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Big generative jockey
November 21, 2012 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Just when you thought it was safe to open a book... it's the Literary Review's annual Bad Sex Award! (Previously) This year's nominees include works by Tom Wolfe, Ben Masters, Nicola Barker, Paul Mason, Nancy Huston, Craig Raine, Nicholas Coleridge, and Sam Mills. Not on the list? J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy--despite "a couple of queasy moments," in the words of TLR senior editor Jonathan Beckman--and E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey, since the award "is not intended to cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature." Snippets from the nominated books can be found at the Guardian link.
posted by Cash4Lead (33 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Please tell me that you considered "like a wubbering springboard" as an alternate title for this post.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:40 PM on November 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


It was a tough decision, no doubt, but the grotesque metaphor used in Wolfe's passage won me over.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:45 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting. "The helpless dollop of warm custard" is my brother's name.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:47 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


"thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum"
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:48 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding." Tom Wolfe continues trolling the world.
posted by Beardman at 12:50 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nothing here is even slightly as amazing as the stuff from this post, though. Such a letdown.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:51 PM on November 21, 2012


I assume they reason they don't cover straight-up erotica in the Bad Sex Awards is the same reason we don't let pro athletes in the Olympics.
posted by griphus at 12:53 PM on November 21, 2012


Metafilter: My cock was barely a ghost, but I did not suffer panic.
posted by cmoj at 12:53 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I clicked the Tom Wolfe link, hoping I'd be whisked away by some bad sex. So in an attempt to make lemonade out of the Amazon link, I clicked on "search inside this book" and then "surprise me!"...
The Man on the Mast
SMACK the Safe Boat bounces airborne comes down again SMACK on another swell in the bay bounces up again comes down SMACK on another swell and SMACK bounces airborne with emergency horns police Crazy Lights exploding SMACK in a demented sequence on the roof SMACK but Officer Nestor Camacho's fellow SMACK cops here in the cockpit the two fat SMACK americanos they love this stuff love it love driving the boat SMACK throttle wide open forty-five miles an hour against the wind SMACK bouncing bouncing its shallow aluminum hull SMACK from swell SMACK to swell SMACK to swell SMACK toward the mouth of Biscayne Bay to "see about the man on top of the mast" SMACK "up near the Rickenbacker Causeway" —
SMACK the two americanos sat at the helm on seats with built-in shock absorbers to they could take all the SMACK bouncing while Nestor, who was twenty-five, with four years as a cop but SMACK newly promoted to Marine Patrol, an elite SMACK unit, and still on probation, was SMACK relegated to the space behind them where he SMACK had to steady himself against something called a leaning pole and SMACK use his own legs as the shock absorbers —
Worst orgy ever.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:56 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine once said that, in writing and movies alike, you should never show sex or extreme violence. I disagree with the never, but I've yet to find a counterexample.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:59 PM on November 21, 2012


Sex scenes are boring. Just go FUCK (yourself or someone else).
posted by basicchannel at 1:11 PM on November 21, 2012


Rustic Etruscan: I can think of a whole industry that would be out of business if they followed that advice.
posted by idiopath at 1:13 PM on November 21, 2012


I caution even the most intrepid sexual explorers among you not to call your partner's genitals her "elfin grot". Or really anything that includes the word "grot".
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:15 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I refuse to believe that Tom Wolfe is not 100% aware of how ridiculous his sex scenes are.
posted by griphus at 1:17 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


idiopath, I guess there was an implicit "unless that's the whole point" in my friend's idea.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:20 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I refuse to believe that Tom Wolfe is not 100% aware of how ridiculous his sex scenes are he is.
posted by Forktine at 1:20 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum

SOME PEOPLE JUST REALLY LIKE FLOWERS OK
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 1:28 PM on November 21, 2012


I caution even the most intrepid sexual explorers among you not to call your partner's genitals her "elfin grot". Or really anything that includes the word "grot".

I guess the kids today don't read much Keats.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:29 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jonathan Beckman, senior editor at the Literary Review, which organises the annual award, said nominations had poured in for Rowling's The Casual Vacancy. However, after ardent discussions about the book, the judges concluded she failed to meet the criteria. Despite "a couple of queasy moments", as Beckman termed it, her writing is not nearly bad enough.

The critical response to The Casual Vacancy was frustrating – so many reports honed right in on the parts involving weed, heroin, and vaginas, because of course the most interesting thing about J. K. Rowling writing an adult novel is that it happens to mention themes. From there critics honed in on certain lines taken out of context of the book to laugh at their absurdity, failing to recognize that wry absurdity has been Rowling's style since The Sorcerer's Stone.

