If I have a favorite author, it is Neil Gaiman, and the reason is simple: he surprises me. I’m a lover of stories in all forms, and the problem with that is that it has become difficult for authors to surprise me. I can almost always sort of tell how something will end up, what option a character will choose, what might intervene to change the tale–and I’m not alone here. It’s a problem that plagues other story lovers as well.
But the stories in Trigger Warning, like others penned by Gaiman, take me to worlds I can’t anticipate. He can genuinely fill me with wonder, with terror, with confusion of the best kind. Sometimes, he even goes further than my imagination wants to stretch, and I will ponder how the man manages to fit all these universes in his mind.
“What is bigger than the universe?” she asked.
“Underspace and Undertime,” said the Duke. “For they both include the universe. But I suspect you seek a more poetic, less accurate answer. The mind, then, for it can hold a universe, but also imagine things that have never been, and are not.”
–“The Return of the Thin White Duke.”
Monsters are scary and real again in Gaiman’s prose.
I could review each story individually, and maybe I will one day. In the spirit of River Song, I shall avoid spoilers. I think it’s better that my readers obtain this book as soon as possible. Allow yourself to be enchanted and, yes, disturbed.
In a previous post, I discussed the concept of the “trigger warning.”