Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Guardian Bad Sex Award: 2008

The British newspaper The Guardian (renowned in song and story as Teh Grauniad for their error-filled past) has an annual award for the worst sex scene -- grandly called the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award.

This year saw a strong group of nominees -- including Alastair Campbell, Paulo Coelho, Simon Montefiore, Isabel Fonseca, and perennial contender John Updike.

Samples from several of the nominated novels -- though not, sadly, either Updike or Coelho -- are also available, to potentially make you swear off sex for the rest of your life.

And, just yesterday, the winner was announced: Rachel Johnson, for her novel Shire Hell. A special lifetime achievement award was also presented to Updike, who has now been nominated for the award four years running.

Johnson won in large part due to her flood of animal metaphors, such as:
...his hands find my bush, and with light fingers he flutters about there, as if he is a moth caught inside a lampshade. ...puts his tongue to my core, like a cat lapping up a dish of cream so as not to miss a single drop. I find myself gripping his ears and tugging at the locks curling over them, beside myself, and a strange animal noise escapes from me as the mounting, Wagnerian crescendo overtakes me. I really do hope at this point that all the Spodders are, as requested, attending the meeting about slug clearance or whatever it is.
Moths, cats, Wagner and slugs, all in less than a page -- that's some good sex!

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