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.
the Junoesque side. She smiled and nodded her head in the direction she came. Percival left his hat on the chair, went all soppy, and followed her out of the room. The door closed and I heard the key turn in the lock. The fat lady, I now noticed, had her left hand and wrist bandaged. “Tedescho, boom boom,” she said, and made like a pistol. “Tedescho Molto Cativo,” then she sat down in the chair opposite, lifted her skirt and showed me her fanny, which had so much hair on it looked like a black
(Session No. 1). Joe Slater (vocalist, tenor): “As Time Goes By’. Sgt. King, normally known as Ross King: “The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God’. THE ROYAL HORSE HILLBILLIES (otherwise Milligan, Edgington, Fildes, Kidgell and White). George Shipman (baritone): “Shipmates o’ Mine’. Webster: Scotland for ever. THE GREATEST ITEM EVER. ALLINSCRAP: Man Mountain Deans (142lb including tin hat & Small Arms) versus The Barnsley Basher (Rollicking Robinson, 156 ½ lb including truck, less tools)
toenails with a jack-knife; in his hands he holds a dozen three-inch bolts that he drops as his toenails are pared. Kidgell swigs his ‘Racoon’s Piss’, spits, and from the back of the hall comes a Danggggggggg! as BSM Griffin hits an empty 25-pounder shell-case. BANGGG! BANGGG! Edgington and I let off our blank cartridge muskets. We had never tried them before, so loud was the explosion that a great gasp of ‘Corrr bloody hell’ ran through the audience. At the same time two tin plates dislodged
heard explosions in that distant sleep-ridden way; I hard Spike Deans say in a sing-song voice like Jiminy Cricket, “Oh Spikeeeee, we’re being shelleeddd.” I remember my reply, “Fuck ‘em,” and dozed off but then…my diary tells the story: 0220 HRS: AWAKENED BY SOMEONE SCREAMING COMING FROM THE GUNS, PULLED BACK THE BLACK-OUT AND COULD SEE THE GLARE OF A LARGE FIRE, AT THE SAME TIME A VOICE IN PAIN WAS SHOUTING “COMMAND POST, FOR GOD’S SAKE SOMEBODY, WHERE’S THE COMMAND POST?” IT WAS SOMEONE WITH
much until we got through Lauro and then on to the railway track, now denuded of rails and used as a communications road. It was a lovely day, sunny. Suddenly Alf said, “This is beautiful! Sunshine—birds singing, I could do with more of this.” He told me the OP and the Major’s HQ were both in ‘dodgy’ positions. Hart had been up the OP, and it had finished him—Jerry was ramming everything on to them. It all sounded grim, and I wondered what my lot would be. The sounds of Artillery faded as small