection title, dark or frightening. He brings in some familiar names, David Bowie, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Maleficent, Snow White, a traveler from other Gaiman writings, Shadow Moon, twists endings into satisfactory curls for the most part, wanders far afield in setting and content, well, within the UK anyway, tosses in a few poems for good measure, and even offers up a few chuckles. He is fond not only of science fiction as a source, but of Scottish and Irish legends as well. If you are not smitten with the story you are reading at a given moment, not to worry, there is another close behind that is certain to satisfy.

Neil Gaiman Photo by Kimberly Butler – on Harper Collins site
Gaiman is overt in noting the absence of connective tissue among the tales. But there are some themes that pop up a time or three. Living things interred in walls, whether after they had expired or not. A bit of time travelling. Fairy tales are fractured. Favorite writers are admired.
In the introduction, Gaiman tells us a bit about the origins of each of the 24, a nifty item to check back on after one has read them all. Some of the material has been developed for other media. I added a link at bottom to a more-than-text offering re the Calendar of Tales, for one.
Overall I found Trigger Warning is a pretty good survey of Gaiman’s impressive range. He seems able to realize the dreams of the alchemists by transforming what seems every experience he has and every notion that crosses his interior crawl into gold. And some of the stories here are glittery indeed.
I quite enjoyed the collection. The uplift of the best more than made up for the downdraft of the lesser. If you enjoy fantasy, with a good dollop of horror, you could definitely give it a shot.
==============================THE STORIES
1 – Making a Chair – a poem about the writing process.
2 – A Lunar Labyrinth – a tribute to Gene Wolfe – a traveler who enjoys roadside oddities is brought to a maze that is brought into a form of darkness by the full moon.
Here is a link to a site that will clue you in on roadside oddities in the USA. There is a book on such things for the other side of the pond, but I did not find a comparable link
3 – The Thing about Cassandra – An imaginary connection becomes real, with a delicious twist
4 – Down to a Sunless Sea – an abominable feast, but with some just desserts
5 – The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain - A not wholly human dwarf engages a local man to lead him to a cave reputed to be filled with tainted gold – I could not get the image of Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister out of my tiny mind while immersed in this one. Sometimes the truth hurts.
6 – My Last Landlady – the rent is definitely too damn high
7 – Adventure Story – a bit of fun guaranteed to make you smile
8 – Orange – A teen who thinks she’s all that may indeed be – another smile-worthy item
9 – A Calendar of Tales – I won’t go into each – the collection was written from ideas received on-line. I found it a mixed bag, with March (Mom has a big secret), August ( a tale of fire and foolishness), September (a magic ring with the quality of a bad penny), October (a sweet tale, involving a Jinni), and December (a hopeful time-travel piece) my favorites
10 – The Case of Death and Honey – a fantastical tale in which a certain Baker Street resident takes on the mystery of death itself
11 - The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury – a tribute to Gaiman’s mentor
12 – Jerusalem – on one of the dangers of visiting the city
13 – Click-clack the Rattlebag – stories can be scary, regardless of the age of the teller
14 – An Invocation of Incuriousity – a time-travel piece – don’t touch the settings
15 – And Weep, Like Alexander – one possible reason why we do not have some of the futuristic inventions we expected long ago – cute, not scary
16 – Nothing O’Clock – a Doctor Who tale with a timely solution
17 – Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale – a fable with a moral
18 – The Return of the Thin White Duke – the completion of a story begun and abandoned while back for a magazine project on Bowie
19 – Feminine Endings – beware of street statue-performers
20 – Observing the Formalities – Maleficent as narrator of a poem about proper forms
21 – The Sleeper and the Spindle – A fairy tale with a nice twist
22 – Witch Work – a poem on the limits of witchy magic
23 – In Relig Odhrain – a poem on a saint who suffered an awful demise
24 – Black Dog – Shadow Moon stops in an ancient pub and is drawn into some serious darkness, scary fun.
Review posted – 3/20/15
Publication date – 2/3/2015
This review has also been posted at
=============================EXTRA STUFF
Links to the author’s personal, Twitter, Tumblr and FB pages
Here is a link to his separate blog
For a full-on media-rich offering the Calendar of Tales piece in Trigger Warning can be seen here
Harper has an on-line reading guide
Other Gaiman books I have reviewed
The Graveyard Book
The Ocean at the End of the Lane

