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Night, Neon: Tales of Mystery and Suspense

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From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life—from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger’s house, to a first-person account of a clon From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life—from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger’s house, to a first-person account of a cloned 1940s magazine pinup girl being sold at auction and embodying America’s ideals of beauty and womanhood. Taken as a whole, the collection forms a poignant tapestry of regular people searching for their place in a social hierarchy, often with devastating and disastrous results. Rendered with stylish, fresh writing from an author who continues to push the envelope, the stories deftly weave in and out of a stream-of-consciousness to reflect the ways we process traumatic experiences and impart that uncertainty and uneasiness to the reader. Originally appearing in publications as disparate as Harper’s, Vice, and Conjunctions, the stories comprising Night, Neon showcase Oates’ mastery of the suspense story—and her relentless use of the form to conduct unapologetically honest explorations of American identity.


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From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life—from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger’s house, to a first-person account of a clon From literary icon Joyce Carol Oates comes a brand new collection of haunting and, at times, darkly humorous mystery suspense stories. These are tales of psyches pushed to their limits by the expectations of everyday life—from a woman who gets lost on her drive home to her plush suburban home and ends up breaking into a stranger’s house, to a first-person account of a cloned 1940s magazine pinup girl being sold at auction and embodying America’s ideals of beauty and womanhood. Taken as a whole, the collection forms a poignant tapestry of regular people searching for their place in a social hierarchy, often with devastating and disastrous results. Rendered with stylish, fresh writing from an author who continues to push the envelope, the stories deftly weave in and out of a stream-of-consciousness to reflect the ways we process traumatic experiences and impart that uncertainty and uneasiness to the reader. Originally appearing in publications as disparate as Harper’s, Vice, and Conjunctions, the stories comprising Night, Neon showcase Oates’ mastery of the suspense story—and her relentless use of the form to conduct unapologetically honest explorations of American identity.

30 review for Night, Neon: Tales of Mystery and Suspense

  1. 4 out of 5

    Max

    I don't read short stories much, but I was intrigued by the emphasis of the collection being very "dark". All of the stories are subtle at first but are meant to make you ponder once they are finished. The premises are simple but that is to be expected with shorts ~75 pages long. From just the few stories I've read, I know that I need to read more of Oates! Her writing style is definitely my sort of thing, and I'd be really curious to try a full-length novel. Thank you Netgalley! I don't read short stories much, but I was intrigued by the emphasis of the collection being very "dark". All of the stories are subtle at first but are meant to make you ponder once they are finished. The premises are simple but that is to be expected with shorts ~75 pages long. From just the few stories I've read, I know that I need to read more of Oates! Her writing style is definitely my sort of thing, and I'd be really curious to try a full-length novel. Thank you Netgalley!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nikki "The Crazie Betty" V.

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates’ anthology, Faithless, I was really excited to dive into this. Especially being tagged as short stories of mystery and suspense. However, I was ultimately disappointed. For one, I felt like the collection was wrongly listed as mystery and suspense. The stories are more of a contemporary fiction feel and none of them really have any mystery to them. There were a couple of the stories that did stick out to me though. The first story, ‘Detour’, follows a Having thoroughly enjoyed Joyce Carol Oates’ anthology, Faithless, I was really excited to dive into this. Especially being tagged as short stories of mystery and suspense. However, I was ultimately disappointed. For one, I felt like the collection was wrongly listed as mystery and suspense. The stories are more of a contemporary fiction feel and none of them really have any mystery to them. There were a couple of the stories that did stick out to me though. The first story, ‘Detour’, follows a woman who may not have all her mental faculties. Is she being held hostage? Or is she forgetting something very important? That story and then ‘Parole Hearing’, where we are in the head of one of Manson’s girls as she resides in jail and is one time after another rejected for parole. For the most part, there is no mystery to any of these stories. I guess some of them have some suspense to them but mostly I just looked at all the stories as examples of how we all see reality differently. Our point of view is our point of view only and isn’t necessarily accurate to what is going on around us. The collection was ok but definitely not one of JCO’s best. Releases June 15, 2021 Received from Penzler Publishers via Netgalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaksen

