Lit Mag Announces Nominees For Year's Worst Sex Scenes In Literature

Bad Sex in Literature

Via Huffington Post Books

The Literary Review has announced its list of nominees for the prestigious (and divisive) Bad Sex in Literature award. 

Each year, the UK-based magazine celebrates the most poorly-written sex scenes in literature outside of straight-up porn and erotica. And they're not worried about alienating the high-minded literary types, either. Past nominees have included Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and Jonathan Franzen. Among this year's nominees are Haruki Murakami, Stephen King, and Lee Child. 

"In a year in which literary awards have come under fire for parochialism and dumbing-down, Literary Review is proud to uphold and recognize literary excellence from around the world," the Literary Review said. "Authors in the running hail from, among other nations, the USA, Hungary, Japan, and Australia. Two are annually mentioned in the same breath as the Nobel Prize."

Here's the full list of nominees:

  • 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
  • On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry
  • The Final Testament of the Holy Bible by James Frey
  • Parallel Stories by Péter Nádas
  • 11.22.63 by Stephen King
  • Ed King by David Guterson
  • The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel
  • The Affair by Lee Child
  • Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas
  • Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller
  • Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
  • The Great Night by Chris Adrian

This year's winner will be announced on Dec. 6 at the Naval & Military Club in London.

In case you're curious, The Huffington Post has a couple of choice excerpts from the nominees, but my favorite, by a mile, is from Guterson:

In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap.

The more I think about it, the funnier it gets. 

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Limbless K9's picture
Limbless K9 from Oregon is reading Wraeththu November 22, 2011 - 6:38pm

That Guterson quote made me laugh so damn hard.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine November 22, 2011 - 8:24pm

Agreed. That is an hysterical line.

I've seen other complaints about the sex in 1Q84,  and was actually going to address it in my review, but thought it might be overkill. I found the scenes as written to be direct and to the point, and not remotely erotic. Therefore I think it would be unfair to include the book on this list based solely on its lack of titillation.

JonnyGibbings's picture
JonnyGibbings November 23, 2011 - 10:12am

Ha... that quote is funny as fuck. I'd love to win this award though. You can keep your Costa's and your Bookers.
Here is an idea, cos you lot have the darkest thoughts and are as funny as fuck. Wouldn't it be good to do a twitter style book. As in each member write a set amount, say 300 words, the next member picks it up. Full of nasty prose and continuity. Tacky sex scenes and see if we can get it published under a lit pen name? Just to piss em off!

BenevolentForce's picture
BenevolentForce from Los Angeles is reading 1Q84 November 26, 2011 - 9:40pm

Although it was the Snoopy pic that drew me in, I too laughed and laughed while reading. Great article.