'This goblin has driven me crazy!' - Literary Review rewards bad sex

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
'This goblin has driven me crazy!' - Literary Review rewards bad sex

Alastair Campbell meets stiff competition

Campbell would join luminaries including Tom Wolfe, AA Gill, Sebastian Faulks and Melvyn Bragg if he wins the award – a plaster foot - on November 25 at London's aptly named In and Out club. Run by the Literary Review, the bad sex awards were set up by Auberon Waugh "with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels".
The former spin doctor may take heart from the implication that his debut is an "otherwise sound literary novel". Campbell of course has some earlier practice in depicting sex, having written pornography for Forum magazine under the pseudonym the Riviera Gigolo early in his career, but a passage set on a bench has catapulted Campbell onto the list: "He wasn't sure where his penis was in relation to where he wanted it to be, but when her hand curled around it once more, and she pulled him towards her, it felt right," Campbell writes. "Then as her hand joined the other on his neck and she started making more purring noises, now with little squeals punctuating them, he was pretty sure he was losing his virginity."
But Campbell's prose is considerably less purple than some of the other contenders for this year's prize, including new age novelist Paulo Coelho for his novel Brida, in which the act of sex – on a public footpath – is described as "the moment when Eve was reabsorbed into Adam's body and the two halves became Creation".

'Winners' in previous years.

Papal Bull

These people are doing more for the environment than anyone else before them. By making sex so uncool for their readers, they're probably helping to lower their levels of reproduction.

 Good for them.

Polly B Polly B's picture

"And then before her inner eye, a tide of words leaped high and free, a
chaotic joy like frothing rapids: truncate, adjudicate, fornicate,
frivolous, rivulet, violet, oriole, orifice, conifer, aquifer,
allegiance, alacrity ... all the words this time not a crowding but a
heavenly chain, an ostrich fan, a vision as much as an orgasm, a
release of something deep in the core of her altered brain, words she
thought she'd lost for good. It nearly deafened her (but not quite) to
the other, more alarming wave - the groaning and happy cursing that
came from Stan."



Papal Bull

Oh man, the immaturity sector of my brain giggled so much at that. Frothing rapid. Tee hee.

Well, I won't speak for anyone else's pillow talk, but adjudication is a most common topic.