    A lot of creepy stories. Like modern Gothic. People in difficult circumstances, making difficult choices. Here's a brief precis on each: (No spoilers.) 'Detour' An exploration into the mind - the aging mind, the confused mind and the story which hit closest to home for me. Well-done in every way. The one which will stay with me, as certain short stories do. Rank it up there with 'The Wallpaper,' and Stephen King's novella, 'Sun Dog.' 'Curious' About an egocentric, cynical writer's 'obsession' with A lot of creepy stories. Like modern Gothic. People in difficult circumstances, making difficult choices. Here's a brief precis on each: (No spoilers.) 'Detour' An exploration into the mind - the aging mind, the confused mind and the story which hit closest to home for me. Well-done in every way. The one which will stay with me, as certain short stories do. Rank it up there with 'The Wallpaper,' and Stephen King's novella, 'Sun Dog.' 'Curious' About an egocentric, cynical writer's 'obsession' with a young woman. It's not what you think. 'Miss Golden Dreams 1949' Highly erotic, scifi-ish, and, at least for me, a strange departure from what Ms Oates usually writes. 'Wanting' A virtual creepfest as a woman sinks deeper and deeper into hidden desires. 'Parole Hearing, California Institution for Women, Chino, CA' I thought I knew what this was about, and boy, was I right! Still, it gets worse as you read, but also very enlightening. 'Intimacy' While reading this one I wondered if the author was ever in the 'situation' the MC here is. Late afternoon, alone in a large building, meeting with one of her students who has a certain 'edge' about him/her. Yeah, I've kind have been there myself. 'The Flagellant' About a man responsible for something he will constantly - ad infinitum! - make excuses for. 'Vaping: A User's Manual' Horrifically real; a story to cringe through rather than just read. 'Neon, Night' The title story, but not my favorite. A wandering, rambling discourse through a young woman's thoughts as she chronicles how she got where she is - and where, very likely, she is going.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cody | CodysBookshelf

