Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

REVIEW: Spike Milligan: Man of Letters by Spike Milligan (Penguin)

Spike Milligan, fractured genius, was hell to work for. Norma Farnes, his assistant and manager, clarified as much in her 2003 memoir ‘Spike’…

 Yet for all his rages and sulks, he clearly appreciated the work she performed for him. The existence of this book is partial proof. After going through a sticky divorce and finding herself tight for money, Milligan told her to raid his correspondence in order to compile a book, the money from which would give her a boost. His only stipulation being that he wanted nothing to do with it, no consultation, no approval. This resulted in a pair of volumes (the first in 1977 and the second in 1984). This edition takes some material from those volumes but has been substantially bulked by un-collected work. 

Readers expecting a lot of laughs are likely to be disappointed, while a few letters give vent to Milligan’s absurd humour, the vast majority are little windows into his obsessions. From the petty rant (did a day go by when he didn’t receive a parking ticket?) to his overwhelming obsessions (overpopulation, architectural preservation and ducks). It’s a sketch of a very complex man, occasionally contradictory, sometimes dull, sometimes mind-expanding, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. If that’s not a description of life I don’t know what is.

Related entries

WIN KEVIN KEEGAN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY – MY LIFE IN FOOTBALL

WIN KEVIN KEEGAN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY – MY LIFE IN FOOTBALL

Win a copy of Kevin Keegan’s autobiography!   To celebrate the paperback release of Kevin Keegan’s new autobiography, My Life In Football we have partnered with Pan Macmillan to give one lucky winner the chance to win a copy! To enter come over to us on Facebook...

NEW BOOKS OUT FOR THIS CHRISTMAS

NEW BOOKS OUT FOR THIS CHRISTMAS

Haynes Publishing have some nice new pocket books out this Christmas, they’re perfect for anyone looking for “stocking fillers”. The books are a short, entertaining guide to all the most important things in life. Bluffer's Guide To Rugby – Steven Gauge, £5.00...

Latest entries

The Best Family Walks in Britain

The Best Family Walks in Britain

We could all do with exercise, fresh air and some lovely low-cost days out, not to mention some beautiful scenery. Charles Clinkard have put together a list of the 40 greatest walks for families in Britain, taking into account a number of helpful amenities such as...

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

As a parent of a 10 year old who is rapidly approaching the age where he will be getting his own phone, I’m concerned about ensuring he isn’t exposed to a cavalcade of disturbing things online. I’m worrying about bullying, about him being contacted or making friends...

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

The Olympics have started! Despite a lack of fans (crowd noise will be piped into the stadiums instead) the event is still as important as ever and makes for great summer viewing. So at Dad.Info we have rounded up 21 interesting facts about Japan to both liberally...

Pin It on Pinterest