- Chicago, IL
Thu, 22 Jan 2015
I’ll be honest and say that Neil Gaiman could publish his grocery list and I’d read it. American Gods is pretty much my favorite book in the world. I reread it once a year and I always find something new. So I basically stood up and danced around my office when I received an early copy of these short stories. I know I just said last week I don’t really do short stories, but people, it’s Neil Gaiman. I would rather have a full length novel, but I really enjoyed these overall.
To begin, I actually loved the lengthy prologue. Gaiman goes through each story and describes why it was written or who it was written for. I really liked that extra personal touch and I felt it made for richer reading-despite the short format. I loved the female pirate in “A Calendar of Tales” and “The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury” touched my heart. There’s even a story of an igloo built of books-what booklover wouldn’t be drawn to that? “The Sleeper and the Spindle” was a fantastic fairy tale twist and definitely gave me the shivers while I was reading. “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” was deliciously creepy.
My issue often times with short story anthologies is the tie-ins to other books or series that I might not have read. Two stories in Trigger Warning reflect two of Gaiman’s own books, American Gods and The Ocean at the End of the Lane. “The Case of Death and Honey” is Gaiman’s Sherlock Holmes story but also with a nod to Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Holmes series. Though that series is still on my lengthy to be read list, I still found that story to be one of my favorites. I’ve never read a Doctor Who book, despite the fact that I’ve been watching the show since I was 3. While I doubt I’ll seek out a full length book, I did still like “Nothing O’clock”, the story featuring the Doctor.
In the past when I’ve read short stories I find my mind wandering trying to figure out how much is left-because its not usually enough. The best praise I can give Trigger Warning is to say that I was completely immersed in most of the stories. I was intrigued, entertained and even a bit rattled by Gaiman’s words.
4 stars!
Thank you William Morrow and Edelweiss for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!

Bookdragon Sean
- The United Kingdom
Thu, 06 Apr 2017

Gaiman has written so many weird and wonderful things over the years. I find his talent truly remarkable, especially the way he can dip in and out of different genres. He does not restrict himself to one style, but plays around with words and stories like a true master. He is one of the most multi-talented writers alive today.
And in here there is a collection of very diverse pieces. We have fantasy and horror. We have those drawn from myths and the writings of other authors. My particular favourite was The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury. It’s more of a recognition piece than an actual story. Gaiman pays homage to a man who influenced him artistically and intellectually; he even sent the work to Bradbury in hospital shortly before he died, and he responded with a thank you video. It’s a touching story, but it felt at odds with some of the others in here.
As far as typical short story collections go, this doesn’t quite work. Only in the sense that short story collections are supposed to be a collection of similar stories, at least in terms of theme and purpose, successful ones speak to each other as you progress through. I’m of course thinking about the writing of Alice Munro and James Joyce here, and other greats of the short story form. However, this doesn’t quite do the same thing. This isn’t new work by Gaiman, as his recent collection of stories Norse Mythology is. Instead, short stories he has written over the years (some as many as seven years apart) are published here altogether for the first time. It’s completely random.
They are all brought together by this very loose idea of a “trigger warning.” It’s an idea that there will be a trigger within the writing, a glimpse of something unusual or uncanny that reveals the unseen. It’s an immediate shift of tone. Gaiman defines it in the introduction:
"There are little things that upset us. That’s not quite what we’re talking about here, tough. I’m thinking 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. Our hearts skip a ratatat drumbeat into our chests, and we fight for breath. Blood retreats from our faces and our fingers, leaving us pale and gasping and shocked. And what we learn about ourselves in those moments, where the trigger has been squeezed, is this: the past is not dead."
Certainly, such a descriptor fits some of the stories perfectly, and in some cases I could sense the exact line or phrase: it was blatant. In other cases, there was no semblance of one. The Bradbury story, though in itself a fantastic piece of writing, does not have one. I can only conclude that such a thing was used as an attempt to bring unrelated stories together and market them as a collection of writing. So I found this rather difficult to review. Most of the short stories in here are really good pieces of writing, Gaiman at his best, though they don’t all fit the model the book is trying to prescribe. Think of it this way: you have a bunch of lovely ingredients and each in their own right are enjoyable, but when thrown together the result is a big mess.
However, I can’t overlook those original ingredients. They don’t work together, but on their own they are still good; thus, I only recommend this to loyal fans of the author, those that love his writing and are perhaps willing to overlook some of the issues here if it means reading more of the said writing.

