Thursday 13 November 2014

It's November So It's Bad Sex in Fiction Time...

I admit, I do enjoy reading about the shortlisted entries for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award-the winner is announced 3rd December.

Some years the entries get more publicity than others, and I suspect 2014 might get more than usual as there are a few well known names among them: Kirsty Wark, Wilbur Smith and Michael Cunningham.

You can read the shortlisted entries in this Guardian article. You can even take part in their own vote on who you think should win.

If you have missed this before now, the Literary Review's purpose for the award- in it's 22nd year- is to bring attention to, "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them."

Now admittedly, these extracts are only a small part of the book- I've just had to rewrite that sentence, as my original words sounded like a deliberate double entendre... :D

This year's nominees include Man Booker Prize winners, current and past; and a former winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Fortunately these high tokens of literary esteem don't take bad sex scenes into account in the judging process.

Having read through each extract in this Guardian article I went from thinking that Kirsty Wark's wasn't that bad, but as I read the rest it quickly became: good grief, that's really bad- and the really bad ones- five in my opinion.

My nominations for possible winners: 'From 'DD-MM-YY' In Things to Make and Break', by May-Lan Tan, and 'The Hormone Factory', by Saskia Goldschmidt.

You can find out more on the Literary Review webpage here.


Patsy said...

Why is it that fictional characters can't just have Ok sex? It always has to be amazing and last for hours, or be deeply symbolic, or involve both parties having double joints.

Rena George said...

Kirsty Wark? Really?

Carolb said...

You're right, Patsy, it always has to be amazing and the ability to be a contortionist is the norm! :D

I don't have a problem with it being symbolic in some stories, as long as it has a genuine reason for being there and does actually fulfil that aspect.

Carolb said...

Yes, Rena, that Kirsty Wark. Though I have to say hers was okay, and I wouldn't have included it- if I'd been putting that shortlist together. :-)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Have to agree that Kirsty's wasn't that bad! Got very tired, very quickly of the others and had to stop - I think it's the excessive use of dreadful imagery and metaphors that makes them even worse!

Carolb said...

I so agree, Rosemary, it's a case of too much imagery and metaphor that doesn't work. :)