Neil K. Henderson’s An English Summer in Scotland and Other Unlikely Events does have more than its fair share of the unlikely and also the just plain demented. Each story takes you on a trip into Henderson’s imagination and it is some imagination.
It seems that no one can put meaning to butter and parsnips the way this wild Scot from Knightswood can. Also, no one can put together a dream girl, a birthday and a quiet time at home with a hole in the kitchen and creepy-crawlies doing their thing quite the same way. The hole is so deep it may reach all the way to Australia! What’s more, there’s a candle of all things shedding some light at the other end, making the hole even more of a wonder.
Colour explodes. There’s a kind of magical mystery tour going on amidst ancient grim even though no one is going anywhere fast except the crepy-crawlies. Then the scene changes.
Does Bunchie Nuttall get Ali Butterfield in the end? Does he even want her in the end?
Also, what’s with this dead, demented zombie cat? Is witchcraft afoot in Scotland or is it just the heat?
Can you have a quick draw thing happening in Scotland? Well, there is a Quick Draw at the Lazy B. Laundrettes are places where apparently a mamn has to do what a man has to do.
Bath-time in Hell can be a bad scene especially when the number one bad guy turn up. Again there are the creepy-crawlies to consider.
There are The Cat with the Inside-Out Head and The Cheesey Buscuit Goblin to make you wonder or at least push you in that direction.
Henerson’s style isn’t quite like fantasy writer Terry Pratchett but, then again, Terry Pratchett is English and loves his swords as well as his sorcery. Also in style Henderson is definitely more over the top and a dozen or so valleys away.
This book could be compared favourably with The Steam-driven Boy and Other Strangers (1973) by Englishman John Stadek. Also An English Summer in Scotland is Henderson’s salute to british writer Lewis Carroll in that it has a mysterious hole, a girl like Alice in Ali and creatures best read about in the context of this fiction. Be warned though that this is experimental stuff. If you want further comparisons than try A Spaniard in the Works by John Lennon (1965).
An English Summer in Scotland and Other Unlikely Events by Neil K. Henderson was first published in 2005 by Skrev Press. For further information on grabbing a copy go to:
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