One of my favorite writers is Archie Binns. Hardly any of his books are still in print, and there is a serious dearth of any writing about him out there. Until just now, there wasn't even a wikipedia entry about him, despite him being a notable writer back in the 1930s and 40s. If you do know anything about Binns, edit this entry.
So, what I'm going to do is start a new series here where I reread some Archie Binns books and seek out ones I haven't and write a 1,000 word or so review. I'm rereading the Roaring Land now (which I had read most of), and I'm going to pick up The Laurels are Cut Down (which I hadn't read yet) in a few days.
Here are some Archie Binns links too.
Why am I doing this? It has some to do with Raban, but it also has to do with writing about what I like and also being a little mad that there wasn't a wikipedia entry, and when you look up his name you get a list of books of his for sale, but nothing about him.
Archie Binns wikipedia
Review: The Roaring Land
Digital Archie Binns: Steamboat Era from "Roaring Land"
We are now reading "Mighty Mountain", a book I found in the garage sale pile at my grandma's. While I'm not pissed off about it...it is amazing that I've never heard of him. Very rich, engaging and wonderful story telling. Actually maybe I am starting to get a little upset....
I grew up in Seattle in the late 60's and 70's, Sea Pup, and Sea Pup Again were two of my fovorite books, and I had great joy in sharing them with my son a few years ago. The idea of being Clint on Hood Canal, and the many adventures really struck a chord with me....eI sail a lot, and every time I see a harbor seal I think of buster !
Radio Imp is the first novel I remember reading. I became an instant fan of his work for children. I wasn't aware of his other (adult) writings until today when, in a fit of nostalgia, I googled his name. I'd love to share Radio Imp and other titles with my grandchildren. As children of the computer age, I wonder if they will be able to imagine a world with a magic radio.
"Northwest Gateway: The Story of the Port of Seattle" has been a favorite of mine since I was a teenager back in the '70's.
While visiting at a 1940's ranch house in Texas, I spotted in a box of old books 'Timber Beast' by Archie Binn, published in 1944. When I returned to Seattle and began reading my borrowed book, I was delighted to discover this Northwest author had written an engaging story set in my home state. Kind of cosmic, I'd say! Now I am an Archie Binn fan.
Hey Louis, if you're going to pick up another Binns book, I'd highly suggest "Mighty Mountain" for your second read. Its right up there with "Timber Beast."
Totally remember Sea Pup and Sea Pup Again. Basically "The Highest Tide" before the fact.
One of my sweetest memories of childhood. Looked all over for it to give to my nephew when he was young; never found a copy.
Rusty Ring: Reflections of an Old-Timey Hermit
I also became curious about Archie Binns as a writer and why more is not written about him. personally.
I picked up The Laurels Are Cut Down because the intro/"Beginning" chapter heavily mentioned Jimmy Pickett. I was already familiar with his father, Capt. Pickett (at FT. Bellingham, WA) and Picket's Charge during the Civil War when he died as a Southern General.
What got me curious about Binns as a person was how loosely the book includes Jimmy Pickett and that the setting was really out-of-the-way, on Hood Canal. I started thinking that this book is based on something in Binns' experience. What?
So far, I've only learned that his early years were geographically on either side pf the Canal, in Port Ludlow and Shelton. I'm left with the impression that the Laurels book may have been heavily influenced on his pre-high school years,
growing up in Port Ludlow. Hope to see more info on this site. Thanks!
I would like to know about his family background i.e. father, mother and siblings,grandparents
Don McLeod 29 Nov 2022
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