Monday, September 12, 2016
Remaking in your image
I am dragging ass today (or all of the last two weeks) and don't have the energy to go story-by-story through Trigger Warning and offer an opinion of each piece.
I will say that I enjoyed the book as a whole, and in many ways it was a departure from much of the Gaiman that I've read before. There was a touch of science fiction thrown in, a story about an artist that seemed like a truly dark reversal of Neverwhere, a lovely poem about writer's block and chairs, and a delightful addition to the American Gods universe (that felt perhaps a bit too much like the last delightful addition to the American Gods universe). I can't think of a single story that I hated, and I want to spend a little time talking about a couple of stories that I loved.
"The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains" and "The Sleeper and the Spindle" are both available as standalone illustrated books. I've picked them up and looked through them both in comic shops and bookstores but I haven't had the money to buy both of them and I feel guilty about reading books I can't buy so I just admired the art and set them back down. I had no idea the stories were included in Trigger Warning but I was delighted to finally be able to read both of them and both of them are WONDERFUL.
"The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains" is a spooky folktale about loss and what you're willing to sacrifice to get what you want. It's more of a novella than a short story and it's lovely - you can practically feel the mist condensing on your skin and hear the waves slapping on the shore as you move through the story with Gaiman's characters and they progress toward their questionable goal.
"The Sleeper and the Spindle" is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty with a side-order of Snow White and it kicks utter ass. I don't want to say anything more than that because it's so delightful and unexpected that I'd hate to spoil any of the surprises the story holds. Suffice it to say that this is really the only version of either of the original stories that I'm capable of giving a shit about anymore. When Gaiman makes a story his own he does it right.
Gaiman, Neil. Trigger Warning. William Morrow. New York: New York. (2015).