Dental Tourism by Mark O’Flynn

‘Dental tourism they call it.’

There are three parts to this book of short stories: the first two parts contain ten stories each, the final part just one.

I found something to enjoy (or puzzle over) in each of these stories.  Yes, I have favourites: there is a budgie: thinking about his future, a daughter tasked with making a purchase for her father, and a girl flying alone to Antarctica with a plane load of much older people.

But two stories have stayed with me.  There is ‘Reading with Daddy’ which almost reduced me to tears, and there is ‘Dental Tourism’.  In ‘Dental Tourism’ a man heads off to Thailand for dental work.  He can save money, he thinks, by having his extensive dental work done there.

Each of these twenty-one stories is self-contained.  But some of them, at least, invite you to wonder what might happen next or to think about the events that occurred before. ‘Bluey and Myrtle’ had me looking at life from an entirely different perspective even though I am quite sure I do not want to be a budgie. ‘Political Correctness’ made me smile wryly while ‘Tooth for a Tooth’ made me wonder what I might do in a similar situation.

What a treat!  My thanks to Lisa for drawing this collection to my attention.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith