Fast Women Neon Lights is a collection of eighteen short stories from different authors, set in the 80s. It is described as neon noir and I have absolutely no clue what that means but I was on a Short Story kick, still am, so I excitedly requested this. I must admit, I had really high hopes when I started off but it quickly went down and when I finished I was mostly feeling “Meh”.
Almost all the stories have a “this time, it was different” or “this was his/her shot” kind of theme running through it. Yes, it is crime inspired but I was hoping for a little variety but most of them felt like they were running into each other and after a while it all started to blur and got too predictable. This isn’t necessarily the authors’ fault, more the person who put the anthology together.
STORIES & WRITING
Since there are eighteen stories, I won’t review each one. Instead I’ll just tell you and overview of what I thought and my favourites. The biggest negative in this collection is the lack of tolerable female characters. I mean, was the 80s crime world ONLY filled with strippers and stupid women with the occasional sexy “freak” thrown in? I don’t know, I’m not familiar having been non existent during that time, but almost all of these stories, except for Fleckman’s Fix by Preston Lang and Widowman by Matthew J.Hockey. Even that one was a little off but I really enjoyed the female character in it.
Apart from these two faults, the blurring of story lines and the lack of interesting female characters the collections of stories were pretty entertaining. It didn’t have me splitting my sides in laughter but it certainly kept me entertained enough to keep reading. I will say the characters are terribly irritating and you want to slap each and every one of them but I’d assume if a story made me feel that emotional then it’s just excellent writing.
Since it isn’t one author, I can’t comment on the style of writing. The stories mostly were well paced and some of them were definite page turners. But again, mostly male characters and if there were female characters they weren’t really interesting. A pity because I imagine you could do a lot with the female characters in this. Note : If you don’t understand some of these slang you’re going to have a difficult time googling, just like I did.
Would I read again? Yes, my favourite stories from here, I’d definitely read again. I probably will buy books written by those authors as well.
The Fast Women and Neon Lights anthology is a wild criminal romp inspired by eighties crime movies and television shows, as well as the wacky, over-the-top eighties style and aesthetic.
These eighteen hard-hitting, emotional, and often-hilarious stories written by some of today’s top neo-noir authors will disturb you, make you laugh, and most of all, keep you highly entertained from cover to cover! Car thieves, down-on-their-luck Karate guys, out-of-control valley girls, Air Jordan-obsessed clutz robbers, professional opponent wrestlers, aspiring female wrestlers, Oingo Boingo-obsessed cocaine fiends, vice cop mashups, high-stakes gamblers, and heroin-addicted punk rock managers are just a taste of what you’ll find in these dark pages!
*I received a copy on netgalley but opinions expressed are completely my own.