An English Western inspired by William Faulkner, Beneath the Trees of Eden is Tim Binding's masterpiece: a visionary depiction of England at the twilight of a rebellious era, told through the story of a renegade couple as they travel across the country's motorways.
'Transcends its quotidian English setting with hallucinatory prose and characters that seem restlessly redrawn on every page . . . There's an abundance of pleasures here . . . A novel to cherish for its ambition and its portrayal of a vanished world' Literary Review
'Fierce, untamed, animal in its joy. Terrific' Patrick McCabe
'A glorious road-trip of novel' Louise Kennedy
Alice is just twenty when she becomes involved with Louis, a brooding, older man who has spent his life building some of the first motorways to stretch across the landscapes of England. With a child on the way, the couple set off on the road together, determined to carve out a life for themselves off the beaten track.
But as their son grows older, he begins to question his parents' philosophy and the sacrifices they make in order to live on their own terms. Caught between the draw of the past and a dream of new community, their fates are transformed by chance encounters, patterns unfolding like lines across a map.
Told in searing, lyrical prose, Beneath the Trees of Eden is a powerful rumination on the possibility for salvation, the people and places we find ourselves tethered to, and the things that get left behind.
Chronicles an epic road trip that begins in 1967 and finishes sometime after the miner's strike in 1984. Soaked in a postwar English parochialism that's both comfortingly familiar and (to millennial eyes, perhaps) shockingly alien, the book transcends its quotidian English setting with its hallucinatory prose and characters that seem restlessly redrawn on every page . . . We are compelled to read on by the muscular writing, with its salty dialogue and authentic 1960s ambience . . . There's an abundance of pleasures here, from the visionary, CinemaScope quality of the prose to scenes that are genuinely and memorably strange . . . A novel to cherish for its ambition and its portrayal of a vanished world - Literary Review
Animalistic, thrilling, and intense . . . Beneath the Trees of Eden offers a magical, transformative way of analysing England's roads - and what it means to live a life roaming them - Storgy
Like On the Road, this is a beatnik journey of a novel, the pace altering between laborious and lightning, justly mirroring life's banality and sudden splinters of change - Lunate
No less than astonishing - a brilliant and sincere realisation of a landscape, its dark presence, and its power to shape the moods and predilections of those it hosts . . . Beautifully written and affecting - Yorkshire Times
I have always thought Tim Binding's novels hugely underrated, and his new one, Beneath the Trees of Eden, is as good as ever: a late-1960s bohemian picaresque in which two desperadoes light out across the newly-built English motorways and the Summer of Love hastens on into winter almost from one chapter to the next - The Tablet
In gorgeous, lyrical prose Tim Binding gives us an England on the cusp of great change as a beautiful, sometimes brutal Arcadia. A glorious road-trip of a novel, with an exquisite love story at its heart -- Louise Kennedy
Binding's performance displays something close to perfect pitch ... A tremendous empathetic achievement - and vastly entertaining -- Praise for 'Man Overboard' - Evening Standard
Binding fashions a convincing picture of a restless post-war world ... A consistently entertaining and resourceful novel -- D. J. Taylor, Praise for 'Man Overboard' - Guardian
In 1967, a couple embark on a journey across the motorways and landscapes of Britain in this beautiful, expansive and arresting portrait of a life outside social convention
About the Author
Tim Binding was born in Germany in 1947. He is the author of In the Kingdom of Air, A Perfect Execution, Island Madness, On Ilkley Moor, Anthem, Man Overboard, The Champion and the children's book Sylvie and the Songman. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.