This was a UK book read around 2000 but it could be a few years either side of that.

Protagonist finds himself on another world (post-apocalypse maybe) or he was a native to that world, I really can't remember, one main scene is all I've got.

He passed a town and, on the outskirts, the cracked old overgrown road suddenly changed. For several yards it was all nicely painted tarmac, immaculate white lines, scrubbed kerbstones and well trimmed grass verges. Central to this was a bus shelter and sign, nice flowerbeds around it and a queue of people waiting.

He chats with them and they do like religious speak about "Reg who is Stan and Varney who is Butler" and they've waited decades for him. Protagonist has a long discussion and points out the flaws in their faith, eventually they all disperse to resume their lives and he walks on himself.

A few hundred yards and he hears a noise so looks back, three red double decker buses are whizzing along a foot above the ground, as they pass he recognises the cheeky grin of Reg Varney in his Stan Butler cap, he is driving the lead bus.

He watches them recede in bemusement but then has to flee an angry crowd "you bastard! Thirty years I waited and you made me miss the bus!"

I know there was a lot more book after that but the bus queue is all I got.

  • 3
    In case anyone is wondering, there's a 1960's British sitcom called On the Buses where actor Reg Varney plays bus driver Stan Butler.
    – Spencer
    Jul 21, 2019 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


This is The Garden of Unearthly Delights(1995) by Robert Rankin, a novel about the world moving beyond the "age of reason" into an age where magic exists and powerful wizards rule the world.

The main character is tasked by one of the wizards, the aptly named McGuffin, to retrieve a magical item from his arch enemy. On his way through the dramatically changed earth he encounters many strange people, including a cult who is religiously waiting at the bus stop for the heavenly bus driver to take them away.

The connection to the British sitcom On the Buses is mentioned on the novel's Wikipedia page.

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