Brunch recommends an anthology of fantasy. And chick lit about the horror that follows a break-up

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 08, 2015 19:57 IST

An anthology of fantasy with some chilling horror stories. And chick lit about the horror that follows a break-up

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions And Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Hachette India; Pages: 352; Price: Rs 499

Everybody wants Neil Gaiman’s books on their shelves. He has written novels, graphic novels, short stories and more – they revolve around fantasy, sometimes inching towards science fiction, sometimes caressing horror. The critics love him, the masses adore him.

And just like trigger warnings on the Internet that warn you about potentially harmful content, which you click on anyway, Gaiman’s Trigger Warning triggers something visceral inside you, it first warns you then tempts you, because, We each have our little triggers… things that wait for us in the dark corridors of our lives.

Many of these stories will raise the hair on your neck, and make you hear creepy piano tunes in the recesses of your mind. Some will invoke powerful thoughts, others are humourous and will make you laugh.

You plunge into darkness as you walk with a tourist at midnight through an abandoned maze. An artist has a bizarre encounter with an ex-girlfriend, and you wonder if it is in fact the other way round?

As he prepares for bed, a little boy tells his babysitter about the Click Clack monsters – for the click clacks we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness – in that disturbing way that only children can.

Gaiman has 2.22 million Twitter followers, and there is a compilation of 12 very short stories within a short story inspired by his readers on Twitter. In the very beginning, he tells you how he wrote these stories, the genesis of the ideas and other anecdotes.

You may have read everything that Gaiman has ever written or this could be your first. Either way, this is a book that belongs on every bookshelf.

– Satarupa Paul

Who, Me?

by Tina Sharma Tiwari

Publisher: Penguin Books India; Pages: 272; Price: Rs 225 are never easy. They’re particularly messy if you were engaged to be married. And absolutely horrible if you’ve been dumped for someone else – a socialite, for example. This is precisely what happened to Tara.

She hates her job, is still crazy about her cheating ex and, well, has rather low self-esteem. But on the upside, she has her girls: a best friend, and a cousin. And between the three, several crazy plans are hatched.

They try to get Arun (the former fiancé) back, or maybe just convince him that his current fiancée is cheating on him (she isn’t, but they try to get her a fake potential boy anyway).

They stalk the two (online and in real life). They finally decide to turn plain jane Tara into some sort of swan and make all men at large swoon. All men, including Arun.

They have a deadline: their 10-year school reunion in a few months. There will be Arun and a bunch of hotties from school, so you wonder who’s going to turn out to be Prince Charming.

But when the girls reach Nainital, you realise that isn’t what the book is really about (okay, maybe a little). What seemed as irrelevant details in chick lit are actually clues for what could perhaps become a thriller. And it does for a while. But in the end, it is a story of a 30-something girl, who thinks she’s special in no particular way, coming to terms with herself, her friends and well, becoming special.

– Saudamini Jain

From HT Brunch, May 10

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