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Puckoon is Spike Milligan's classic slapstick novel, reissued for the first time since it was published in 1963. "Pops with the erratic brilliance of a careless match in a box of fireworks". (Daily Mail). In 1924 the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon. Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. And in the middle of it all is poor Dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist, who is taunted and manipulated by everyone (including the sadistic author) to try and make some sense of this mess..."Bursts at the seams with superb comic characters involved in unbelievably likely troubles on the Irish border". (Observer). "Our first comic philosopher". (Eddie Izzard). Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.
book nearly drove me mad. I started it in 1958 and doodled with it for 4 years. I don’t think I could go through it all again, therefore, as this will be my first and last novel, I would like to thank those who helped me get it finished. First I want to thank me, then Paddy my wife; without her, for certain reasons, this book would never have been completed. I also thank my family for eternal encouragement, Harry Edgington my old army pal, who cheered me up when I was down, Gordon Lansborough who
pension by a half. But back to now. On a show of hands, they accepted his suggestion. In what was meant to be a solemn moment, all hands held the pencil and pulled slowly across the map. All was silent, the room was filled with suspicion. Occasionally a gasp rent the silence as they all strained for the advantage. ‘Steady, someone’s pulling to the benefit of Ulster.’ ‘Lies, all lies.’ ‘Who gave that jerk?’ ‘Ah! I felt that.’ ‘Swine!’ Finally the pencil reached its destination. Faces broke
it said and disappeared. Madame Mooney prodded Patrick’s stern with her bow. ‘Don’t do that Madame Mooney!’ he said. ‘It pleasures me not any more.’ ‘They’ll be ready in two minutes, Patrick.’ ‘Oh.’ Patrick checked his music. ‘Did you hear that, Miss Murphy?’ She nodded her head. ‘A tuning A please.’ He plucked the sagging strings to order, then in a jocular mood, drew the bow fiercely across the bridge with all the fire of decay. ‘How’s that!’ he said. ‘Out!’ shouted an old cricket fan in
gift from above! Slamming the gates, Shamus gave the ancient rope the pull of its rotting life. It snapped. The ancient lift hurtled down the shaft, hit the rubber buffers in the basement and hurtled up again. It hovered at the third floor ’twixt momentum and gravity, just long enough for an unsuspecting chambermaid to step in and hurtle down again. ‘Have we got the electric on?’ she smiled at the terrified occupants. Patrick Balls not wanting to spend his remaining years yo-yoing in a lift,
eatin’ naked.’ ‘Nugent dear, you know very well I must rub you with oil and spices, as was our custom,’ she reminded him. ‘But I’m hungry,’ he insisted, holding on to his trousers. ‘Come, come, dear,’ she said rolling up her sleeves, ‘I don’t want to have to kill you again, you know how unpleasant it was last time.’ ‘Eh?’ said Foggerty. The Customs camp and its attendant soldiers were returning to normal after the night’s ructions. ‘They must have been I.R.A. I suppose, Sergeant?’ said Lt