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Confessions from a Holiday Camp by Timothy Lea
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Dec 21, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: humor
Read from December 21, 2011 to January 06, 2012 — I own a copy

With this third book in the Confessions series everything clicked into place. The wisecracking narrative style flows really naturally and the story opens up from the simple episodic progression of sexual adventures which constituted the bulk of the first two outings. These books are always a fun read, but what distinguishes the funniest in the series tends to be the degree to which our hero's sexual shenanigans are embedded in a broader, and generally more outlandish, parody of some aspect of British culture - whether it be the punk rock scene, the union movement, anti-pornography campaigns or nudism. In this case its the package holiday.

The British holiday camp was a unique institution. I don't know if they still exist. My introduction to the basic concept was probably via the television comedy series Hi-De-Hi!. The idea was to provide a cheap holiday through regimentation. Everyone stays in little cabins, eats together in an army (or prison) style mess hall. And entertainment revolves around organised tournaments, talent contests and beauty pageants.

The first part of the book sends up this institution, while the latter section involves the creation of a Poverty Row version of a Club Med-style European resort. It is at this point that the story launches into the kind of lunatic fantasy which provides some of the great highlights of the series. And Timmy's family are involved. How much of a role Timmy's brother-in-law Sid, his sister Rosie and his mum and dad get to play in the story is, once again, something which tends to contribute a great deal to whether it will be a good entry or a great one. In the previous book, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, even Sid only had a minor role, but here the whole family get into the action with hilarious results.
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