“Trigger Warning,” Neil Gaiman’s Third Short Story Collection
The master of mystery, magic, and horror is back with a new collection of short stories that ponders the masks we wear and our individual stories. Gaiman mixes the modern world with that of the fantastical in Trigger Warning. From re-visiting the world of his beloved novel American Gods in the short story “Black Dog,” in which the main character wanders alongside murder victims, to “Down a Sunless Sea,” where an old woman hides a dreadful secret, each story will have your hair standing on edge.
However, not all of his stories are out-and out creepy. In one tale, he has a wife spilling the secrets of her late husband to anyone who will listen in a spine-tingling metaphor for the onset of Alzheimer’s. While Gaiman’s monsters are scary, it’s the unveiling of the masks that we wear in our daily life that are the real horrors.
Gaiman also ponders what it means to die and what happens to a person’s story after they have shuffled off their mortal coil. While their memory may live on, their ability to tell their life’s story from their point of you is gone and their voice will never be heard from again.
Whether it is bringing depression to life using magical realism or crafting a tale of subtle horror, Trigger Warning explores the dark side of life in all of its terrifying glory.