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 you may count the rooms in your house and not always come up with the same number. It is, in short, a place that 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 experience 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 were originally published in various anthologies and collections between 1987 and 1998. This three-volume edition from Spark Furnace Books is the definitive set of all twenty-six tales in the saga.show more