Thank you, Literary Review (UK) for tickling our funny bones (though not our erogenous zones) with The Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Awards, which have been “awarded” annually since 1993. The original purpose was to “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
The 2007 winner was a passage from The Castle in the Forest, Norman Mailer’s last book about the birth and life of Adolf Hitler. Here’s the award-winning passage, which describes Hitler’s conception:
‘Are you alright?’ she cried out as he lay beside her, his breath going in and out with a rasp that sounded as terrible as the last winds of their lost children.
‘All right. Yes. No,’ he said. Then she was on him. She did not know if this would resuscitate him or end him, but the same spite, sharp as a needle, that had come to her after Fanni’s death was in her again. Fanni had told her once what to do. So Klara turned head to foot, and put her most unmentionable part down on his hard-breathing nose and mouth, and took his old battering ram into her lips. Uncle was now as soft as a coil of excrement. She sucked on him nonetheless with an avidity that could come only from the Evil One – that she knew. From there, the impulse had come. So now they both had their heads at the wrong end, and the Evil One was there. He had never been so close before.
The Hound began to come to life. Right in her mouth. it surprised her. Alois had been so limp. But now he was a man again! His mouth lathered with her sap, he turned around and embraced her face with all the passion of his own lips and face, ready at last to grind into her with the Hound, drive it into her piety.
Read other samples of horrible writing about sex (not to be confused with writing about horrible sex, although the two may overlap).
I wonder, is there a place for a competition for the best and worst writing about senior sex? Send your nominations with quotes that show the merit (or lack of merit) of your nominee, please!