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review 2017-04-08 01:19
Cabinets full of curiosities always seem to come with a blood sacrifice
The Unfinished World: And Other Stories - Amber Sparks

About a year ago, I stumbled into a cute little bookstore which specialized in mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy of both the new and used variety. I felt it was my solemn duty to have a close look and about an hour later I left with a few (or three) choice items. One of these I already reviewed and today's was actually a signed copy titled The Unfinished World: And Other Stories by Amber Sparks. As the title suggests, this is a collection of short stories that have an eerie, fantastical vibe to them. Some of them are downright disturbing (the taxidermy one in particular stands out) while others are merely just off the beaten path into strangeness. If you like dark, eerie fiction that crosses into the borders of the unknown then this book would be right up your street. If you're looking to delve into short story collections but you're not sure where to start this also might be a good fit for you. As for me, I enjoyed a few of them but overall this wasn't my favorite of the short story collections I've read. (That honor either goes to Through the Woods or The Opposite of Loneliness.) 5/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-07-04 00:00
The Unfinished World: And Other Stories
The Unfinished World: And Other Stories - Amber Sparks This collection of short stories is an inventive, wild ride: there are (among many, many others) time travelers, man-swallowing jungles, an appearance of Lancelot, and a man without a soul in a story punctuated by Irish faerie-tale tropes. While these are not the most emotionally rich stories in the world, Sparks imaginative gifts largely make up for any lack of tearjerkers. She is comfortable in many times (past, present, future); many geographies; many lengths (a few of these are scarcely a page long); many bodies (men, women, gay, straight). My favorite was her longer form, multi-paragraph telling of the man without a soul, but the death house architect was a troubling conceit - a sort of way station to house the rotting bodies of persons whose loved ones believed there was some chance they might still have a spark of life in them, the caretakers of which must be both proficient in first aid as well as wholly lacking in imagination, which would make them mad. There was also the time traveler intent on destroying the masterwork of a great artist. Despite repeated trips to the artist's age, she was only able to effect subtle changes on the great work. While I craved more of the longer pieces, there is no question Sparks' rich world promises much future fruit.
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review 2014-08-06 16:52
May We Shed These Human Bodies: Stories By: Amber Sparks
May We Shed These Human Bodies - Amber Sparks

I read this book in honor of my Uncle Frank: 7/22/1944 - 7/21/2014

 

It's a book he'd be proud of because it's a deceptively slim volume in which no words are minced. It's a book of flash fiction that packs a punch.

 

Some of my favorites are:

 

* The Monstrous Sadness of Mythical Creatures

* May We Shed These Human Bodies

* When the Weather Changes You

* All the Imaginary People are Better at Life

 

All in all, an impressive debut by an author I will be keeping my eye on and looking forward to reading more of in the future.

 

I bought this book at the popup book fair at The Earnest Hemingway Museum in Oak Park, IL, and is now in my permanent collection. Some of my favorite reads have been from small publishers in my area. 

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review 2013-05-11 00:00
May We Shed These Human Bodies - Amber Sparks Yes. May we shed these human bodies.


I'd suggest not reading this while in a state of melancholy.
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