Puckoon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


My dad had me reading Spike Milligan’s books from a very young age, but unfortunately the delightful-sounding Puckoon wasn’t in our collection. Neither, it seems, is it in the extensive – yet obviously not exhaustive – collection of the Toronto Public Library. How disappointing!

The novel concerns the troubles brought to the fictional Irish village of Puckoon by the Partition of Ireland: the new border, due to a lapse by the Boundary Commission, passes right through the village, resulting in such absurdities as the church and graveyard being in different countries (the resulting disruption to funerals, exacerbated by the border guards’ insistence that all members of the funeral party including the corpse must have valid passports, is a major motivator for the latter part of the plot).

The protagonist of the novel is the feckless Dan Milligan, a man so lazy that the author is obliged to take direct action to prevent him spending the entire novel lounging about at home; thus alerted to his status as a fictional character, Milligan spends much of the subsequent story engaged in arguments with his creator about the trouble he’s been put to.

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