Ahh Buckles… how you have enriched my life all these years. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve never actually met of course (although we did once share a train carriage), but all in all, I think we’d both agree that we have become firm friends over the years. And by firm friends, I mean two wonderful strangers. It was only a matter of time until I accepted Ramble Book into my life. And what a lovely treat it was…
Ramble Book is Adam Buxton’s long awaited plunge into the world of literature. The concept was mooted way back in 2016 and has taken four years to come to fruition. In that time, a lot has happened to young Buckles, most notably the long illness and subsequent passing of his father, Nigel (or ‘Bad Dad’ as fans of the Adam & Joe Show will know him). This event clearly had a profound effect on Ramble Book, and it also shaped my own response to Buxton’s work, as I lost both my father and my father-in-law in a hellish six-month period two years ago. Regular references to the death of Bad Dad on both his own podcast, and on various other forms of media (most notably the excellent Griefcast with Cariad Lloyd) helped me to process my own thoughts and feelings, and for this I am forever grateful.
Luckily, Ramble Book isn’t just a sad grief cake with the candles blown out, we are also given an insight into Buxton’s private school education (which financially ruined his father), his early friendship with Louis Theroux and Joe ‘Cornballs’ Cornish and his later excursion into the murky world of television – as well as continued ruminations on David Bowie. I found all of this both warmly familiar and utterly fascinating, especially when taken in as an audiobook. A particular treat is the bonus podcast episode which accompanies the audiobook, which sees Joe Cornish give his own hilarious critique on Buxton’s masterwork.
The highlight of the entire book however, is Buxton’s argument diary that he keeps to log the various conflicts he has undertaken with his wife (‘myyyyyyy wife’) over the years. This gave me an opportunity to reflect on my own marital squabbles, and helped to confirm that, as suspected, I was in the right for nearly all of them.
All in all, Ramble Book is probably the most satisfying thing that Adam Buxton has put his name to. I might even buy the physical version and read the damn thing again.