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And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories & Other Revenges

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,689 ratings  ·  323 reviews
Exciting fans of such writers as Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and Carmen Maria Machado with prose that shimmers and stings, Amber Sparks holds a singular role in the canon of the weird. Now, she reaches new, uncanny heights with And I Do Not Forgive You. In “Mildly Happy, With Moments of Joy,” a friend is ghosted by a simple text message; in “Everyone’s a Winner at Meadow Pa ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Liveright
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  1,689 ratings  ·  323 reviews

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Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
These are very imaginative stories. I really appreciated the ways in which Sparks blurs genre. There is a fable like quality to many of the stories here, always some important lesson to be learned, but that lesson is imparted in really clever ways. I also appreciated the mix of longer and shorter stories. It made for a really dynamic reading experience. If there is a flaw in these stories, it’s that some of the stories that are surreal or magical realism don’t seem to follow consistent rules for ...more
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
As always, these stories are brilliant. There is just something about the way in which Amber Sparks writes short fiction that hits all the right spots for me. This is the third collection she has written and she still does everything I adore in the format: her stories are weird enough to be exciting and realistic enough to be grounded, she focusses women and their experiences, her sentences are as wonderful as they have always been. Of the three collections, this is the one most grounded in real ...more
. . . hope is the thing with feathers, and I have always been allergic to down.*

A strange and mesmerizing collection of 22 stories. Many start quite humorously, then veer off into dark, unexpected places. Things are definitely moving around under the surface . . . things you may not want to see.

Dearborn, Michigan: Here is where I told you not to buy that fucking 7-Eleven franchise. You couldn't even remember to pick up the kid from the sitter, so how were you going to keep track of how many H
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Bummer. This collection shows flashes of brilliant writing—hence the two star rating—but it too often falls flat. Many of the stories are too short, incomplete, to the point I found myself shrugging and wondering what the point was of what I’d just read. And a couple stories are too long. Weird. It’s like no story here is the fitting length for its subject matter.

Also, many of the stories take strange and unexpected left turns into the fantastical, which I’m usually fine with . . . but I just d
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This book was a “sorry your book delivery took so long” gift. I was grateful and looked forward to reading something a bit different.

Well, I loved the word construction and appreciated the author’s way of grabbing you by the neck and insisting that you pay attention to each story’s point of view. The story I liked best was “Is the Future a Nice Place for Girls”.

AND I DO NOT FORGIVE YOU pretty much sums up my feeling about reading this series of short stories. Throughout, I noticed ideas such as:
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is the third time this year that I thought a book would be about [x thing] because of the title, and the book ended up being anything but (OK, I'm exaggerating, but the books were absolutely only loosely connected to their own titles) First time was The Glass Hotel, second was Supper Club, and now this book.

So, by looking at that bold ax cover and that emphatic "And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories & Other Revenges" title, you probably think this is a short story collection about revenge, righ
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fantasy
Wow, I hated this collection. A lot of the stories just ended without any real conclusion. Since I listened to this as an audiobook, many of the stories blended together and I didn't realize a new one had started. I didn't see the point to most of the stories. The writing wasn't very good. I had pre-ordered the audiobook because it seemed really interesting, but it wasn't. ...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Far from being as strong as her prior short story collection, I found these stories flat and uninteresting for the most part.
Rachel Jorquera
Apr 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
I felt like maybe this book was trying to be too edgy? Too conversational? I do know it -- was forgettable for me. I really was intrigued by the idea of this collection of short (and i mean short) stories, and the blending of fairy tales/mythological elements in a very immediate and "now" time. Almost thought of it in like a modern Bloody Chamber situation, but it fell short for me.

This book seems like it is constantly grasping and is so so desperate to be edgy/new, modern, and feminist. Which
Rachel León
Amber Sparks is such a charming, creative writer!
Brilliantly haunting and quirky, Amber's collection runs the gamut - through space and time, fact and fiction, and yes, even a near apocalyse! In her capable and twisted hands, we're bounced between the fairy-tale-esque lives of kings and queens and their daughters to the disasterous marriages of everyday couples with very unusual issues. We're visited by a trailer park ghost and ghosted by a BFF. And we're tortured by the sounds of something going terribly awry in the apartment upstairs.

Jan 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: net-galley
***Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley!***

The best thing that I can say about this book was that it was forgettable. The worst thing I can say about this book was that it is forgettable and pointless. The short version of this review is that these aren’t actual short stories. They are pieces of stories. Not a single one of them actually has an ending. They end, but they don’t have an ending. Even the one story that
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m willing to admit that the current trending variety of feminism alarms me. I appreciate it, agree with the fact that this might absolutely be historically the best time to be alive for women, but there’s something terrifying about militant feminism (or militant other things, for that matter), what it does to one’s mind, the way it warps perspectives. It’ll probably be a while before some sort of reasonable balance is achieved. For now, it did spawn a variety of feminist fiction, some of which ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
These stories vary in size, anywhere from three-page pieces to a general forty-pager, and every single one of them is enchanting. In its contents you will find fairy-tale revenge, quiet & loud acts of rebellion, and bizarre encounters that will leave you craving so much more. Two favorites stand out to me in this collection-- an apathetic teenage girl who befriends a centuries-old ghost in her trailer park, and a couple who debate on whether or not to confront what's making those bumps in the ni ...more
Amanda D.
Did I pick up this ARC because of the cover? Yes, I shamelessly did.

