There’s nothing like the excitement of a new book by a favourite author. No matter what the book is about, you can be pretty sure you’ll be in for a good time.
My list of favourite authors is a mutable, ever-changing beast of a list. But there are some authors who will likely be on it permanently. Neil Gaiman is one. Stephen King is another. J.K. Rowling – and wouldn’t it be something if she wrote another children’s fantasy series? Newer additions to the favourites list include Tana French, Laini Taylor and Justin Cronin. Other writers on the list (P.L. Travers, Elizabeth Peters, L.M. Montgomery, Madeleine L’Engle, Roald Dahl, Reginald Hill) are, unfortunately, no longer here with us.
Over the past few days, I’ve been indulging in the bookish bliss of reading a new book by a favourite author: I just finished Neil Gaiman’s latest, the short story collection Trigger Warning, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
In any short story collection, there’s usually some unevenness. Some stories will be better than others – yes, even when they’re all written by your favourite author!
I enjoyed all of the stories and poems in Trigger Warning, but of course I had some clear favourites:
“The Thing About Cassandra” about a boy’s imaginary girlfriend.
“The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains”, which is a reread for me. It’s appeared in a previous anthology, Stories, but while I do have that anthology, I don’t think that’s where I read it initially. It might actually have been somewhere online …
“Orange” – I loved the questionnaire format and how Gaiman was able to tell the story so well using that format.
“The Case of Death and Honey” – a Sherlock Holmes story, and another reread, as it had originally appeared in A Study in Sherlock.
“Nothing O’Clock”, a Doctor Who short story. Need I say more?
“The Sleeper and the Spindle”, because I love how Gaiman portrayed the queen.
And finally, “The Black Dog”, because it’s a Shadow short story. In the introduction Gaiman says:
There is one last [Shadow] story to be told, about what happens to Shadow when he reaches London. And then, if he survives that, it will be time to send him back to America. So much has changed, after all, since he went away.
I can hardly wait until he tells that last short story! Hopefully it will mean that’s when Gaiman intends to start writing the sequel to American Gods!
Have you indulged in a new book by a favourite author lately?