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Milligan, Spike

war memoirs goon volumes

(British, 1918–2002)

The Goons shaped British comedy for half a century and Milligan's unique brand of zany, surreal humour was the essence of Goonery. Milligan's output was prolific; novels, poems, scripts, memoirs, spoofs on classic texts, and he was also a performer and broadcaster. The original Milligan is best displayed in The Goon Show (available in several volumes of Goon Show Scripts and on audio). Puckoon (1969) is a hilariously anarchic comic novel set in the fictional Irish town of Puckoon. In six volumes of war memoirs, starting with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1971), Milligan's crazy insights into the life of a soldier in combat are powerfully expressive of the unbelievable insanity of war. The humour doesn't numb the pain of the experience. Milligan's memoirs can now be seen as among the most poignant of the Second World War.

Joseph Heller, Howard Jacobson RV

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