"Bring together an outstanding comic writer and a city of unlikely people and you'll find the perfect love-match. The wittiest, zaniest, and most truthful guide to a city you'll read: armchair travel has never been so good.
Or so funny."—Susie Dent

Oxford Examined

Town & Clown

Richard O. Smith

“Right from the introductory preamble, this is pure comedy genius. I dare anybody to read it and not start sniggering out loud. Warning: this may attract odd looks if you are on a bus or anywhere else in public.”—Oxford Times

“The funniest book ever about Oxford. Pure comedy genius. I read Oxford Examined and laughed so much.” —Gill Oliver, Oxford Mail

“Comic writing at its best.” —Griselda Heppel, winner of The People’s Book Prize

Repeatedly jamming his fork of curiosity into the live toaster of opportunity, comedian Richard O. Smith captures the experience of living in Oxford in probably the funniest book written about the Dreaming Spires. Collected here are 70 of his best Oxford Examined columns from the award-winning Oxford Times magazine Oxfordshire Limited Edition including several previously unpublished stories.

In these unflinchingly truthful columns he meets celebrities (Kate Middleton, Dara O’Briain, the one who plays Phoebe in Friends and a predictably grumpy Alan Sugar), visits the 11th dimension with an Oxford University maths protégée, gatecrashes Encaenia, flirts with a Roman slave girl from 79AD, is ejected from the Oxford Union by burly security, witnesses a comeuppance for a pack of arrogant students, conducts a walking tour for Britain’s scariest hen party, moves a library (which transpires to be harder work than moving a mountain), sees Britain’s most pretentious theatre production, participates in the UK’s national bell ringing championships (yes, that is a thing), allows Oxford University psychologists to experiment on him, rescues four escaped horses in a busy Oxford street (thankfully it wasn’t the apocalypse), becomes a crime-fighting superhero, is hospitalised in a serious bike accident, gets chased by a furious revenge-fixated woman dressed as a Friesian cow, strides out of his house one morning and disappears down a giant sink hole, mentors two stand-up comedy virgins, commits a devastating social faux pas and pledges to never use a split infinitive or sentence this long again.

Richard O. Smith is the author of The Man With His Head in the Clouds (“Very, very funny” – Lucy Porter). His other books include Oxford Student Pranks (“A jam-packed jamboree of jollity” – Dr Lucy Worsley), Britain’s Most Eccentric Sports (“Better than all 26 days of a cricket match” – Henning Wehn), Amazon no. 1 bestseller in humour As Thick As Thieves documenting true criminal ineptitude (“Made me think I should have considered a life of crime.”— Hugh Dennis), and The Unbeatables (“If you’re looking for a light-hearted, fun read, then The Unbeatables could be just the ticket. You may have seen the animated film of the same name, but it won’t spoil your enjoyment of the book if you haven’t. . . . An entertaining read.” —Late Tackle). Richard is a Chortle comedy award winner and a former National Football Writer of the Year. He’s written for The Independent, The Guardian and football fans’ magazine When Saturday Comes.

£9.99 paperback

Buy now

214 pages
November 2015
ISBN: 9781909930353