The two previous anthologies, ‘The Essential Spike Milligan’ and ‘The Compulsive Spike Milligan’, brought together the very best of his stories, cartoons, poems and correspondence, and reminded his fans how deserved his reputation was as a wildly inventive and original comedian.
‘The Unpublished Spike Milligan’ – chosen and edited by Norma Farnes, Milligan’s manager, biographer and close friend – is yet more essential and compulsive than these first two collections. It consists of the contents of ‘Box 18’, a file into which the highly prolific Spike would put his writing and drawings as they came to him, but which never came to be published. The book also draws on previously unseen diaries and letters. As both an original anthology and a personal legacy from a long-gone era, this is absolutely unmissable.
Reviews of Box 18
- ‘The volume does have a peculiar fascination, its tone set by the initial photograph of an elderly Milligan gripping the famous red This Is Your Life book in front of him as if it might afford some kind of defence. Much of the volume reproduces actual pages of handwriting, or handtyping. Naked script and unedited work generate a strange intimacy as one of Britain’s most famously depressed and mercurial human beings bounces from mood to mood, some of them apocalyptic. It’s hard not to love the ones who make us laugh. And it’s hard to get enough of what we love.’ A.L.Kennedy, Guardian
- ‘This book gives us the feeling of looking over Spike’s shoulder as he worked and is the nearest we are ever likely to get to the real Spike Milligan. It most certainly complements Norma’s earlier “Spike: An Intimate Memoir.“ Most definitely a book for all lovers of Spike’s work.’ Mike Brown, Chairman of the Goon Show Preservation Society
- ‘This is a book which any Spike Milligan fan pore over for hours.’ The Oldie
- ‘For lovers of vintage British comedy.’ The Gloss Magazine