Goodbye Soldier

Spike Milligan War Memoirs

Book 6
Penguin UK
6
Free sample

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


'My namer is Maria Antonoinetta Fontana, but everyone call me Toni.' 'I'm Spike, sometimes known as stop thief or hey you.' 'Yeser, I know.'

The sixth volume of Spike Milligan's off-the-wall account of his part in World War Two sees our hero doing very little soldiering. Because it's 1946. Rather, he is now part of the Bill Hall Trio - a 'Combined Services Entertainment' inflicted on unsuspecting soldiers across Italy and Austria - and is largely preoccupied with the unbearably beautiful ballerina, Ms Toni Fontana ('Arghhhhhhhhh!). But he must enjoy it while he can before he is demobbed and sent home to Catford - so he does ...


'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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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


'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked "This is your enemy". I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train...'

In this, the first of Spike Milligan's uproarious recollections of life in the army, our hero takes us from the outbreak of war in 1939 ('it must have been something we said'), through his attempts to avoid enlistment ('time for my appendicitis, I thought') and his gunner training in Bexhill ('There was one drawback. No ammunition') to the landing at Algiers in 1943 ('I closed my eyes and faced the sun. I fell down a hatchway').

Filled with bathos, pathos and gales of ribald laughter, this is a barely sane helping of military goonery and superlative Milliganese.


'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.

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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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin UK
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Published on
Dec 13, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780241966204
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / General
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
History / Military / World War II
Humor / Form / Essays
Humor / General
Performing Arts / Comedy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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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


'I had not informed my parents of my return, I wanted it to be a lovely surprise; it was, for me, they were away ...'

The seventh and last volume of Spike Milligan's memoirs sees our hero returning from war and Italy ... but to what? Aside from shooting large, inaccurate guns at Germans, all he has done for five long years is blow a trumpet, tell rude jokes and write and perform sketches for the entertainment of bored and murderous soldiers - who on earth is going to pay a civilian to do more of that? From the giddy heights of Hackney Empire to a Zurich Freak Show and beyond, Spike makes his way through the backwaters of showbiz, first as band musician then as one-man wild-act and eventually in the company of a group of like-minded comedians called Harry Secombe, Michael Bentine and Peter Sellers. They decide to call themselves The Goons...


'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.

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


'At Victoria station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked "This is your enemy". I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train...'

In this, the first of Spike Milligan's uproarious recollections of life in the army, our hero takes us from the outbreak of war in 1939 ('it must have been something we said'), through his attempts to avoid enlistment ('time for my appendicitis, I thought') and his gunner training in Bexhill ('There was one drawback. No ammunition') to the landing at Algiers in 1943 ('I closed my eyes and faced the sun. I fell down a hatchway').

Filled with bathos, pathos and gales of ribald laughter, this is a barely sane helping of military goonery and superlative Milliganese.


'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.

Puckoon is Spike Milligan's classic slapstick novel, reissued for the first time since it was published in 1963.

'Pops with the erratic brilliance of a careless match in a box of fireworks' Daily Mail

In 1924 the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon.

Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. And in the middle of it all is poor Dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist, who is taunted and manipulated by everyone (including the sadistic author) to try and make some sense of this mess . . .

'Bursts at the seams with superb comic characters involved in unbelievably likely troubles on the Irish border' Observer

'Our first comic philosopher' Eddie Izzard

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.

Steve Coogan was born and raised in Manchester in the 1960s, the fourth of six children. From an early age he entertained his family with impressions and was often told he should 'be on the telly'. Failing to get into any of the London-based drama schools, he accepted a place at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre and before graduating had been given his first break as a voice artist on the satirical puppet show Spitting Image.

The late eighties and early nineties saw Coogan developing characters he could perform on the comedy circuit, from Ernest Moss to Paul Calf, and in 1992 he won a Perrier award with John Thomson. It was around the same time, while working with Armando Iannucci and Patrick Marber on On The Hour and The Day Today, that Alan Partridge emerged, almost fully formed.

Coogan, once a tabloid fixture, is now a respected film actor, writer and producer. He runs his own production company, Baby Cow, has a raft of films to his name (from 24 Hour Party People to Alpha Papa, the critically-acclaimed Partridge film), six Baftas and seven Comedy Awards. He has found huge success in recent years with both The Trip and Philomena, the latter bringing him two Oscar nominations, for producing and co-writing.

In Easily Distracted he lifts the lid on the real Steve Coogan, writing with distinctive humour and an unexpected candour about a noisy childhood surrounded by foster kids, his attention-seeking teenage years and his emergence as a household name with the birth of Alan Partridge.

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