While Sparks has a bunch of fun and snarky one-liners, a lot of the stories here are a bit of a bummer. They're just so...depressing and someone is always getting sexually assaulted or groped without their consent.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So great to have another Amber Sparks collection out in the world. I devoured these inventive, imaginative, beautifully written stories. Sparks is both a masterful sentence-level writer and a brilliantly original storyteller. What a combination. I'm in awe. ...more
Bill Hsu
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I thought The Unfinished World was more satisfying.
chantel nouseforaname
Oooh revenge. I love reading stories about women saying fuck it to situations that don't suit them.

It may not always work out in their best interest. There may be pain. Broken hearts. Anger. Rage. Murder.

But what's life without some pain. Broken hearts. Anger. Rage. Murder. ???

A lot of these stories were weird in the exact way that I like my shit to be weird. Some were incredibly short and left me squinting my eyes and saying: that's it? That's all Amber Sparks wanted to say about that particu
Rachel McKenny
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
And I Do Not Forgive You is a 2020 release, and the short story collection from Amber Sparks with the subtitle “and other revenges.” Boy does it live up to that subtitle. At its heart, the collection shows modern people in the quasi-fantastic, mostly-all-too-real world of technology, familial betrayal, and city life. The princesses, kings, and queens which people some of the most fairy-tale-esque of the stories don’t reside in some 1400s Europe that never was– they live now, here, and struggle a ...more
zac carter
i really enjoyed this. the title drew me in pretty quickly (as i currently avoid doing some forgiving in my own life) and i found there are a lot of moments worth savoring in these powerful woman-centered stories.

my favorite piece was "everyone's a winner in meadow park." seek that shit out! it's great.

(i'd likely give the book 5 stars if i'd read a physical copy, but i listened and it was not my favorite audiobook experience. the performances were strong, but the timing and structure of the rec
Sarah Ames-Foley
I unfortunately only made it through 50% of this before DNFing. I think the title and cover art made me think this would be more about revenge than it was. The stories here felt largely unrelated to that and were also so frustrating to read. Either a story would feel unfinished altogether, cutting off where it felt like it was just starting, or I would feel completely uninvested until the last paragraph, having it end just as I was getting excited. I hadn't realized going in that I had tried to ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stories, 2020
As in Sparks' previous books, these stories range across modes from the fabulist to the supernatural to the science fictional. But with so much variety what's striking is how fully realized or "lived in" the worlds of these stories are, because even in the shortest among them I felt dropped not into a premise or conceit from an author but instead into a character's actual, everyday experience — even when the experience was something beyond the realm of my own world (so far!). I've seen reviews f ...more
Leslie Lam
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mediocre
Most of the book seems to be written for the sake of pushing an agenda, a gross lack of care and love can be seen in the storytelling. I would recommend the author try writing daily columns in newspapers instead.
Samantha Manning
Feb 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of completely incoherent short stories desperately tries to be modern, feminist, and funny but fails miserably. I haven’t felt such strong second-hand embarrassment from reading someone’s work since peer-reviewing essays in high school. Oof.
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, may-2020
Wildly uneven collection. Most of it didn't work for me, but the good stuff is very very good, and the whole thing is pretty short so maybe go for it anyway. ...more
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Once upon a time there was a youngish professional whom for the sake of anonymity we’ll refer to as Pat Mebody. A writer by trade he’d also recently become a father for the first time, and was overwhelmed in his attempts to balance his longtime career with his newfound role as a nurturing parent. “I can’t do this,” he thought. A lot.

Pat was fortunate, though. He had an incredible support system, starting with his amazing and strong-willed spouse; what’s more, he had a devoted caregiver
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
'What kind of tragedy is this? It’s not grand and operatic at all; it’s just awful, just like all the other awful hurts that happen to people like us.'

Would I call this latest collection of stories a release of female rage? No, but they certainly bite and then wink and nod, nudge nudge- get a load of this! How do we still manage to find humor in the horror of it? Well, it’s what keeps us sane. History remembers men and all their greatness, “allo
Moira Allbritton
Jan 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2021
Two of the stories were intriguing. One was really good. And one was exceptionally titled. Alas, the majority (18 more stories) struck me -- apparently a person lacking in imagination for the macabre -- as overdone or filler.

"Mildly Happy, with Moments of Joy" provided a reasonably auspicious start.
Then two tedious stories.
"Everyone's a Winner in Meadow Park" was a creative-enough ghost-story.
I really liked "A Short and Slightly Speculative History of Lavoisier's Wife."
But from that point (bott
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely must quote The Catcher in the Rye to start this review off:

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him [them] up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though"

I sure wish Amber Sparks was a terrific friend of mine after reading this book. This book hit all the right notes for me with humor, social commentary, and just the right amount of
Aug 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amber Sparks is a master of flash fiction and short stories. Don't let the brevity of these stories fool you; Sparks is an author with range. Twisted fairy tales, mid-America, imagined history--this collection has it all. My personal favorite stories in this collection are, "Everyone's a Winner in Meadow Park" and "The Eyes of Saint Lucy." It's a remarkable book, one I'm sure I'll read again. ...more
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“Maybe then he would have understood her better, understood how suffering steals the aptitude for happiness from you. Maybe he would have been okay with her melancholy then.” 1 likes
“And what is history, anyway, but the chance to dig up our skeletons and give them new stories ?” 1 likes
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