Who'd get your vote for the 2016 Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award?

Every year since 1993, The Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award has honoured an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction- but the prize doesn't cover pornographic or expressly erotic literature. The six shortlisted nominees for the 24th Bad Sex in Fiction Award were announced on Thursday morning, and they include a New York Times bestselling author (Gayle Forman), a European Prize for Literature winner (Erri De Luca), a teacher of creative writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (Ethan Canin) and a former presenter of Blue Peter (Janet Ellis).

Jonathan Safran Foer’s 'Here I Am' was also nominated due to “several" passages that fit their criteria, including this one- "He jerked off with the determination of someone within sight of Everest’s summit, having lost all his friends and Sherpas, having run out of supplemental oxygen, but preferring death to failure." But in a surprise upset, it failed to make the final shortlist. The Literary Review also stated that “So too did Donald Trump, despite his best efforts to crown his recent electoral triumph with a still more glorious prize. Several readers nominated his ‘locker-room talk’, but this had to be discounted on the grounds that the award only covers fiction.” The winner will be announced on November 30. To read excerpts from each of this year's nominees, and get an idea of why they were deemed to be so bad, see this article: https://nymag.com/thecut/2016/11/literary-review-releases-bad-sex-in-fiction-nominees-2016.html.

So, who would get your vote for this year's award? And why- what makes it so cringe-inducingly bad in your opinion?
  • 'A Doubter’s Almanac' by Ethan Canin
    Vote A
  • 'The Tobacconist' by Robert Seethaler
    Vote B
  • 'Men Like Air' by Tom Connolly
    Vote C
  • 'The Butcher’s Hook' by Janet Ellis
    Vote D
  • 'Leave Me' by Gayle Forman
    Vote E
  • 'The Day Before Happiness' by Erri De Luca
    Vote F
  • Another book which didn't make the final shortlist- give details
    Vote G
Select age and gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy
Come on- doesn't anybody have anything to say about these novels' sex scenes? Anyone at all?
Third and final time...


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  • the day before happiness

    • Any quotes in particular which stood out? And would you say that its description as a "post-apocalyptic zombie sex fetish" scene, in a WWII era coming-of-age historical drama, was a fitting one?

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