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC! This book releases in June. Some of Joyce Carol Oates’s best works are published with Mysterious Press, a smaller press that publishes her darker mystery/horror stuff and has been doing so for the last couple decades. Jack of Spades, The Pursuit, and Cardiff, by the Sea were all published by this press and all are winners—Night, Neon joins them, and how! These stories are razor-sharp and thrilling, matching the sleek and dark and dangerous cover Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC! This book releases in June. Some of Joyce Carol Oates’s best works are published with Mysterious Press, a smaller press that publishes her darker mystery/horror stuff and has been doing so for the last couple decades. Jack of Spades, The Pursuit, and Cardiff, by the Sea were all published by this press and all are winners—Night, Neon joins them, and how! These stories are razor-sharp and thrilling, matching the sleek and dark and dangerous cover (okay seriously, what a gorgeous cover!). I can’t quite decide what my favorite in the collection is, but these stood out: “Detour”: an aging woman likely suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s can’t get a handle on where she is, or where she belongs. Or is she totally in her right mind? A searing opener to this collection, this particular story quickened my pulse. “Curious”: a strange and somewhat off-putting story, what elevates this one, for me, is Oates’s spot-on characterization and that banger ending. “Intimacy”: JCO writes small, anxious situations well, and this terse interaction between a writer professor and an angry student—in the professor’s cramped office, no less—is another that had me nervously turning (digital) pages. “Night, Neon”: the narrative in the title story, the length of which edges into novella territory, is given room to stretch its legs. In this the reader gets to know the narrator, Juliana, and her experiences in various bars over the years. A mood of rainy melancholy hangs over this one, and it almost borders on noir. As one who’s experienced his share of blurry, hazy drunken nights in various restaurants and bars, I really connected with this story . . . and its portrayal of the way her romantic relationships have grown around her late-night drinking habits. This collection is even better than I expected, and I’m as big a Joyce Carol Oates fan as they come. Thrilling, suspenseful, (hey, that’s why these are called Tales of Mystery and Suspense!) I didn’t want to finish. Luckily JCO is always writing, always publishing. And we are better for it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was actually my first time reading any of Joyce Carol Oates's writing. Of course, I've heard her name a million times - which probably inflated my expectations a bit - but even so, I really enjoyed her writing. As many good short story collections often go, you don't really know what's happening until you're almost done with the story. She dives right in the middle and often emulates stream of consciousness, hopping from one time period to another. Still, the journey of figuring out who's t This was actually my first time reading any of Joyce Carol Oates's writing. Of course, I've heard her name a million times - which probably inflated my expectations a bit - but even so, I really enjoyed her writing. As many good short story collections often go, you don't really know what's happening until you're almost done with the story. She dives right in the middle and often emulates stream of consciousness, hopping from one time period to another. Still, the journey of figuring out who's talking, what happened, why you're hearing this POV - it's all part of the ride. I could see myself learning new things about some of these stories on a second or third read - even, shock and awe, imagine myself dissecting them in a book club or English class! I wouldn't say any of these stories are scary, mysterious, or suspenseful. All of them have dark undertones, are told by a twisted narrator, or are a little unsettling. You really stay for the excellent writing and characterizations that pack big punches in mere dozens of pages. Some of my favorites were "Detour," (the opening story) "Miss Golden Dreams 1949," "Parole Hearing, California Institution for Women, Chino, CA," and "Intimacy." Thank you to the publisher for the ARC via Netgalley!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    I've read several of JCO's full-length novels, and they've been pretty incredible -- exactly what you'd expect from an author as prolific and iconic as she is. But in my opinion, it's in her novellas and short stories where she really excels. The structure of the short story allows her to explore the darkest parts of the human psyche in an unflinching way in her trademark stream-of-consciousness style. The stories in Night, Neon ask a lot from the reader, but they really deliver on their unsettl I've read several of JCO's full-length novels, and they've been pretty incredible -- exactly what you'd expect from an author as prolific and iconic as she is. But in my opinion, it's in her novellas and short stories where she really excels. The structure of the short story allows her to explore the darkest parts of the human psyche in an unflinching way in her trademark stream-of-consciousness style. The stories in Night, Neon ask a lot from the reader, but they really deliver on their unsettling, disturbing concepts. I'm not sure calling these stories "tales of mystery and suspense" is entirely accurate, though. The stories are more disquieting than anything else, simultaneously subtle and ominous in their exploration of the inner workings of the human mind. The stories are uncomfortable and deeply psychological, while also serving as insightful critiques of modern society and the issues that plague it. A few of the standouts for me: - "Curious," in which a rich man performs a social experiment with devastating consequences; - "Parole Hearing," in which a Manson girl attempts to explain why she deserves to be released from prison; - "Intimacy," a claustrophobic tale in which a professor's meeting with a student takes an ominous turn; - "Vaping: A User's Manual," in which a teen boy deals with his mother's terminal illness the only way he knows how. Thank you to Penzler Publishers and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review. I'll be thinking about this collection of stories for a long time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Good collection!! Full review soon!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    Another trip into the bleak imagination of Oates. By now I’m used to it, having read a number of her books, especially short story collections. They don’t have an easy or immediate appeal and thus are somewhat difficult to recommend, but for me there’s something attractive about them. The bleakness is some of the appeal, definitely, Oates is gifted enough of a stylist to make it look good. She understands the degrees with which it should be gradually unveiled. She uses all the fifty shades of d Another trip into the bleak imagination of Oates. By now I’m used to it, having read a number of her books, especially short story collections. They don’t have an easy or immediate appeal and thus are somewhat difficult to recommend, but for me there’s something attractive about them. The bleakness is some of the appeal, definitely, Oates is gifted enough of a stylist to make it look good. She understands the degrees with which it should be gradually unveiled. She uses all the fifty shades of dark and unleashes a sort of quiet devastation and brutality upon her characters that only a master sadist would. And like a master sadist she seems to be an expert at knowing just where and how to twist the knife to the maximum effect. Most of this is owning to her profound psychological grasp of the psyche and the nature of relationship dynamics. Specifically male/female dynamics which are the theme of this collection. So by now you should have gathered this isn’t a fun and happy read and it isn’t going to have any love stories or any stories for this matter than don’t end in tragedy. But even if you might guess at their terrible destinations, these journeys into the darkness still make for an interesting read. The thing is, though, this collection being ever so timely, it’s very much from the recent bandwagon of a very specific kind of feminism, the strikingly dividing kind that essentially categorizes all men as brutes and violators and all women as some type of their victims. Oates is smarter and subtler than most of these writers so her takes are less polarizingly drum beating, but it’s still there, very potent, very pervasive and, frankly, much too one noted of an approach from such a talented author. And it does get tiresome. There are some excellent deviations from the look at all the ways this woman gets screwed over by men, which is a theme most perfectly epitomized in the final and longest of the stories here. Not sure of the titles, since the advance reading version the publisher provided tended to omit the, but #2 and 3 were great, the Marilyn auction one was excellent. Might be more I’m not thinking of. All in all, if you’re a fan of Oates’ writing as I am, you’ll probably enjoy this book. Or if you’re looking for that kind of male/female dichotomy in fiction it would work too. For me, it doesn’t so much, too simple, too reductive, too black and white. But if one must read about it, it should be by Oates or someone of her caliber and emotional intelligence. Plus no one does bleak like she can. It’s her signature color. Thanks Netgalley. This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Jackson

