“ Genre: Humour / Author: Spike Milligan, Jack Hobbs / Unknown Binding / 108 Pages / Book is published 1975-05-12 by M Joseph „
When I bought Black Beauty According to Spike Milligan recently and reviewed it, I had the pleasure of receiving a free book (also by Spike Milligan) that came with it called The Great McGonagall Scrapbook. If you have ever seen a TV spinoff (scrapbook style) you will know what I am talking about lots of pictures, fewer words but good reading material if you are on the loo for 5 mins.
This is exactly where The Great McGonagall Scrapbook belongs. Not because it is foul reading mind you, although some of the jokes are a bit vulgar and the poetry absolutely stinks, but because it lacks the strength of a gripping saga it is best read in 5 min snippets.
The plot, presented in clippings, letters, comical images, signs and notices revolve around the life of William McGonagall, a bad Scottish actor who is always drunk, broke and tormenting ladies for sexual favours. At the beginning of the book, I was a bit bored with the typical clichés, such as the bad acting which attracted vegetable-throwing and lots of jokes about what is under the kilt, but after reading through about 50 pages (I had to guess, there were no numbers of the pages sign of a cheap effort) I did feel that McGonagall took me on a journey of sorts from visiting her Majesty to a stint in jail and of course, plenty of vanishing into the countryside and being kicked out of theatres and pubs.
As a comic memoir of a fictional life and as a parody of scrapbook novels in general, Spike Milligan has pulled through quite well the story certainly conveys the filthy, vulgar and pennypinching ways of McGonagall and has a few funny parts in it: So as not to embarrass the prison staff McGonagall was let out the back door with a blanket over his head and a boot up the back. He took with him his entire worldly possessions an empty cardboard box, even that had a for sale sign on it, and had been given to him by the nude admiral, who had kept her clothes in it.
The Great McGonagall Scrapbook does come across as quite Scottish, although never having been to Scotland I am only guessing after reading quite a number of Scottish texts. I would be a bit worried if anyone was considering buying this book new and I would ask if you needed your head examined if you thought this was good bedtime reading.
Definitely not one of Spikes best works
Milligans finest books The Looney, Puckoon and Adolf Hitler My Part In His Downfall are excellent reads and highly recommended for those who enjoy original humour mixed with literature. The Great McGonagall Scrapbook I would recommend for those who are hardcore Milligan fans seeking more of his work or if you just want something ultra cheap to read on the loo.
OTHER RECOMMENDED BOOKS BY SPIKE MILLIGAN:
*The Looney An Irish Fantasy (my favourite!)
*Adolf Hitler My Part In His Downfall
*Mussolini His Part In My Downfall
*Monty His Part In My Victory
Publisher: Wyndham Publications
Year Published: 1975
IBSN No: 0 352 39778 0
© 2007 Snu210