Authors who compared bedroom encounters to ‘manipulating a small monkey’ and ‘riding the Equator’ share Bad Sex in Fiction award
- Two writers have shared the 2019 Literary Review Bad Sex In Fiction Award
- Didier Decoin and John Harvey were named winner of the tongue-in-cheek prize
- Judges were swayed by passages in Decoin’s The Office Of Gardens And Ponds
- But they couldn’t separate it from Harvey’s sizzling sex scenes in his book, Pax
Two writers have won the 2019 Literary Review Bad Sex In Fiction Award, after the judges struggled to pick just one winner from the less than sizzling passages.
French author Didier Decoin and John Harvey, a life fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, were announced as winners of the tongue-in-cheek prize on Monday.
The judges were swayed by steamy passages in Decoin’s book The Office Of Gardens And Ponds, and Harvey’s book, Pax.
French author Didier Decoin and John Harvey, a life fellow at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, were announced as winners of the tongue-in-cheek prize on Monday. The judges were swayed by steamy passages in Decoin’s book The Office Of Gardens And Ponds, and Harvey’s, Pax.
They said in a statement: ‘We tried voting, but it didn’t work. We tried again.
‘Ultimately there was no separating the winners.’
The judges added: ‘Faced with two unpalatable contenders, we found ourselves unable to choose between them. We believe the British public will recognise our plight.’
A passage from Decoin’s book that caught the judge’s eye was: ‘Katsuro moaned as a bulge formed beneath the material of his kimono, a bulge that Miyuki seized, kneaded, massaged, squashed and crushed.
‘With the fondling, Katsuro’s penis and testicles became one single mound that rolled around beneath the grip of her hand.
‘Miyuki felt as though she was manipulating a small monkey that was curling up its paws.’
While Harvey’s less than sizzling scene read: ‘She was burning hot and the heat was in him. He looked down on her perfect black slenderness.
‘Her eyes were ravenous. Like his own they were fire and desire. More than torrid, more than tropical: they too were riding the Equator.
‘They embraced as if with violent holding they could weld the two of them one.’
Other leading contenders
City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
‘Then I screamed as though I were being run over by a train, and that long arm of his was reaching up again to palm my mouth, and I bit into his hand the way a wounded soldier bites on a bullet.’
Dominic Smith: The Electric Hotel
‘The actual lovemaking was a series of cryptic clues and concealed pleasures. A sensual treasure hunt. She asked for something, then changed her mind. He made adjustments and calibrations, awaited further instruction.’
Other books shortlisted included The River Capture by Mary Costello, City Of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert and Dominic Smith’s The Electric Hotel.
Costello’s passage read: ‘He clung to her, crying, and then made love to her and went far inside her and she begged him to go deeper and, no longer afraid of injuring her, he went deep in mind and body, among crowded organ cavities, past the contours of her lungs and liver, and, shimmying past her heart, he felt her perfection.’
The result was announced at a ceremony at the In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in St James’s Square, London, where the 400 guests raised a toast to the winners.
The aim of the prize, awarded since 1993, is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.