Review: Trigger Warning

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning is an anthology of 24 short stories written by Neil Gaiman.  I often find short stories entertaining but ultimately unsatisfying, and I think that pretty much describes how I felt about most of the stories here.  I bought this on sale for $1.99 earlier this year.  I like Neil Gaiman’s writing so, for that price, it seemed worth a try.  Many of the stories had odd endings, usually with some sort of small twist at the end.  The problem with an anthology full of twisty endings is that the reader quickly begins to anticipate the ending and they lose their impact.

I was expecting the stories to be a little scary based on the introduction, or at least disturbing, but they really weren’t.  “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” is a little creepy, but only because I’d heard the story before and I knew what was happening this time.  Otherwise, the creepiness doesn’t show up until the very end of the story and, by then, the story is over and you’re moving on to something else.  I thought “Feminine Endings” was also a bit creepy.

There was one very pleasant surprise in this anthology.  The very last story, “Black Dog”, features Shadow from American Gods.  It’s set after The Monarch of the Glen which is a novella found in a different anthology.  I hadn’t realized there was another American Gods story out there, and I enjoyed this one.

I enjoyed nearly all of the stories while I was reading them, but I often felt disappointed by the endings.  A lot of them had interesting and clever premises but left me wanting more.  More story, more closure, or more answers.  Some of them could have made an interesting basis for a full-length story.  The stories I enjoyed the most tended to be the longer ones.  Aside from the aforementioned “Black Dog”, I particularly liked the Sherlock story called “The Case of Death and Honey” and “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain”.