21 short contemporary stories
Review,  Fiction

Fading Stars by Tanmay Kulkarni // 21 short contemporary stories

Fading Stars was a collection of 21 short contemporary stories with good themes, motivational messages, and strong beliefs but sadly this didn’t turn out good for me.

21 short contemporary stories

Fading Stars : A Short Story Collection by Tanmay Kulkarni

Publication Date : September 23rd 2021

Publisher : The 2am Thoughts Publication

Genre : Anthology / Short story collection / Fiction

Pages : 176

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Disclaimer – Many thanks to author for sending book, in exchange for an honest review.
This post contains affiliate links.


When the world shuts down, stories come out to play.
These are stories of people, who end up looking inwards instead of around, pondering the meaning of it all in the middle of their mundane, transcendental lives. Letters are exchanged, sleep becomes the enemy, things- people, ideas of people, love, faith die and sometimes, it becomes okay and sometimes there isn’t enough time. There are fathers and friends and Gods and soldiers, all looking for someone who understands.


Fading Stars was a collection of 21 short contemporary stories that covered different themes of love, friendship, memories, heartbreak, loneliness, and mental health issues at its heart. All stories were quick read, some had lovely poems, thoughtful lines, and well-written messages.

While I liked author wrote so many stories in his first published collection at such young age, included good themes with motivational messages and strong beliefs that I also believe in and every person could relate to, but sadly this didn’t turn out good for me.

Why 2.5 stars –

I didn’t like writing. My biggest pet peeve in any book is unnecessary details of minute things or sentence that makes no sense and just adds word count and nothing else. Here are some examples of what I mean –

“Her Brown wavy hair flew even if there was no wind there.” 🙄

“… she drank the coke out of the glass which resided on the left of the pizza.” (why do I need to know where the damn glass of coke was! and was it necessary to mention coke was in glass or bottle?)

“He reached the library closest to him, which was called Earlwood Library. He saw a gorgeous sort of cubical-shaped building in front of him. (this sentence sounds odd) He opened the glass door to get inside and saw that he got surrounded by bookshelves and many people as he walked in.” (that sounds like he transported through wall or something!)

“(at Train station) It had little white rood to protect the people from the rain. And two small white benches if they wanted to sit. (if wanted to sit!! of course, benches are to sit whether people decide to sit or not but why that was needed to mention!)

“his eyes were not able to focus. He immediately put pressure on the brake paddle, and the car stopped. After a few seconds, he slowly drove his car under a solitary street light; he parked it, got out…” (how can car stop and then take few seconds to drive and park! In my head copy of the book, I scratched whole sentence and wrote ‘he decided to pull over’ which made more sense)

“The woman wore green floppy hat and a dark green shirt with a long skirt to match her wavy blonde hair rested upon her narrow shoulders. (tedious) And along with her was Bowen; he wore a flunky white shirt with mix of blue. red, green, and orange splashed on it. (uh-huh) He was a little fat, so his trousers didn’t precisely fit him, but he still wore them. He liked wearing them.” (okay, why is that necessary!)

Almost every character were described with what they wore in their introduction but when it came to place or something which could be given a good detail it was left with a ‘gorgeous looking building’, ‘cool-looking coffee place’ and ‘gorgeous full moon’… and there was this sentence “And sky, oh my, was the sky gorgeous.

In many stories the main character’s name was ‘Travis’ and the father’s name was ‘Francis’. I lost count of how many stories had characters with the same name.

Most stories didn’t have much of plot. I didn’t feel for any single character. They felt flat. Past stories of some characters in some stories was tedious to read. The opening story was definitely confusing. The topic of loneliness, fear of dark thoughts, darkness creeping over in the middle of night was covered more often. Some stories on this topic didn’t even make much sense except it had some good lines.

Some stories I didn’t like at all– There was this story in which a girl first rejected the guy, he was heartbroken but really loved her… and then five years later they were on a date. Apparently, the guy after being rejected, took up a psychology course so he could figure out what did he do wrong on their date five years ago and why she rejected him and now that he has done his study he won her back and this time she said yes. I absolutely don’t like this idea. The message was actually about never giving up on what you want but from my point, I see a serious case of obsessive disorder.

There was a story in which a character had ‘Fatal Familial Insomnia’ who had trouble sleeping but when finally could go to sleep never woke up. Now the issue here was, it wasn’t said for how long he had insomnia when he consulted the doctor/therapist and then it was mentioned in middle of the story he didn’t sleep for six days so up to this point he didn’t have any symptoms, he could function normally which he shouldn’t if he had insomnia for few weeks or longer but that wasn’t said here! just 6 days… it was on 5th day he got hallucination and then after terrible hallucination, he was able to sleep and never woke up. How can a person with Fatal Familial Insomnia die in just a week!! (this is what I got from Google – “symptoms of FFI once start to appear, they tend to get rapidly worse over the course of a year or two. Patients tend to live between 7 months and 3 years after the symptoms“)

More than once I wished to skip paragraphs and sometimes even whole story.

Overall, Fading Stars was good attempt at writing many stories in this collection but it wasn’t executed well for me.

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Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…

What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this or any book by the same author? Which anthology you enjoyed most this year?


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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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