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Throughout the course of her stories, Oates draws attention to different elements of the human condition. Each story, while vastly different in topics, is raw and real. Hope and despair, love and hatred, toxic and healthy. These distinctions are drawn and blurred continuously in each story, urging the reader to pick a side only to discover that they were wrong. A beautiful collection of short stori Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Throughout the course of her stories, Oates draws attention to different elements of the human condition. Each story, while vastly different in topics, is raw and real. Hope and despair, love and hatred, toxic and healthy. These distinctions are drawn and blurred continuously in each story, urging the reader to pick a side only to discover that they were wrong. A beautiful collection of short stories by an author who truly has a grasp on humanity.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    One of my all time, long time favorite Authors has been Joyce Carol Oates and when I saw she came out with a book consisting of dark chilling, mystery & suspense stories; I knew I had to have it. It did not disappoint, the first story set the theme for how much I would enjoy enjoy the entirety of the book with its’ bizarre thrilling stories. They will blow and bend you mind and really make you think. To me it made me think of BLACK MIRROR on Netflix. You really need to check this out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Simms

    Individual story ratings: Detour - 3.5 Curious - 3 Miss Golden Dreams 1949 - 4.5 Wanting - 2 Parole Hearing, California Institution for Women, Chino, CA - 4.5 Intimacy - 4 The Flagellant - 4.5 Vaping: A User's Manual - 4 Night, Neon - 4 Average: 3.78 Individual story ratings: Detour - 3.5 Curious - 3 Miss Golden Dreams 1949 - 4.5 Wanting - 2 Parole Hearing, California Institution for Women, Chino, CA - 4.5 Intimacy - 4 The Flagellant - 4.5 Vaping: A User's Manual - 4 Night, Neon - 4 Average: 3.78

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

    Joyce Carol Oates, once again, proves her mastery of the written word with this sharp, disturbing set of short stories. Although the stories are brief, ranging from 10-75 pages, they pack an incredible punch. Oates excels at building tension that the reader becomes increasingly unable to shake. Even in stories that seemed innocent in their beginning, an aging woman driving home, a chance meeting in the park, a woman deciding whether or not to stop into a bar after work, the reader waits with ant Joyce Carol Oates, once again, proves her mastery of the written word with this sharp, disturbing set of short stories. Although the stories are brief, ranging from 10-75 pages, they pack an incredible punch. Oates excels at building tension that the reader becomes increasingly unable to shake. Even in stories that seemed innocent in their beginning, an aging woman driving home, a chance meeting in the park, a woman deciding whether or not to stop into a bar after work, the reader waits with anticipation, knowing that the weird, the mysterious, and the macabre are lurking around every corner. For me, the most unsettling of these tales, the ones most likely to linger long past the time the book is returned to the shelf are: "Detour" the first story in this collection and one that was spinetingling. Our protagonist is a middle-aged woman driving home from work. She encounters a detour and after experiencing car trouble finds herself being held against her will. We are left to wonder if the protagonist has entered some sort of Twilight Zone or if she is suffering from Dementia and has found herself unable to recognize the hallmarks of her home life. "Vaping: A User's Manual" where we find a troubled teenage boy full of resentment towards the father who has left him alone to handle the burden of his mother's terminal illness. As her illness progresses so does his need to plot revenge. "Curious" a rather ominous and unsettling story where an author makes a careful study of the fellow occupants of his small, anonymous town. When he settles on one he decides is deserving of his attention and financial support he could never imagine the consequences his actions will have on the simple life of his local grocery store cashier. Special thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bri Childs

    A deeply dark look at female fear and how inevitable giving in and giving up can be when your world seems heavy and lost. Whooof. I’m sure you read that and thought you couldn’t handle something that heavy, but if you’re a Joyce Carol Oates fan or want to be, this collection of suspenseful and dark stories needs to be on your list. I discovered JCO in college and immediately loved how she could set a scene and describe a very real character. I was so excited to read this collection and see an ev A deeply dark look at female fear and how inevitable giving in and giving up can be when your world seems heavy and lost. Whooof. I’m sure you read that and thought you couldn’t handle something that heavy, but if you’re a Joyce Carol Oates fan or want to be, this collection of suspenseful and dark stories needs to be on your list. I discovered JCO in college and immediately loved how she could set a scene and describe a very real character. I was so excited to read this collection and see an even darker side to her writing. Night, Neon simply gives you a pit in your stomach. As a woman, it’s impossible to miss the overall themes of female fear and fragility to overpowering men. There is also a thread running through all the characters in which you feel yourself sinking with them - giving up against the fight they can’t seem to muster. It’s heavy and unsettling and it’s great writing. Thank you to Mysterious Press for the advanced copy!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    This is unique, and emotion- and thought-provoking collection of short stories. The reader is treated to the insightful perceptions of a woman who is likely suffering from dementia, one of the Charles Manson’s followers, and a futuristic copy of Marilyn Monroe (or the likes of). Most of the stories start off slow, and then an unexpected event happens about 2/3 in that captures the reader’s attention. I think readers should be aware that a lot of these events are dark and traumatic (including the This is unique, and emotion- and thought-provoking collection of short stories. The reader is treated to the insightful perceptions of a woman who is likely suffering from dementia, one of the Charles Manson’s followers, and a futuristic copy of Marilyn Monroe (or the likes of). Most of the stories start off slow, and then an unexpected event happens about 2/3 in that captures the reader’s attention. I think readers should be aware that a lot of these events are dark and traumatic (including themes of abuse, homicide, and alcoholism), and could potentially be jarring for the reader. I don’t think the description of “mystery and suspense” fits these stories much at all. I appreciated the parts that I could! 6/10. Thank you very much to NetGalley and Penzler Publishers for the advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Mannion

    A collection of short stories previously published in various magazines and anthologies. I had not read any of them before, so all were new to me. Mysteries are the connection, as the title indicates, but there is also an attention to wordplay across the stories, which I found to be an unexpected thread that served as a sort of additional mystery for me. It's there in the opening tale, "Detour" and most prominent in its successor "Curious," which opens with a narrator claiming "I've never had th A collection of short stories previously published in various magazines and anthologies. I had not read any of them before, so all were new to me. Mysteries are the connection, as the title indicates, but there is also an attention to wordplay across the stories, which I found to be an unexpected thread that served as a sort of additional mystery for me. It's there in the opening tale, "Detour" and most prominent in its successor "Curious," which opens with a narrator claiming "I've never had the slightest curiousity about where my 'ideas' come from." Love the meta of this story, and it put me on the hunt for further nods to language and craft in the rest. "Wanting" and "Intimacy" were also among my favorites, but I found the entire collection a welcome summer read. Recommend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    kerrycat

    lovely make-your-skin-crawl tales inside, but that last one most of all . . . because there's nothing as disturbing as what is in your own head, is there? (minutes after I wrote this, it occurred to me that yes, while Juliana's story is in my head now, most likely because I can relate - unfortunately - to how her mind works, all of these stories are about what is in the main character's heads, as opposed to what reality might be, and of course, the word 'reality' is another hot mess to go into - lovely make-your-skin-crawl tales inside, but that last one most of all . . . because there's nothing as disturbing as what is in your own head, is there? (minutes after I wrote this, it occurred to me that yes, while Juliana's story is in my head now, most likely because I can relate - unfortunately - to how her mind works, all of these stories are about what is in the main character's heads, as opposed to what reality might be, and of course, the word 'reality' is another hot mess to go into - anyway, for clarification purposes, it isn't just the last story that falls into the above description)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Holloway Jones

    I felt that this book of stories did a great job highlighting the ingenuity and grit that makes this author one of my all time favorite authors. She has a unique voice that resonates so well with the imperfection of the human condition. I found the last story about the Neon lights to be the most compelling story in the book. I felt that it really gave voice to the #me too movement in a very real way that a lot of different people with connect to. I think everyone goes through transformations thr I felt that this book of stories did a great job highlighting the ingenuity and grit that makes this author one of my all time favorite authors. She has a unique voice that resonates so well with the imperfection of the human condition. I found the last story about the Neon lights to be the most compelling story in the book. I felt that it really gave voice to the #me too movement in a very real way that a lot of different people with connect to. I think everyone goes through transformations throughout life that help shape the adult that they become and is often the result of these abuses and manipulations that we all endure. Thanks for the ARC, NetGalley.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Night, Neon by Joyce Carol Oates. Obviously Oates is a prolific writer, and from her GR reviews she tends to be very hit and miss. I LOVED Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. But I've noticed from her reviews that she is very hit and miss, and I get that because she's not afraid to be dark. For me, this was a HIT! Short essays are my jam, and this felt very reminiscent of a Stephen King, who also excels at short stories. They are dark, twisted, and each was as capt Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Night, Neon by Joyce Carol Oates. Obviously Oates is a prolific writer, and from her GR reviews she tends to be very hit and miss. I LOVED Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. But I've noticed from her reviews that she is very hit and miss, and I get that because she's not afraid to be dark. For me, this was a HIT! Short essays are my jam, and this felt very reminiscent of a Stephen King, who also excels at short stories. They are dark, twisted, and each was as captivating as the next.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    Thank you to NetGalley and Penzler Publishers as well as Joyce Carol Oates for the copy in exchange for my honest review. Unfortunately Night, Neon just wasn't for me. There were times I would get into what Joyce Carol Oates was writing about and then out of nowhere it abruptly stops or goes in a completely different course. This is probably the writing style of Joyce Carol Oates as this was my first reading by her. I respect her writing as I would any author, because it's a unique, creative ski Thank you to NetGalley and Penzler Publishers as well as Joyce Carol Oates for the copy in exchange for my honest review. Unfortunately Night, Neon just wasn't for me. There were times I would get into what Joyce Carol Oates was writing about and then out of nowhere it abruptly stops or goes in a completely different course. This is probably the writing style of Joyce Carol Oates as this was my first reading by her. I respect her writing as I would any author, because it's a unique, creative skillset that I do not have, but I just didn't vibe with these stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    WeLoveBigBooksAndWeCannotLie

