Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BIOGRAPHY: Milligan's Meaning of Life - Spike Milligan and Norma Farnes

Release Date: 20/10/11


With his lightning-quick wit, unbridled creativity and his ear for the absurd, Milligan revolutionised British comedy, leaving a legacy of influence that stretches from Monty Python's "Flying Circus" to the work of self-confessed acolytes such as Eddie Izzard and Stephen Fry today. Throughout his life, Milligan wrote prolifically - scripts, poetry, fiction, as well as several volumes of memoir, in which he took an entirely idiosyncratic approach to the truth. In this ground-breaking work, Norma Farnes, his long-time manager, companion, counsellor and confidante, gathers together the loose threads, reads between the lines and draws on the full breadth of his writing to present his life in his own words: an autobiography - of sorts. From his childhood in India, through his early career as a jazz musician and sketch-show entertainer, his spells in North Africa and Italy with the Royal Artillery, to that fateful first broadcast of "The Goon Show" and beyond into the annals of comedy history, this is the autobiography Milligan never wrote.


A tribute and biography of Spike Milligan partly in his own words and a title that I absolutely loved from the first page to the last especially since I remember listening to my radio and enjoying the Goon Shows on repeat on a Sunday Night before bed.

What this title does is bring not only the witty Spike to the fore but allows the reader to delve deeper into the man behind the character through personal letters and brought together by his manager Norma Farnes who got to see the side of him that was rarely presented. It’s touching, it has a wonderful blend of whimsy and also allows the reader to relive some of Spike’s funniest moments as well as the ups and downs in his own life.

All in, this is a wonderful tribute to one of the people who changed the face of comedy as the British audience will attest. Magical.

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