Wednesday, December 26, 2012

London Transports

1982, 1995 Dell edition
Maeve Binchy
London Transports
Original price $6.99, purchase price $1.98
Worn paperback

This is another short story collection, set in and around London obviously.  (I think the titles are Underground stops, e.g. "Shepherd's Bush," "Victoria," and "Tottenham Court Road.")  They're not as good, since the formula seems to be mostly "Clueless and somewhat unpleasant person(s) getting his/her/their comeuppance or at least realisation in the end."  The story that's the greatest exception to this, and one of the better stories, is "King's Cross," where a super secretary remakes one woman's worklife every few months, and then moves on, sort of a nicer Nanny McPhee for the career woman.  As with Dublin 4, the time is the present, sometimes with old-fashioned characters having to deal with things like wife-swapping or porn bookshops.

The copyright page says 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982.  It also says, "This work was first published in Great Britain in 1978 and 1980," and then mentions copyright dates for a few of the specific stories, including "Euston" in '82.  Wikipedia says that Binchy published Central Line in '78, and Victoria Line in '80, then London Transports in '83.  Without digging further, my guess is that this is Central and Victoria put together.  (With maybe a bit of the Northern Line?)  So you can see why I decided, "Screw it, these three Binchys are going in '82."  And although Lilac comes before Light, Dublin is earlier alphabetically, and London is definitely last.  Thank goodness it's mostly novels for her from here on out.

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