I had never read Neil Gaiman before, though I had in a vague way heard his name. And I liked his quirky picture on the back of the book. I liked his writing in the Introduction, explaining his use of Trigger Warnings – now sometimes even used in college classrooms to give students a chance to not read an assignment if upper levels of discomfort might be the outcome.
Made me nervous just to read those words – since my wonderful and powerful imagination can easily place me in – shall we say? – interesting situations. I also liked his way of creating a paragraph in the Introduction, giving the lineage of the story – in essence, what occurrences / ideas had triggered each. And I read each one, usually just a few minutes after finishing the story. But not before.
What a mind this man has! And the places he is willing to go with it! Plus the things in this world that twist that imagination / mind on. Yum.
My favorites? How can I pick my favorites? “The Truth Is A Cave in the Black Mountains….” for the slowly revealed symmetry and justice. The inside-out revealing of Adventure Story. Orange is just terrific. I could, of course, go on and on. The Black Dog – the last tale in the book – is also terrific. And perhaps a summation of Gaiman’s worldview.
You might want to read just one story a day, to let your mental taste buds recover. The language, the atmosphere, the tales themselves. I think perhaps an addiction is coming on.