Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall (Milligan Memoirs)
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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
A voice is calling across the land, 'Bombardier Milligan.' 'Bombadier Milligan is dead,' I replied in a disguised voice. The voice replied, 'Then he's going to miss his breakfast.'
The fourth volume of Spike Milligan's legendary account of his time in the army during World War Two begins as he and his regiment land in sunny Italy in 1943 ('The ship touched the beach very gently, so gently I suspect it's not insured'). After a bout of Sandfly Fever, from which he soon recovers ('I'm ready to be killed again'), our plucky hero is piddled on by a farm dog ('Mussolini's revenge?') before forging his way inland towards the enemy and the sound of guns ('We're getting near civilisation'), where matters suddenly take a dark turn ('I was not really me any more') ...
'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.
morning I presume he had forgotten us. The subsequent guard commander said, “Piss off.” The boredom was getting me down. One grey morning I asked to see the OC. “What for?” said the Corporal. “It’s about Basenji.” “Wait here.” He knocked on a door. A very crisp voice shouted, “Come in.” Opening the door the Corporal said, “There’s a Lance-Bombardier Mirrigan wishes to see you, sir.” I was ushered in. The OC was a Major. He was a bright red. He wore his hat. Under a bulbous nose was a pepper
became a driver is beyond logic. To keep him on the road his passengers had to shout endless instructions. “Look out, STOP,” etc. However, he was such a nice bloke we hated to give him the push, but he broke down so often, we had to. “Oo fort of ‘ow ter make compo?” Tume asks. “I fink,” pontificated Fuller, “I fink they sweeps the floors of the tea factories, put it into tins and send it to us.” We are all squatting around the fire, some of us sit on broken furniture, Harry is balancing on a
explode. “Duds,” says Trew. “That or AP.” “AP?” says Edgington. “Wot’s he want to fire Armour Piercing at us for?” “It’s the dinner they’re after,” I said. “Gad, you’re right,” says Edgington, immediately seizing on the nonsense. “Once they can get a shell through the crust on a British Army Stew, the way is open to pour in reinforcements. In no time they would be behind the back of the cookhouse cutting off our supply of food, and bringing the Army Catering Corps to its knees.” “Imagine,”
breakfast ‘thing’. “After this I’m going to have a look over the hill ‘thing’ at Jerry’s positions,” I declared. “I’m beginning to wonder how long we’ll be up here,” said Fildes. “It’s been four days now, we were only supposed to be here for twenty-four hours.” Someone in the valley below is trying to attract our attention with a mirror. “I wonder what they want.” “We better switch on the set,” said Fildes. We get through and the message is “Come in. Position being closed down.” We take our
“What are they putting on…Aida?” We have sent for Driver Kidgell in Naples. The Guns and the Scammells are at workshops being overhauled; he’s not being overhauled, no, he and his oily bloody mates are sitting on their fat arses saying ‘Phew’ as they exhaust themselves playing Pontoon, and only move for meals and selling petrol. Half of them are freezing to death as they’ve sold their blankets, some of them are already in the Mafia. On the morning of December 22, his lordship Kidgell arrives in