Timothy Lea - Confessions From A Holiday Camp (Sphere, 1972)
"Cop hold of these, will you? I wasn't going to let any of those dagos get their hands on them. Never see them again. Cost a bloody fortune, those cases did." "Very nice", I say. "They were until the w*gs got hold of them. I reckon they played bloody football with them. Still smarting over the World Cup, they are." "But Brazil won the World Cup, Dad." "Not that one. The World Cup. In 1966."
Tim's jobless, back living with his parents, and things aren't going so well. His parents "are so bigoted they drape a blanket over the tele during The Black & White Minstrel Show", so being caught shagging Matilda NGobla on the couch doesn't GO DOWN too well and now he's compounded the crime by laying a door to door saleswoman who called to demonstrate a revolutionary new shoe spray - all over her skirt! Meanwhile Sid is coining it as promotions manager for Sir Giles' Funfralle Enterprises. Using his best blackmail techniques, Tim gets himself hired as a Holiday Host at the company's grim Melody Bay resort. The only terms and conditions of his new position are that he must never get sexually involved with any of the customers. Naturally, this is asking plenty - his celibacy doesn't survive the train journey - and once he reaches the camp things start to get complicated when he's asked to judge the beauty contest - and at least three of the contestants will DO ANYTHING to win! But then things turn REALLY HAIRY when the notorious Slat twins, Nat and Nan, arrive, castigating the bashful to "let it all hang out!" and shag loads. These pseudo-feminist hippies dress their rabid nymphomania up as a Free Love movement versus "fascist sexual repression" and methodically stalk the camp looking to liberate male victims of oppression. The elderly have had it - they can't run away fast enough - and even Tim takes drastic measures to avoid them. When their stage invasion at the Happydome instigates an orgy, it looks like Tim's Holiday Host days are over, but Sir Giles decides to expand his Empire and opens a new, adults only camp at Love Island on the Costa Brava. The second half of the book - Carry On Abroad by any other name - is taken up with Tim's adventures at the doomed Mediterranean Paradise which, needless to say, involve shagging, inadequate toilet facilities, food poisoning, raw sewage, yet more shagging and the foibles of 'Bloody Krauts', 'Dagos', 'Eyeties' ,'Spics' and a 'bleeding Wop yodler'. Worst of all, he even encounters the occasional suspected 'poufdah'!
Taken as a snapshot of 'seventies grotesquerie, Confessions From A Holiday Camp is peerless as an episode of Love Thy Neighbour, and at 150 pages, its over faster than you can say "Raquel Welsh has lovely knockers.". Plenty of (pop) cultural reference points too: Georgie Best, Ted Heath, Malcolm Muggeridge, Germaine Greer, Tom Jones, Green Shield Stamps, Woolworths, "Its A Knockout!", Opportunity Knocks are all name-checked and one buxom young woman jumps Tim with "a technique that would make Mick McManus Hughie Green with envy".
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.