C. L. Jubb is thirty-six, married, gainfully employed, and active in his community, both in local government and as a volunteer youth leader working with disadvantaged boys. But as he narrates the story of his downfall, we begin to see that he is other things as well: a voyeur, a fetishist, a racist, an admirer of Mussolini, and above all, a man obsessed by his sexual fantasies. With its unforgettable protagonist - odious yet pitiable, vile yet oddly sympathetic - Keith Waterhouse's third novel is both a gripping case study of a social and sexual misfit and an unsettling but wickedly funny social satire.
(1963) was a departure from Waterhouse's first two novels, the classic of childhood There is a Happy Land
and the comic masterpiece Billy Liar
, but like those works it was widely acclaimed by critics, who compared it favorably with Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita
. This edition, the first in decades, features a new introduction by Alice Ferrebe and a reproduction of the original dust jacket art.
'Magnificent ... an achievement that puts Mr. Waterhouse above all his contemporary novelists.' - Washington D.C. Star
'An important book and one of the finest in months ... a fascinating novel.'
- Cleveland Plain Dealer
'[A]dmirable . . . indeed a very funny book.' - New York Times