The Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award 2011
In celebration of the Literary Review’s Bad Sex Award, here’s the – provisional – long list replete with quotes from their reviews. Click on the title for the Omnivore roundup.
Toby Lichtig on 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Either brilliant or boring depending on your constitution and level of exposure. Diehards will celebrate it, newcomers be seduced by it and even those in advanced stages of the sickness will find much to admire. But it doesn’t do anything new and, despite the fantastical dual-narrative story, can in no way be deemed surprising or remarkable.
Edmund Gordon ON CANAAN’S SIDE by Sebastian Barry
… clogged with sentimentality and purple prose …
Jake Kerridge on THE FINAL TESTAMENT OF THE HOLY BIBLE by James Frey
This is ‘All You Need is Love’ without the catchy tune. Jesus, after all, knew that having a valid message wasn’t enough: he knew how to express himself memorably.
Anthony Cummins on THE GREAT NIGHT by Chris Adrian
The sense of irony seems to fail whenever a penis is mentioned, which is often. One passage invites us to admire the ‘discrete noise’ made by a ‘fountaining geyser of semen’ on a woman’s pillow, ‘a rapid series of soft tip-taps that sounded like some fleet little creature had just run across her bed’. Another character has an ‘impossibly stiff, impossibly eloquent cock’: his ‘copious, forceful ejaculations’ are said to be the ‘most sincere thing about him’. Come again?
Jonathan Barnes on OUTSIDE THE ORDINARY WORLD by Dori Ostermiller
For all its cheerful predictability, Ostermiller’s writing has admirable clarity and conviction, as well as an old-fashioned dedication to the craft of storytelling
11.22.63 by Stephen King
ED KING by David Guterson
THE AFFAIR by Lee Child
THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES by Jean M Auel
PARALLEL STORIES by Péter Nádas (to be reviewed in December issue)
DEAD EUROPE by Christos Tsiolkas
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL BEGAN AFTER by Simon Van Booy