Mel's Reviews > Pulp Fiction - The Dames

Pulp Fiction - The Dames by Otto Penzler
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's review
Nov 23, 12

bookshelves: 20th-century-fiction, pulp
Read in March, 2010

I really enjoyed this collection of pulp stories. Most of the stories were detective or cop mysteries. The women in the stories had a huge variety of characterisation though, from burlesque dancers out for revenge, cops, lawyers, criminals, bimbos, murderers. The stories were mainly from the 30s and 40s, as you would expect there was a degree of sexism within the stories (like the lawyer who married her husband on the day she graduated the bar, and then he was her only client – so she could be housewife and lawyer!) but on the whole most of the stories were great. I think one of my favourites was Snowbound, a tough woman criminal, running a dancing club taking on a rival gang. The story was written in the first person and sounded exactly like a man could be telling the tale, she was intelligent, tough and quick witted, but obviously a woman. My one criticism of this collection is there appeared to be no stories written by women (though I have to say I did wonder at some of the ones written under pseudonyms). All told I think this is a fantastic pulp collection and it made me really want to read more.
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