Three days after I had been lucky enough to score a copy of Mark Flynn’s new collection of short stories White Light, my son, home from school, cast a knowing eye over me and said, What have you been doing? Nothing I said, a ridiculous smile o n my face, No, he insisted, you’re stoked, you’ve been up to something. It was true, I had been reading O’Flynn’s story ‘Stealth’ that morning and the elation had not worn off.
‘Stealth’, like stealth had crept on me. We were jogging along and I was thinking, hey all good but a bit blokey, and what about the kid, he’s not adding up. But then, well, I can’t tell you what happened that flipped the story from droll to hilarious as that would be a spoiler but, even now a week later, the image of what I am not going to tell you makes me laugh. Then the whole story clicked together and the guy, Barry - the son, Ross Livingstone and the CFA were inter-meshed in a way that mixed the laconic with the absurd, blokey with feminine and the vernacular with the linguistically exhilarating just about perfectly. When I was laughing a lot I heard myself say.’ I love you Mark O’Flynn.’. What I really meant, of course, was that I loved this short story by Mark O’Flynn, but hey anyone who can make me laugh like that is right up there.
Now I’ve finished the collection and have thought about emailing Mark O’Flynn to ask if he’s got more stories hidden somewhere but that would be a little too much like stalking. But perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to go find one of the novels he’s written!
White Light is published by Spineless Wonders