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Mr Piffy Comes Home

Mr. Piffy Comes Home


ALTHOUGH Geoffrey Bingham was known and appreciated as a short-story writer in the Bulletin more than thirty years ago, he did not bring out his first collection until 1980. That book, To Command the Cats, gave his readers a comprehensive insight into his concerns and abilities, enabling them—as Douglas Stewart said—to see what his world was made of.

Geoffrey Bingham's world, of course, reflects his own life: his childhood on Sydney's North Shore, his experiences during the Second World War in Malaya where he won the Military Medal for bravery and suffered as a prisoner of war at Changi and elsewhere, his five years of farming after the war, and his subsequent life as a clergyman in various parts of the world.

The fact that emerges most clearly from his writing is his understanding of people. Whether he is being kindly or critical he is always perceptive, always probing at the heart of things, always fascinated by human diversity. He is concerned with what we used to call 'character' and the forces that help to mould it; with motives and responses, personality and interaction. It is this concern that illuminates so many of his stories, whether the central figures are seen in the context of peace or war, affluence or poverty, town or countryside; whether they happen to be schoolboys stealing fruit or blowing up someone's letterbox, an Australian soldier unexpectedly becoming a jungle guerrilla behind enemy lines, or a maniac deliberately starting bushfires in New South Wales.

It is good, therefore, to have this second collection so soon after the first. It not only extends the range of our acquaintance with his work, but it enables us to enjoy more fully his distinctive vision of humanity.

Colin Thiele

Mr Piffy Comes Home

Troubadour Press

Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

by Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

Subject: Short Stories

Book Code: 337

Pages: 296 pp, Book

Pub. Date: 1993

ISBN: 1 87565 304 X

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