There's a line wherein a teenage boy walks up a girl's street without once thinking of her, and Rowling makes sure to point out that while he wasn't thinking of her, he'd certainly kept "her splendid breasts and that miraculously unguarded vagina" in mind. Out of context, the phrasing is still pretty silly; in context of who that boy and that girl are, there's a poignancy to it, in the innocence of the boy's fixation mixed with the tragedy that the girl depends on this boy somewhat desperately, yet to him, she's nothing more than the town's easiest lay.

Rowling writes sex smartly, which is to say she uses it to portray subtleties in how characters interact during such a heated (sorry) exchange (sorry). Unlike the writers here, who clearly wanted to find out which were the weirdest words they could still somehow connect to penises touching vaginas. "The eschatological bed" indeed.
posted by Rory Marinich at 1:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I caution even the most intrepid sexual explorers among you not to call your partner's genitals her "elfin grot". Or really anything that includes the word "grot".

Ambisaul grouted her elfin tiles like the expert craftsman he was, carefully wiping the excess away with a damp sponge.

"How long until I'm cured?" Splendadil asked breathlessly.
"Elfin grot usually cures in about 48 hours, depending on humidity," Ambisaul purred.
"Nobody has ever laid my tiles like that before!" Splendadil exclaimed.
"Always hire union," Ambisaul replied. "Here's my card."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:42 PM on November 21, 2012 [17 favorites]


I'm pretty sure "elfin grot" is what we're going to be patching up the bathroom tiles with.
posted by griphus at 1:48 PM on November 21, 2012


I have to give Wolfe credit for at least sounding like he's having fun with his metaphoric gonzo. It's like Whitman on a porn set high on meth. The Coleridge clip sounds like it could be fun in the same line as My Uncle Oswald. Mills is thinking about it too hard, the rest are not thinking about it enough.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:52 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


"thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum"

I am not having you over to water my plants ever again.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


"thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum"

I am not having you over to water my plants ever again
.

Not least because "in the general direction" is inadequate for watering the plants.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:43 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Time again to worship the incontinent stylites at the Literary Review for dribbling their piss over us all from their vaulted platforms. Thanks to their pompous and disingenuous attention-seeking, we now know that some novels have comical passages in them, and we can enjoy the twin pleasures of laughing at jokes while simultaneously feeling superior to those who wrote those jokes. HA HA HA! How pleasant it is to have our stupidities validated by these High Lords of art, without whose self-publicizing pedagogery we would all shrivel into unthinking husks. I cannot imagine how clod-faced morons such as myself could ever hope to understand the numinous mystery of writing without the annual drip of their wet excretions against my fat, empty head. Now I know I don't have to read entire "books" - I task far beyond my simple abilities - I can simply worship Jonathan Beckman from afar as the ultimate authority on failing to understand humour, while I masturbate furiously over his oily self-justifications in the Financial Times. Yet why do the Nobel Committee ignore him? Oh! Is there no justice in this world? Maybe the superwondergods of the Literary Review can shit their answer directly into my gaping, idiot mouth.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:11 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


But tell us how you really feel, quidnunc.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:28 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Um, quidnunc kid, I can't tell if you are perchance one of the nominees, or perhaps riled at not being nominated? Or something?
posted by jokeefe at 4:59 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, you should see the other guy.
posted by meadowlark lime at 12:57 AM on November 22, 2012


The Wolfe and Huston are terrible and you should never use the word "grot" but the Raines is great and the rest are deliberately comic and I doubt you'd look twice at them in context. the quidnunc kid is spot on.
posted by ninebelow at 4:25 AM on November 22, 2012


My nipples explode with delight.
posted by Decani at 8:17 AM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


ninebelow: "the rest are deliberately comic"

I'm willing to believe this, if put forth by someone who has actually read the books. Have you read them, and found them intentionally comic, or is it just that they're so comic you assume it's deliberate?
posted by Bugbread at 3:08 PM on November 22, 2012


And the winner is... Nancy Huston!
posted by Cash4Lead at 3:02 PM on December 5, 2012


If you're a fan of the Bad Sex Award be sure to read this article by one of the judges, Jonathan Beckman:

Compiling a shortlist for such a prize is not straightforward. Publishers are tediously uncooperative. Unlike other prizes, we don’t receive a steady supply of parcels from Random House and Penguin with prospective passages underlined. So every October smoke signals are sent up from our Soho HQ. Reviewers are asked for ghastly half-memories they have been trying to suppress and a dead letter box is opened underneath the John Snow memorial pump on Broadwick Street for trade insiders to leave anonymous tip-offs.

posted by joedan at 1:45 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


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