- Paperback: 300 pages
- Publisher: Brain Lag (March 2 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1928011012
- ISBN-13: 978-1928011019
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 395 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #934,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Extreme Dentistry Paperback – Mar 2 2014
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About the Author
Hugh A.D. Spencer completed graduate studies at the University of Toronto and McMaster University where he conducted anthropological studies into the origins of religious movements in science fiction fandom. Twice nominated for Canada’s Aurora Award, Hugh’s science fiction has been published in On Spec, Tesseracts 8, 11 and 6, Interzone, Descant and New Writings in the Fantastic. Many of his short stories have been dramatized by Shoestring Radio Theatre for the Satellite Network of National Public Radio. His most recent short stories are “Five Stories About Alan” which was published in Dandelions of Mars: A Tribute to Ray Bradbury and “John, Paul, Xavier, Ironside & George (but not Vincent)” which was published in the new Ominous Realities anthology. Hugh is also President and Senior Consultant of the cultural consulting company Museum Planning Partners. He worked on the Ontario Prehistory and Canadian Ethnology galleries at the Royal Ontario Museum and has travelled to Asia, Europe, Australia and throughout North America on assignment for many different museum, art gallery, science centre and world’s fair projects. Even with all this travel, he always happy to return to his home in the aging suburbs of Toronto which he shares with his family, friends and two dogs.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
These complaints aside, having a Canadian Jack Mormon protagonist is a novelty, especially one who is so clearly sympathetic to the believers (both LDS and others) he's allied with. Spencer's protagonist is a smartass but not one who is usually in control of the situation. The other characters are difficult to sympathize with - primarily a boring-as-he-sounds family man dentist and an omnivorously omnisexual genius.
But Spencer's prose is clear and engaging, the horror is appropriately horrifying, and I was never tempted to put it away unfinished.
Okay lets get it out there right now, this book is Weird with a capital W. I actually finished it a day ago but I needed some time to sleep on my thoughts in order to give it a decent review.
A Sci Fi / Comedy with some horror elements, Extreme Dentistry was not what I expected it would be. The book is written in a way that jumps times, places and narrators in a quick pace which is a little disconcerting but it did keep my interest all the way through.
It delves pretty deeply into mormon culture, dealing with the Latter Day Saints and various other churches in that family. I know practically nothing about this subject matter so I think that did help me stay interested.
The Sci fi elements revolving around the Hive infection was a genius way to effectively tap into the common fear of dentistry. It is all too easy to ignore that toothache, when in this case it might just be a parasite trying to take over your body one DNA strand at a time.
There is a sexual tone to a lot of the story, the parasites increase sexual libido to help spread. One thing that confused me a little was the author's obsession with anal sex. It gets mentioned probably 7 or 8 times throughout the story, in many different contexts and by various characters. Personally I have no issue with the topic, but the way it would continually be referenced was a bit strange. Surely there are other, weirder sexual activities one could fill those gaps with? In fact "pony sex" was brought up, why not other inventive things?
The story is narrated by three main characters.
Aurthur Percy (Percy) is a lapsed mormon, who works in a soul destroying job for a s***ty boss and with people that take every advantage they can. Most of the story is from his viewpoint, as he learns about the full extent of what is happening around him.
Dr Cal Stewart is Percy's new dentist and eventual team mate in the fight against the hive. He is a strict mormon and adopts a frowny face at any mention of addictive substances or swear words.
Dr Elizabeth Wolfanger is the author of "An Occult History of North American Shopping Malls" which is like a field guide to the hive and the people fighting them. It turns out shopping malls are the perfect place to gather unsuspecting victims for infection.
If you enjoy stories that constantly throw new information at you and never quite explain themselves (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy vibe) I would recommend you give this a go. It definitely isn't for everyone, particularly if you're a mormon without a sense of humour.
Also those with acute fear of dentists might want to skim now and then if you can't stand descriptions of root canals.
Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this title from the publisher for an honest review. Read more about my review policy.
The characters are really well formed and memorable; in fact, Professor Elizabeth Wolfanger is, in my opinion, a truly iconic character. Perhaps the next novel in the series, if there is to be a series, should focus on her.
My only critique is that there is too much of the novel spent on digressions about Mormonism. After awhile, this begins to detract from the overall pace of the action and the plot. Also, I, and I imagine other readers will as well, wondered why all of the religions, as well as at least some of the secular authorities, were not involved in the efforts to destroy the “Hive.” Why were the Mormons the only group to be so involved with tracking down and destroying the “Hive?” This was not clear to me in reading the novel.
Overall, a fabulous read and well worth my time. I hope to read more by Mr. Spencer in the future, especially about Dr. Wolfganger!