The Magical World of Milligan by Spike Milligan
|The Magical World of Milligan by Spike Milligan|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Another compendium of Spike Milligan's wonderful poems, doodles and short stories. Refreshingly, there is very little crossover with A Children's Treasury of Milligan, but both are an absolute joy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 208||Date: September 2009|
|Publisher: Virgin Books|
Some people you just have to love. It's the law. Spike Milligan was always fantastic, and he's much missed. He's got the perfect mix of nonsense, heart, and surreal humour. He speaks to people of all ages, and he's just plain lovely.
Fifty years ago, he first published Silly Verse For Kids, from which Norma Farnes has selected some poems. Also featured in The Magical World of Milligan are choice cuts of Condensed Animals, Dip the Puppy, A Book of Bits, Fleas, Knees and Hidden Elephants, The Terrible Monster Jelly, A Mad Medley of Milligan, The Gingerbread Boy, A Dustbin of Milligan and A Witch's Tale. Rather wonderfully, there's very little crossover with the equally excellent Children's Treasury of Milligan. You get Ning Nang Nong in both, but that's about it.
I love it all, but my particular favourites are:
I rarely ever think of you
I don't suppose you think of me
And that is how it's going to be.
and best of all
The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled -
That's just Spike Milligan in a nutshell to me. You could condense his war autobiographies down to those three lines (if you were stupid enough to want to miss out on them). It pricks the bubble of mindless and empty gestures. It values human life. It's downright funny.
I suppose I'd better offer you something a bit more useful than "It's Spike Milligan. Buy it. Love it". In a straight choice between this and Children's Treasury of Milligan, I'd plump for the Treasury simply because it has the poems and stories that I first discovered as a wee one when I read A Book of Milliganimals. If it weren't for that, it'd be a complete toss-up. The quality of each compendium is incredibly high, and with such a large body of work to choose from, you don't feel like you're missing out with either. In fact, the best option is just to buy both.
As collections of silly poems, funny doodles and quirky short stories go, The Magical World of Milligan is top notch. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
If you can't get enough surreal nonsense, then check out The Further Adventures of the Queen Mum by Harry Hill and Sensible Hare and the Case of Carrots by Daren King, or indeed anything from the Top Ten Quirky Kids' Books.
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