The Dubious Honour of Bad Sex

Not sexy writing from Tsiolkas

Not sexy writing from Tsiolkas

Christos Tsiolkas joins the ranks of great novelists with his addition to the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2010.

The prize celebrates the worst depictions of intercourse in a novel that’s been written in the last year and Tsiolkas is apparently among the world’s worst writers of the hardest scene. Judges focussed on a particular passage in which the characters ‘'f—ed for ages’‘, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Assistant editor of the Literary Review Jonathan Beckman said ‘'It’s very repetitive. The sheer laziness of saying 'they f—ed for ages’ is just one example of slack writing.‘’

But Tsiolkas is keeping excellent company on the shortlist with Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom making the list for a bad phone sex scene and, what Time magazine called his “propensity for innuendo which comes over a bit Benny Hill.”

The award’s aim is to “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it”. It has, however, become something of an hounour in itself with a roster of previous winners that include Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and John Updike.

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