Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love the holiday season - the festive decorations, the carols and songs that can't help but evoke nostalgia, parties with friends, gatherings with loved ones...the Bad Sex in Fiction awards...

Readers, this annual Literary Review award is a veritable cavalcade of wince-and-giggle inducing awfulness. Keep in mind, these aren't trashy supermarket novels but recognized works of "literary" fiction. Finalists have included such noteworthies as Thomas Pynchon and Tom Wolfe. The lucky (?) winner receives a statuette and a bottle of champagne - but truly, isn't everyone chosen for this contest a winner?

I call your attention to the following examples:
'You're a sexy lady, know that?' Stan whispered as he unzipped her pants.

She had no answer; she kept her eyes closed and sank into the music. His naked penis, when she felt it against her bare skin, was a shock, mostly for the desire it beckoned from Saga's marrow.

'So touch me, Story Girl,' he said...

...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.
Or this (the listing of random words and images seems to be a theme this year):
Images went off in her head like little fireworks. The smell of coconut. Brass firedogs. The starched bolster in her parents' bed. A hot cone of grass-clippings. She was breaking up into a thousand tiny pieces, like snow, or bonfire sparks, tumbling high in the air, then starting to fall, so slowly it hardly seemed like falling at all.

He waited for a couple of minutes. 'And now,' he said, 'I think it's my turn.'
Please god, no.

I'll leave you to discover the rest for yourself. The complete nominated passages can be found, in all their dubious glory, here.

No comments: