Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
A tale of two halves
on 31 August 2010
The first CD of this two disc set consists mainly of Milligan reading excerpts from his poetry and prose, e.g. 'Adolf Hitler- my Part in His Downfall'. Spike sounds very frail for much of this first disc, I wonder how old he was when this was recorded (typically, the CD insert gives only minimal information, a list of credits, and an advertisement for other BBC audio books. Surely they could have run to a couple of paragraphs; some listeners may actually be new to Milligan). Also, although much of his writing is very funny, it doesn't lend itself so successfully to being read out loud - particularly when rather self-indulgently, as here. What is rewarding on this first disc is the excerpt from Milligan's appearance on Radio 4's 'In The Psychiatrist's Chair', with Anthony Clare gently probing Spike and getting some moving replies about his experiences in World War 2, which clearly left a very deep impression.
The second disc is much more upbeat and is largely made up of excerpts from a number of Goon Shows. Also there is a complete Goon Show , the only one recorded without an audience, 'The Starlings', which frankly is not up to the best of them, and loses out by not having an audience for the Goon Show team (and the listener) to react to.
All in all, I think you would be much better spending your money on Milligan's books, and the best of the complete Goon Show recordings.