- Ashburn, VA
Sat, 02 Jan 2016

So many wonderful and amazing short stories all wrapped up in an amazing book! Seriously! I have no idea how I even came across this book but I'm so happy that I did. I think this is my second book from him that I've read.. it could be my third too.. I have no idea. I just know that I have a bunch of his books on my TBR.
Trigger Warning gave you stories from Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who to some creepy or romantic stories. It gave you a wide variety of stories that you are bound to fall in love with at least one of them.
I liked a lot of them, like: The Case of Death and Honey mostly because I just love Sherlock Holmes. Anything that has to do with him is obviously awesome and I'll probably end up loving it. Click-Clack the Rattlebag, was a super creepy one that had such good twists in it. It made me cringe (in the good way - if there is one?) and I just ended up loving it. Sometimes you need a good scary story in your life. Thank god it isn't Friday the 13th or Halloween because I'd probably crap my pants. The Sleeper and the Spindle was AHHHMAZZZINGGG. It had strong female characters. It also gave you a bad ass queen to fall in love with. I mean who doesn't love a good fairy tale cross over kind of book. Anything that resembles a disney princess (yes I said that because I grew up with disney!!) is alright in my book.
I could go on and on about all of the stories within this amazing book but I wont. WHY? Well, because you people need to go get this book and read it for yourselves! Honestly, it wont take that much time off of your hands. You'll breeze through it and hopefully you'll love it and thank me for it.
Seriously, go read it. NOW!

- Boaz, AL
Thu, 16 Jul 2015

Wow, I'm certainly in the minority on this one. (Or maybe not. Once the dust has settled and adoring Gaiman fans are finished slobbering over this truly uninspired collection of "short fictions and disturbances"...{read: cast-off ideas and random vanity-noodling}, I think that 3.94 cume might come crashing down).
(Or maybe I'm just a rock-hurling philistine. But, no, I really liked American Gods, I adored The Ocean at the End of the Lane, ditto Coraline and Neverwhere. Ok, not a die-hard fan here, but I sure appreciate his vivid imagination, if not his "literary alchemy" {huh? hyperbolize much, blurb writers?})
All I can say is, of this previously-published collection of 24 entries (including 4 lackluster poems), maybe three of them seemed remotely worthwhile. (In baseball parlance, 3 for 24 is a .125 batting average, hardly a collection to drool over).
I should have been leery with the inordinate amount of time Gaiman used in the introduction to preface Trigger Warning, almost like a used car salesman trumping up the virtues of a shiny retread, knowing full well that underneath the fresh wax job is an engine just waiting to throw a rod. Seriously, if it weren't for the strength of the very last tale, "Black Dog" (not coincidentally, the longest offering, and really the only one with a consistently enjoyable plot arc, somewhat tied to the American Gods metaverse) this probably would've gotten one star from me. Most everything here (except the last story, and, perhaps, "Nothing O'Clock" {an episode of "Doctor Who" Gaiman penned}) needs to be returned to the idea box, and either expanded upon, or scrapped.

Mon, 12 Jan 2015

I prefer Gaiman's novel-length work, but you do get something in this collection you don't get in longform: his huge range and vast depths of creativity. Most readers will probably only connect with a few pieces here, but it's worth it to read the ones you don't dig as much because they're just so different and so inventive and it's hard to believe they all came from one brain.

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