UBB by Keith Waterhouse


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For a married man of thirty-six, rent-collector, youth club leader and civic man-about-a-suburban-London-New-Town, C. L. Jubb begins his story on an unconventional, if not unseemly note: something newsworthy about ""a man found dead in a plastic wardrobe"" and something disquieting about his tendency to follow a pair of female legs in the fanatic search for a mistress. What he really wants, we find out later, is a nymphomaniac; his proposal for a photographic youth group turns out to be one for a pornographic truth dupe; his wife is really on a permanent ""vacation""; and he indulges further his vicarious predilections. As Jubb's narrative becomes a web of sexual perversions, our non- hero reveals his psychological underclothing: Peeping Tom, voyeur, fetishist, Jubb is an all-around sex-maniac, loses his job and goes to Soho in search of more far-out filth (his media: want-ads, phone calls, smut shops). At the end, after the police run him out of London, he is on the way to Hamburg, his dream Sodom of legitimate vice. He has, however, a plastic wardrobe in his bag. Much of Jubb is unappealing, immoral, uncomfortable and so it must be: the man is a pathetic psychopath. ""Unnecessary"" and obscene or no, not every maniac can tell his story with such persuasive care and hideous conviction. By the author of Billy Liar, it is a gripping case history, more broadly social satire, and a funny as well as startling book.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1963
Publisher: Putnam