    Night, Neon by Joyce Carol Oates goes on sale today!!! Thank you so much @mysteriouspress and @penzlerpub for gifting us this copy! This book is a collection of mysterious and suspenseful short stories. The first story pulled me in and I found myself wanting more! Then I moved on to the next little story and I was once again drawn in. This keeps happening on repeat throughout all of the stories! I have read short stories before but never in this genre and I loved it! Make sure you visit our Amazo Night, Neon by Joyce Carol Oates goes on sale today!!! Thank you so much @mysteriouspress and @penzlerpub for gifting us this copy! This book is a collection of mysterious and suspenseful short stories. The first story pulled me in and I found myself wanting more! Then I moved on to the next little story and I was once again drawn in. This keeps happening on repeat throughout all of the stories! I have read short stories before but never in this genre and I loved it! Make sure you visit our Amazon Storefront so you can get a copy too!🌺🧜🏻‍♀️

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria

    I feel like I very rarely don’t like a book as usually I can get into it, even if it’s not my typical genre or not exciting but this one was impossible. I made it to either the third or fourth short story and returned the book. The stories all dragged on with no real purpose. The one about Marilyn Monroe went literally no where and I had to call it quits after that. This is my first read from this author and I have to say I’m not a fan.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura Farrell-Wortman

    This collection started strong but quickly fizzled out. Most of these stories read more like writing exercises than fully realized short stories; I found myself skimming in order to wade through the reams of unnecessary prose. Disappointing. [I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and W.W. Norton & Co in exchange for an unbiased review.]

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katy McCollom

    A dark, haunting collection of short stories that will keep you on the edge of your sheet. Joyce Carol Oates has done it again! It is rare for me to enjoy each and every story in a collection, but this collection delivered. They were eerie, bizarre, and sometimes uncomfortable, I loved it. If you enjoyed “where are you going, where have you been”, give this one a try.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shelbie Sickler

    I picked up this book just by the short story and horror description. I was not impressed at all and honestly wanted to give up reading the book. I pushed through and ended up liking a couple of the stories. I did not understand the writing and some of the stories made no sense to me at all. I will give 3 stars for the ones I did like and could follow along.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    Joyce Carol Oates is my go to author when I want well written, dark novels. I couldn’t finish this collection of short stories. I read 2 1/2 and called it quits. These 3 felt like a parody of Oates. I imagined her agent telling her that she was past deadline and to quickly whip out a few stories. Quality is irrelevant. I’m moving on.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ruthanne Johnston

    What can you say about America’s literary icon. Don’t dive into one of her fantastic novels if you arena beginner to her writing. Minst4ad, try a book of her novellas like this one or the amazing CARDIFF BY THE SEA. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mario

    An excellent collection of new, dark tales by a great,prolific author

  28. 5 out of 5

    MARY L

    Twelve short stories that are mysterious and disturbing. Not at all uplifting. Alcohol, abuse, and prison make for realistic but depressing reading.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tom O’Leary

    Fun, thrilling, surprising noir-ish tales from one of our most prolific authors. I found myself riveted by these tales. MISS GOLDEN DREAMS 1949 is especially enchanting and spine tingling. Brava.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Mcallister

    A slog, if I'm being honest. A slog, if I'm being honest.

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