Binscombe Tales : Volume One
Mr Oakley has moved back to the small English village where his family once had roots. Binscombe is a place of cricket and corner shops and after-work pints in the Duke of Argyll. But peel away the wallpaper of the ordinary and you will find cracks in the fabric of what we think of as reality: The man who spent a lifetime waiting for a bus The suburban kitchen with a gateway to another world The whispering voices that torment a nightclub owner The ancient danger that lurks under an electricity substation For a reasonable man like Mr Oakley it could all be too much. But luckily he has the enigmatic figure of Mr Disvan as his guide to the borderland between the everyday and the uncanny. Part-wizard, part-tribal elder, Mr Disvan is Mr Oakley's much-needed lifeline to sanity-and at the same time might just be the scariest of all Binscombe's many secrets. Collected here for the first time, these twenty-six classic tales by John Whitbourn are some of the most anthologized in modern weird fiction. So draw your chair close to the fireside, pour yourself a pint or a cuppa or a scotch, and settle back to have your blood chilled and your imagination thrilled as only a master storyteller can.
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- Paperback | 220 pages
- 122 x 202 x 18mm | 258.55g
- 31 Oct 2011
- Fabled Lands Publishing
- Saffron, United Kingdom
- black & white illustrations
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Our customer reviews
John Whitbourn's home town of Binscombe doesn't sound like a reassuring place to live. The ordinary becomes anything but. A man goes to a bus stop and is detained there for decades. A man breaks down on the motorway and discovers a clan of people living in the no-man's land we all pass unthinkingly day after day. A man loses his temper and tears a hole in the fabric of reality that leads to a parallel world. In the tradition of MR James and The Twilight Zone, these stories are unsettling, finely told and disturbingly convincing.show moreby Roz Morris
It is over twenty years since John Whitbourn started chronicling the strange experiences of Mr Oakley and Mr Disvan in a village on the outskirts of "Goldenford" - a skew-whiff, deliciously depicted, slightly eccentric parallel to the real-life county town of Guildford. The tales are a uniquely inventive mixture of New Worlds-y science fiction, contemporary fantasy, classic ghost stories and cold horror, all served up with the urbane wit for which Whitbourn is renowned. So what are the Binscombe Tales like? Well, imagine a surreal English TV series like The League of Gentlemen crossed with Out of the Unknown, The Twilight Zone, or The Outer Limits. Or, if you seek literary parallels, conjure up an imaginary collaboration between M R James (for the matter-of-fact ghostliness), Mervyn Peake (for the disturbing edge-of-sanity touches), Roald Dahl (for the dry black humour), Nigel Kneale (for the mastery of pace and suspense), Kingsley Amis (for the narrative warmth and affability) and wrap it all up with the sharp brilliance of an Iain Banks or a China Mieville. Too many comparisons? I agree; John Whitbourn's talent is one of a kind, and really you must experience it for yourself. As the original 1990s Binscombe Tales chapbooks are now selling on Amazon for around Ã???Ã??Ã?Â£30 each, these Kindle editions are an incredible bargain, and provide the ideal opportunity to discover why enthusiasts consider these stories to be some of the best in modern English weird fiction. Well, just look at some of the comments: "Whitbourn's wit is both unforced and splendidly droll." -The Daily Express "These stories are not comfortable to read, but they still bring enjoyment of good company and the vicarious chill of a good fright at someone else's expense, and as such are to be heartily recommended." - Interzone "Original and intriguing." - Starburst "Pulled off with panache and no small amount of humour." - The Daily Express "He doesn't cheat, and he doesn't soften the edges." - Mary Gentle "Marvellously inventive." - The Timesshow moreby Dave