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There is a story called "The Fever Librarian. Jun 16, Mark rated it really liked it Shelves: story-collection. I am glad I finally got to this story collection, by a smart, fresh young author. She bounces from dystopia, to outer space and back to the every day world. Fans of Kelly Link and Karen Russell will enjoy these stories. Apr 18, Claire rated it really liked it. As always with short stories, there was some range, but the best ones of these were wonderful.

Some of them will stay with me for a long time. Sep 14, Robert Kloss rated it it was amazing. Nov 26, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-i-should-read-again-later , read-my-own-damn-books , own. Oh, so good! A story collection that walks the line between reality and fantasy with a good dose of historical fiction. But it all seems so fresh and compulsively readable - I read it in two sittings separated only by the length of time it took to cook and eat dinner.

Definite recommend. Mar 31, Ann rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories , writing-style-lush , tone-atmospheric , tone-haunting , writing-style-lyrical , literary-fiction , death. Beautiful, fantastical, otherworldly stories about art, death, and love. The stories in this collection deserve to be savored individually, rather than rushed through. The Unfinished World and Other Stories by Amber Sparks is a very highly recommended collection of 19 short stories set in worlds that are slightly askew.

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The writing is excellent. In descriptive, precise prose Sparks manages to convey depth and meaning in the fable-like stories, many of which are very brief. There is no overall theme to the collection, which makes each imaginative selection a gem that stands alone. This quietly asks the reader to consider and pondered each selection separately, o The Unfinished World and Other Stories by Amber Sparks is a very highly recommended collection of 19 short stories set in worlds that are slightly askew. This quietly asks the reader to consider and pondered each selection separately, on its own merit.

This is a strong collection and I appreciated and savored each selection. Contents: The Janitor in Space: A woman who works as a janitor in space believes there is there a right way to atone for the past, to rid yourself of sorrow.

The Lizzie Borden Jazz Babies: Twins do everything together, until one takes a different course and the other wants revenge. It just goes to show how fairy tales always stop too soon in the telling. Others said it was never a fairy tale at all. Anyone could see that. They were all too lovely, too obviously doomed. The happily-ever-after is just a false front. Lancelot in the Lost Places of the World: "Lancelot has been summoned out of sleep to find a secret kingdom.

Birds with Teeth: Marsh and Cope, who used to be friends, are rival paleontologists. The head is on the tail, he told the team in private. When my wife died, I began to understand this. La Belle de Nuit, La Belle de Jour: There is mythical trouble for seven brothers and their sister when a witch moves into the kingdom and marries their father. The Fires of Western Heaven: Reflections about the aftermath of war. The Process of Human Decay: What happens after a man dies. The Fever Librarian should wear black bile in the veins.

The Fever Librarian should be an unmarried woman with a soft, drowned heart, and a choleric disposition. She should be pale and thin, with a look that hints at Perpetual Anguish of the Soul.

The Unfinished World

The Sleepers: "Ancient dreams cling like crumbs to the mouths of the sleepers. They mutter and twitch, chasing after phantom women, fragments of words, half-drunk goblets of wine. This is what the sleepers find outside of history: a weakness in repose for which there is no cure but dreaming.

Oct 16, Kevin Catalano rated it it was amazing. The world is doing just fine without plot. Louise asks. Why make art at all? Because what else are we going to do? Sparks' stories.


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Often the problem with story collections -- perhaps the reason they are a difficult sell for big publishers -- is that readers want to get lost in a STORY, they want to live with its characters, rather than invest in pieces that continuously begin and end.

Sparks' The Unfinished World, however, challenges this start-stop experience. To read this collection is to get lost in a singular DREAM, for even though her stories may contain various characters and plots, she writes with a style and mood that tilts our known reality. Sometimes she gives us nightmare, sometimes magic, sometimes the half-awake absurdity -- but always beauty. Fans of Ms. But these pieces take on new meanings when brought together. I was especially excited for the novella, The Unfinished World, and how Sparks would sustain a longer narrative. Don't be fooled: Sparks doesn't rely heavily on plot to extend pages; instead, she retains the logic-bending dream and mythical prose that make her short stories magical.

Her company of strange characters -- Set, Cedric, Inge, Albert, Pru, Constance, Oliver, Desmond -- drift in and out of this novella like ghosts through narrative walls. And yet, this story isn't rudderless: the characters, especially Set, have desires and pursue them through an intriguing historical setting. The result is a truly fantastic, haunting, and poignant read; and the last paragraph of the novella is the kind of miracle-writing that proves Amber Sparks' immense and evolving talent.

Dec 25, Christina Pilkington rated it liked it. Not quite what I was expecting. It's a book of speculative fiction, and I'd say that most of the stories in this book could be classified as magical realism. I usually really love magical realism. But I think that my tastes tend to run towards magical realism that has a sense of either wonder of mystery. This book was more magical realism that leaned more towards horror or stories that were dark and disturbing. Now I also love to read some horror books. Those books tend to revolve around complex characters or books that somehow deal with psychological mysteries or the supernatural.

So it's not that I don't like to read horror. It's just for some reason I never felt emotionally connected to any of these stories, so I would tend to lose interest in the collection and put it down for a week before wanting to pick it up again. Now most of these stories were gorgeously written. Sparks is a wonderful writer. A few of these stories were incredibly impressive on a structural level.

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And I will probably pick up any novel she writes. But I don't think her short story style gelled well with me. They often seemed to focus more on the pretty turns of phrase than creating compelling stories. Mar 07, Geoff rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , library , lit-fic , short-stories , read This felt like two different books smooshed together: the titular novella and the dreamy short short stories that came before it.

The short stories seemed like dreamy fables; the characters were all held at a distance and each story seemed to be building to some sort of moral even if it never materialized. I think if I had read the stories in an anthology, I would have liked each of them a great deal, but all together here in this collection the effect was a bit The novella, on the other hand, was just as dreamy and fantastic, but the characters were engaging and felt like people rather than fairy tale cutouts.

Jul 04, Kirsty rated it it was amazing Shelves: july , received-as-gifts , favourites.

MashReads: 'The Unfinished World' is a genre-bending look at loneliness and death

My parents purchased this wondrous short story collection for me from the haven of books, The Strand in New York City. Each tale which Sparks has crafted is an absolute gem. Her writing breathes originality; she is masterful at creating scenes and characters, and depicting the interactions which they make with one another. The Unfinished World and Other Stories is an absolute joy to read, and I for one cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Aug 01, Peter Tieryas rated it it was amazing. Amber Sparks is amazing and her stories always startle, disturb, and fascinate. Can't wait to dig into this. Jan 21, Tobias rated it it was amazing Shelves: read Really fantastic stuff. View 1 comment. Sep 09, Miranda rated it liked it Shelves: own. I expected to love this book but I was a bit disappointed. Most of the stories were too short for me to properly get lost in.

I guess I like a longer short story! Can Iowa-style sports betting pay off for Minnesota? Tyler Krebs under investigation, resigns as Lakeville South football coach. Rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. Celebrity chef, restaurateur Carl Ruiz dies at As immigrant kids fill Worthington's schools; bus driver leads the backlash.

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Summary and reviews of The Unfinished World by Amber Sparks

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The prey also changes from whitetails to werewolves. Some of us feel sorry for the werewolves. Some of us do not want to kill, the soft thunk of bullet in flesh a thing apart from the hard clean splintering of wood and paint. Our fathers remind us of what we already know: the werewolves are a pestilence, a plague upon our forests, and killing them makes a good sport and a kind deed. There are too many werewolves, our fathers tell us; if we do not cull the herd they will starve to death come winter.

They will spread disease and decay. But these are mere snippets. Reblogged this on Misanthropester. Like Like.