This was certainly a good choice to kick off my 2017 reading. I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaiman since I first read Coraline as a child. The fantastical elements Gaiman is able to weave into our own world blew me away then and still blows me away now. Since then, I have read 5 of his novels and now one of his short story collections. Until this point, I had not read many short stories. I liked the idea of it – testing the very limits of descriptive language by condensing whole tales and worlds into as few words as possible – so I decided it was a style of writing I must try to read.
Trigger Warning is Gaiman’s latest collection of short stories and contains pieces he has written over a number of years and two previously unseen stories. The last story in the collection is an American Gods sequel and follows the main character, Shadow Moon, on one of his many journeys after the events of the novel (I read American Gods over 2 years ago and very much enjoyed it).
Each story varies in length and style. Some are structured like poems and one is even in the style of an interview questionnaire. I really enjoyed the variety in the collection. Not one story felt the same as another which meant it was refreshing and exciting from start to finish. In the introduction, Neil Gaiman explains that, whilst most collections are linked by an idea or theme, this one wasn’t. He believes this helps the reader experience stories they ‘would have otherwise never read’.
Shortly after finishing this book, I went out and bought two more of his short story collections. I am looking forward to reading them very much. I also feel my eyes have been opened to the potential wonders of short stories as a genre of writing, something I hope to explore further in the future.