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Not Nice and Other Understatements - A Journal of Flash Fiction [Kindle Edition]

Annetta Ribken
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $6.00 (60%)

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Book Description

Flash fiction is a literary form dating back centuries. It is a demanding and challenging form -- to write a complete story in less than 1,500 words and often much less to craft a story easy to read and delivering the enjoyment of a novel. In this collection, you will be taken on a wild ride...from the specter of domestic abuse in the title story to a fantasy world where a garbanzo bean can totally transform a life. If you've never read flash, this is a great introduction into a new world of fiction.
This is an updated, second edition with an introduction by best-selling author Patti Larsen and new musical interludes. 





"Ms. Ribken combines meticulous form with imaginative story-telling. Her work should be studied for anyone who wishes to write great short stories." ~Eden Baylee, author of "Strangers at Sunset".
"Flash fiction is hard to write. The brief format requires so few words to do so much. And many short-shorts I've read fail by seeming too ordinary. Most of this author's stories hit you in some sensitive place, leaving you wounded and unsure how to protect yourself from the next blow. As you begin to expect, that blow will hurt you in some new place. You finish the collection feeling beaten, satisfied, and somehow ashamed for having spent your time there. And you are amazed that someone had the experience to know such pain and the sensitivity to make you feel it with her.

"Each story hurts. And leaves its mark." ~John M. Ford

The stories in "Not Nice and Other Understatements" are perfect for the fiction fan and will take you places you've never been. Be prepared for a reading experience like no other.


Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Flash fiction is a literary form dating back centuries. It is a demanding and challenging form -- to write a complete story in less than 1,500 words and often much less to craft a story easy to read and delivering the enjoyment of a novel. In this collection, you will be taken on a wild ride...from the specter of domestic abuse in the title story to a fantasy world where a garbanzo bean can totally transform a life. If you've never read flash, this is a great introduction into a new world of fiction.

From the Back Cover

"Annetta Ribken introduces her collection of thirty-seven very short-short stories with a warning. "They are dark and uncomfortable and I make no apologies for that." She has nothing to apologize for. I hope that writing them was as therapeutic as she claims. They are finely-distilled pain from beatings, betrayals and bad choices. You can feel her misery and courage in every phrase. And when you jump to bury your teeth in the throat of whoever has hurt her, you find she has been there before you." ~John M. Ford

Product Details

  • File Size: 2241 KB
  • Print Length: 143 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Word Webber Press (December 14, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GXAW3W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #941,738 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rich, Dark, Thought-Provoking Collection December 21, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I got my hands on this manuscript I started reading and couldn't stop. Yeah, yeah, I read a lot. But here's the thing... I don't read short fiction. I don't write short fiction. My brain isn't wired that way. I'm a long-format person when it comes to reading and writing, but I Could. Not. Put. This. Down.

These are not hearts-and-flowers, happily-ever-after, Lassie-saves-Timmy stories. Annetta Ribken escorts you deep into the twisted, cobwebby parts of her characters' minds... and if you're very good and don't make any sudden moves, she'll bring you back out again. Probably. But these stories will stay with you for a long, long time.

She takes you into the hidden corners of people's psyches, the places where they are broken, damaged, and sometimes strong beyond all belief. Occasionally the jagged edges find a counterpart, similarly broken, and the possibility of salvation... and sometimes they are left to patch themselves up the best they can, and survive.

Writers are like shattered mirrors, the spiderwebbed cracks fragmenting and distorting the image... but there has to be an image there to start with, doesn't there? Sure, from time to time a crazy idea pops into our heads, seemingly out of nowhere, and we might get an incredible story out of it. But a lot of what we create comes from some kernel we carry inside us. It might have been a fleeting encounter, one specific incident, one person or place or thing... or it could be whole sections of our lives, what we've seen, experienced, enjoyed or endured. This author's stories made me wonder. Which parts are pure blasts of creative instinct, sparked by a writing prompt on a flash fiction site, and which are things that originated with a dark moment in her own life or the life of someone she loves?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply, Darkly Good January 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It seems to be a prevailing theme with the reviews for this book, but I don't like short form fiction. I never have. For you to understand just how much i don't like it, know that I am one of the world's biggest Neil Gaiman fans. Yet, I barely got through Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders. Knowing that, you should now appreciate just how amazing it was for me to fly through story after story in this book. The author has a deft hand with words, but there were two aspects of this book that struck me as being especially unique.
The first is her ability to create a mood with minimal description. The contrast of imagery with situation is disturbing and addictive. A woman washing dishes, a single drop of blood, and a repeating phrase. Alone, not compelling or creepy. Together, and in this author's hands, they come together through the alchemy of her writing to affect you as the reader in a variety of ways.
The second is what really surprised me--again, I hate short form. I like a long, detailed story. The author's ability to grab and hold my interest with less than a thousand words, to get me interested, keep me that way, and leave me satisfied by the end is nothing short of astonishing. Whereas I normally shun short stories, this book set a hook in my lip and pulled me down a path lined with dark thoughts.
I can't recommend it enough.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Enjoyment January 6, 2011
By A Customer
Format:Kindle Edition
I don't like short stories. Didn't. Was sad\ticked when this read was over. Lost sleep. Couldn't put down. Am thinking it would be a great book club pick...thought-provoking, delicious, and disturbing in one perfect package. I have the kindle version but must get the page-turning version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously Twisted Read That Leaves You Thinking February 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I normally hate flash fiction. Most of the time, this format barely gives me a chance to get into the story before it's over. It generally leaves me disgruntled and disappointed. Not with Ribken's tales. She's a real modern day Poe.

By the first paragraph, you're hooked on the story, hungry for more, and by the time you finish, you're left with an odd yet satisfied calm that sends your mind racing. You'll love it. I'm sure the looks I had on my face while reading these stories made more than one passerby wonder what I was *really* thinking.

Bravo! Can't wait for more!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Fillers Added, Raw, All Natural Intrigue February 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
NOT NICE is delightfully intriguing. Each story is like being "the mouse in the room" giving you the insight into what makes people feel,think, and act the way they do. You hear the headlines on the news,the sad,the shocking and the unbearable. We don't want to listen or feel but we are drawn to it. And the headline blurb leaves us wanting more. Wanting to know more about the person. This collection of stories gives us that, a deeper look into the frame of mind of many different frames of mind, each with their own motives and compulsions.The thing that impresses me the most is the writer's ability to tell a novel length story and tell it precisely well, in only one to a few pages. Do you think that is a rip off? Well, I have have read allot of books that I get bored with easily, the long extraneous blah blah blah of descriptive words and details, details, details, ad nauseum. OK! I get it, now lets get to the good part already.I end up never even finishing these books or skip ahead. Talk about rip off, hey I paid for all these words and I'm not even using them!
Anetta Ribken's Not Nice gives you all the bang for your buck and then some.It gives you just enough, with just the right words to let the reader use their own imagination. Losing all the "fluff" lends the reader the room to color in the picture indelibly in their own mind. No need to build up to an excruciating drawn out climax, this stuff is instant gratification baby in all of it's splendor. But not to worry, it's not over, your off again to the next page for the next intriguing morsel.Be Nice to yourself and indulge in Not Nice and other understatements.
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More About the Author

A professional editor of over one hundred novels, Annetta Ribken has also been writing since a tender young age, when letters were chiseled on stone tablets. A precocious student, Annetta earned her Ph.D in the School of Hard Knocks, with honors, in the early Age of Disco. She lives and works just outside of St. Louis with her evil feline overlord, a rescued shelter cat named Athena.

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