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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 September 2016
Very funny - I haven't finished it because I have been really busy but having read the first few pages, it had me in stitches. I leant it to my sister's husband whilst they were on holiday - he read it within a couple of days and said it was brilliant.
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on 10 July 2013
This, Part 4, of Spike's memoir deals with the ghastly Italian campaign of 1943/4. Through the media of the time, we learned that "Sunny Italy" was a grave misnomer. For Sunny one should read Soggy. (I remember seeing the newsreels.) Spike and his Battery fought three enemies, the rain, the mud, and of course Jerry. There is no doubt in my mind that the winter of 1943/4 pushed Spike ever closer to the verge of what we once called a nervous breakdown. We gather that his defence was his eccentric sense of humour and that of his immediate circle. Yes, they were funny. At times desperately funny. And we all know what desperate means.
After months of dreadful conditions and battle casualties and a cold hearted, autocratic Battery Commander, Spike is caught in a Mortar attack, slightly wounded, physically, but totally wrecked mentally. The final chapters of the book record his treatment, such as it was and his subsequent recovery, as the war in Europe ended.
The book is written with, at times, great sensitivity. Regarding the "funny" bits, yes some of them are very funny in a pre Goon Show style. However, it is a book that should be read by those of us who abhor War and recognise that war is not an enterprise to be entered upon lightly.
Read the book. In places, you will laugh, but in places you will be close to tears.
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on 6 March 2015
Spike Milligan's books on WW2 can't be recommended highly enough. Anyone who has worked in factories, warehouses, building sites etc. in peacetime at below management level will appreciate the humour, spirit, boredom, excitement and sometimes frustration while being controlled by the decisions of someone much higher up. These books make a brilliant antidote to the haughty accounts of both world wars by academic historians.
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on 10 June 2015
Brilliantly entertaining read, as are all of Spike's war diaries. Zany humour amid the shocking reality of war - and absolutely true to life as it was (and probably still is) in the forces. Really can't recommend too highly - a view widely shared.
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on 4 June 2016
Terribly funny, cynical account of what it's really like to be in the army fighting in a war. No heroics, just wry observation of the whole bloody insanity.
Spike suffered for the rest of his life from the after-effects of his experiences, but his war books and his part in the Goon Show were the positive outcomes. If there are libraries for the fighting services, this book should certainly be on their shelves.
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on 12 February 2015
Spike Milligan was a genius. In this book you hear of some of the more grisly experiences he had, right up to when he got shelled.

He paints a tragic picture of the war using some of his strong relationships to demonstrate the realism of his experiences. He manages to make you laugh at the ludicrous situations he finds himself in, then you get angry and frustrated with some examples of the callous leadership. Finally, he brings you down to earth by highlighting how pointless it all is.

I wish I could have been a fan during his lifetime. Long live Spike, a national treasure.
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on 14 October 2015
Very funny and very sad. The story of ww2 everybody knows along with simple things of life seen through the eyes ears nose of
Spike and hardships of losing comrades and friends. I'm glad you survived otherwise I wouldn't have read a great series of 3rd rate
travels from 3rd rate soldiers!! Cheers spike
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on 14 August 2015
I have thoroughly enjoyed rereading this book many years after I first read it. Although much of it is very funny, in a slightly rude, schoolboyish way, it also gives an insight into the lives of gunners at war.
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on 14 December 2013
I read the first two books (Adolf Hitler - my part in his downfall and Monty - my part in his victory) years ago and refreshed on my Kindle before reading this episode. This book is no different to the first two, an absolutely hilarious account of a very serious time in British history. At times his real feelings about his "mates" comes through sometimes sad but mostly funny stories of the difficulties of fighting a stubborn enemy in very difficult terrain. A great read especially for those who knew Spike's comedic genius on both radio and television.
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on 9 April 2014
Have been reading the from first memoires (volume 1) now on volume 4 still as good and as funny as the first book.
Great for long distance trips or when you are stuck in hotels on your own and want to unwind.
You should also try Puckoon if you like this.
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