'Rommel?' 'Gunner Who?': A Confrontation in the Desert

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Penguin UK, Dec 13, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages
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Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared.

'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express

'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail

'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times


'Keep talking, Milligan. I think I can get you out on Mental Grounds.' 'That's how I got in, sir.' 'Didn't we all.'

The second volume of Spike Milligan's legendary recollections of life as a gunner in World War Two sees our hero into battle in North Africa - eventually. First, there is important preparation to be done: extensive periods of loitering ('We had been standing by vehicles for an hour and nothing had happened, but it happened frequently'), psychological toughening ('If a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it') and living dangerously ('no underwear!'). At last the battle for Tunis is upon them...


'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry

'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese

'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard

'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan

'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin

'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian


Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.

 

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About the author (2012)

The legendary and iconic figure, Spike Milligan was born at Ahmednagar in India in 1918. He received his first education in a tent in the Hyderabad Sindh desert and graduated from there, through a series of Roman Catholic schools in India and England, to the Lewisham Polytechnic. He then plunged into the world of Show Business, seduced by his first stage appearance, at the age of eight, in the nativity play of his Poona convent school. He began his career as a band musician, but became famous as a humorous scriptwriter and actor in both films and broadcasting. He was the creator, principal writer and performer of the infamous Goon Show. Spike received an honorary CBE in 1992 and Knighthood in 2000. He died in 2002.

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