The Compulsive Spike Milligan edited by Norma Farnes Harper Perennial $144 'When I die they'll say, 'Spike Milligan wrote the Goon Shows and died'.' This, says Norma Farnes, was a fear the comedian articulated time and again, even when he was told that his novel, Puckoon, had sold more than one million copies. To illustrate the richness of Milligan's oeuvre, Farnes - who was his agent and manager for 35 years - has put together 'a fraction' of the gems he wrote, publishing them in The Essential Spike Milligan and The Compulsive Spike Milligan. Fans of the barmy comedian will probably appreciate the diversity of material in this 435-page anthology, including a script for The Goon Show (1954, fifth series) written for himself, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. Most revealing are his letters, including those to Margaret Thatcher (to support the protection of seals) and good friend and fellow comedian Marty Feldman. His different writing styles - sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes odd, sometimes serious - reveal a complex man who would have been pleased that fans had a glimpse of his other sides.