BINSCOMBE TALES: SINISTER SAXON STORIES by John Whitbourn. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 1998. 1st edition hardcover.
Published 30 January 1998 in an edition of 500 copies.
There is a real place called Binscombe, located in the south-east of England; but these tales are not about that Binscombe. Instead they concern another Binscombe, linked to the first by subtle—but invisible—bridges of ‘what if?’. This other Binscombe is a place rich in history, where strangers are welcome, but not always safe; a place where watching a video is not as harmless a pursuit as it might seem, where waiting for the bus may take much longer than expected, and where churchgoers are advised to pay very close attention during the midnight service on Christmas Eve. It is, in short, a place which takes its history very seriously: and with good reason, as the unwary are apt to find out to their cost.
No one takes Binscombe and its history more seriously than Mr Disvan, whose encyclopaedic knowledge of the village and its past seems to have been acquired through more than simply reading history books. We see Mr Disvan and Binscombe life through the eyes of Mr Oakley, a newcomer whose family has long had roots there, and who thus proves the truth of a local saying: ‘They always come back’. This local connection gives Mr Oakley an opportunity to see some of the stranger side of life in Binscombe, with Mr Disvan as his guide; but it also shows him that once you come back, it isn’t always possible to leave again.
John Whitbourn’s Binscombe Tales have been entertaining readers since 1987. This, the first in a two-volume set from Ash-Tree Press, which will collect all the tales in the saga, contains fifteen stories, seven of which are published here for the first time.
Jacket art by Alan Hunter.
Contents: Introscript by John Whitbourn; Introduction by Professor E. Griffiths; ‘Another Place’; ‘Wating for a Bus’; ‘Till Death Do Us Part’; ‘’Only One Careful Owner’; ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’; ‘The Will to Live’; ‘Hello Dolly’; ‘Reggie Suntan’; ‘Here Is My Resignation’; ‘A Video Nasty, or, The Sins of the Fathers’; ‘Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Most Men’; ‘Binscombe Jihad’; ‘His Holiness Commands’; ‘Roots’; ‘The More it Changes . . .’
Fine in fine dj. OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER.