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Binscombe Tales - The Complete Series [Kindle Edition]

John Whitbourn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Book Description

Binscombe is a place where things go bump in the night and often in the daytime too. Here you will find stories to kindle the imagination, quicken the pulse, and chill the blood. It is a place where waiting for a bus may take a lot longer than you think, where the rustle in the bushes is likely to be something considerably more secretive and more dangerous than a wild animal, where objects may have strong views of their own, and where past, present and future sometimes collide with spectacularly unpredictable results.

To this inward-looking corner of England's Home Counties comes Mr Oakley, a newcomer in the village but one whose family name appears on some of the oldest gravestones. Mr Oakley believes in the comfort, convenience and security of the modern world and he fancies that the past is safely dead and buried. It is a world view that he will have repeatedly challenged by the mysterious Mr Disvan, who acts as his (and our) guide to the winding byways of the bizarre that thread through Binscombe life. Now that Mr Oakley has returned to his ancestral homeland, he will soon discover that reality is a relative concept, and the world outside Binscombe will never seem quite the same again.

"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 Times

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Whitbourn has had eight novels published in the UK, USA and Russia since winning the BBC & Victor Gollancz First Fantasy Novel prize with A Dangerous Energy in 1991. His works have received favourable reviews in The Times, Daily Telegraph, and Daily Express, among others. He is married with a son and two daughters, and lives in the real-life village of Binscombe, where his family can be traced back as far as the Civil War.

Product Details

  • File Size: 929 KB
  • Print Length: 658 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Spark Furnace Books (November 14, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0067QVKQE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,697 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!! December 14, 2011
This collection of short, themed stories by Mr. Whitbourn is simply some of the best
writing you'll encounter- whether you like horror, fantasy or straight-out prose. Imagine,
if you will, a combination of Dunsany, Leiber, Powers, deCamp, Clarke and... oh, perhaps Clark Ashton Smith and you'll get a sense of what's in store for you. Not entirely horror, as it's leavened with a droll humor, but not giddy either. Reading the Binscombe stories is rather like a perfectly dry martini (gin, of course) with a twist-- satisfying, civilized and providing a great deal of enjoyment. Try them; I doubt you'll be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a sucker for those series of tall tales told in taverns that seem to exist only in science fiction. After rereading Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke, I came across the Binscombe Tales which carry the banner into very current times. The tales always begin in the tavern, told by town newcomer Mr. Oakley, but almost always take us into Binscombe itself, under the supervision of Mr. Disvan.

Binscombe is not unlike living in the Twilight Zone or perhaps the podcast Night Vale and the tavern often feels like a safe harbor by the end. Some of the stories are chilling (the one at the bus stop, for example), some just present a fascinating concept in story form (Rollover Night especially comes to mind), but all have a vein of humor present. Each story can stand alone but the overarching theme is that of introducing Mr. Oakley to his long-forgotten town roots so that he can enjoy his full potential as a Binscombe resident.

I also really enjoyed the Afterward where the author wrote about Binscombe Tales he considered but had never gotten around to writing. Those enriched the story setting and town as well as giving insight into how Whitbourn's mind worked in concocting the tales I had just read. Why was that afterward only included in the print book and not in the ebook? On the other hand, the print version is so huge that one is in danger of being crushed if falling asleep in bed while reading. All it needed was smaller type, folks.

Regardless of my few quibbles this book is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful tour-de-force of virtuoso storytelling November 10, 2011
This hefty volume collects all 26 yarns in the Binscombe Tales canon - a delightful tour-de-force of virtuoso storytelling at the intersecting boundaries of SF, horror, contemporary fantasy and ghost stories:

"Another Place" - a man finds he can't stop slipping sideways into a parallel reality

"Till Death Do Us Part" - a widow unwisely defies his dead wife's wishes

"Only One Careful Owner" - a young couple experience the worst kind of car trouble

"Waiting for a Bus" - the classic tale of ice-cold grue; originally published in The Third Book of After Midnight Stories (William Kimber, 1987) and The Year's Best Fantasy Stories (DAW Books, 1988)

"All Roads Lead to Rome" - romance and horror at an archaeological dig

"The Will to Live" - an obnoxious village resident with a dark secret

"Here is My Resignation" - a commuter turns his back on the rat race

"Video Nasty" - there's something in the walls of the Constantine sisters' house and it wants to be born

"Binscombe Jihad" - property developers start a war with something in the woods

"Roots" - a contemporary spin on the sleeping knights story; originally published in The Fourth Book of After Midnight Stories (William Kimber, 1988)

"Reggie Suntan" - a gangster seeks help dealing with a dead revolutionary

"His Holiness Commands" - a man tears a hole in spacetime

"Eyes" (aka "It Has Been Said") - a family haunted by the scrutiny of Death

"No Truce With Kings!
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and original January 28, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I read a description of Binscombe Tales that included the words "Twilight Zone", I didn't think the stories would have many surprises. As a longtime fan of TZ and a longtime reader of weird and supernatural fiction, I thought I'd read everything, or almost everything (or a lot). These stories surprised me with their originality.

The gentleman who recommended these stories warned me to take them in short doses, not to read them all at once so as to preserve their freshness. Well, HE couldn't have been more wrong. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I had to know what new facet of Binscombe Mr. Oakley would encounter next. When I was finished, I wanted more.

The "energy" of Binscombe (for want of a better term) ranges from the mundane to the cosmic. Some of the stories made me chuckle and some made me skittery, and all of them were imaginative and entertaining.

I heartily recommend this book, with a warning that some of these stories are quite dark, and that bad things happen to good people (but not all the people are all that good).

Readers who are offended by profanity and explicit sex or violence won't find any of that in these stories.

Thanks to Amazon for offering the digital version free of charge, for people who purchased the book.
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