Mandy speaks: The Best of the Worst

December 1, 2006 at 1:54 am (Uncategorized)

Recently, a major literary award was handed out. No, it was not the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award or even the Man Booker Prize, but it is an award of special significance and distinction:

golden-trophy.jpgLONDON, England (AP) — First-time author Iain Hollingshead scooped a dubious literary honor Wednesday, winning the Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his novel, “Twenty Something.” Hollingshead beat established writers including Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell, best seller Mark Haddon and literary maverick Thomas Pynchon to the prize, which aims to skewer “the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel.” Judges were moved by Hollingshead’s evocation of “a commotion of grunts and squeaks, flashing unconnected images and explosions of a million little particles.” His description of “bulging trousers” sealed the win, the judges said. “Because Hollingshead is a first-time writer, we wished to discourage him from further attempts,” the judges — editors of Literary Review magazine — said in a statement. “Heavyweights like Thomas Pynchon and Will Self are beyond help at this point.” Hollingshead, 25, who received his award from rocker Courtney Love at a London ceremony, said he was delighted to become the prize’s youngest winner. “I hope to win it every year,” said Hollingshead, who receives a statuette and a bottle of champagne.

I would love to know whether or not British publishers use the “Bad Sex in Fiction” award as part of the marketing strategy for their authors. Here, if a book wins (or in some cases merely nominated) for a major award, that book is typically reissued with some kind of sticker or label telling the reader what award the book has won. What happens when a book has won an award for being, well, bad, especially in an area like sex? After all, there’s nothing worse than a badly written sex scene.

 

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39 Comments

  1. LaFlamme said,

    I don’t know if I’m up for the award at all this year. The only sex at all in The Pink Room involves fornication with a goat and sex with a dead woman.

  2. Linda said,

    The winner says he hopes to win the award every year. Do you think writers will really TRY to win this award? I mean, TRY to write bad sex scenes? This could be not a good thing for the reading public.

    And for bad sex scenes what about the internet? anybody giving any awards for bad sex on the internet?.

  3. Treehugger said,

    I’ve done that before.

  4. brenda said,

    done what before? written bad sex scenes? or fornication w/ a goat or dead woman?
    surely that isn’t what you mean.

    I think it’s possible that some writers want to write deliberately “bad” in terms of literary, but it could be good in terms of the effect it has on the reader. Sometimes that might be more erotic than smooth, highly eloquent sensual passages, because sometimes you don’t want to work that hard to get worked up & hard…..
    Especially, with the English. They have a long history of living double lives, keeping a proper social veneer while secretly visiting the poor side of town for porn novels & prostitutes. Taking vacations to poor countries & ravaging the ‘savages’ (denying their own tendencies of course). It wasn’t very secret. So there still may be many who get off on dirty naughty stuff , devaluing what gets them off, considering themselves “superior” class. sorry, it’s not my intention to bash “English” people in general, just mentioning some cultural history….

  5. brenda said,

    ok, a better example: I remember many many many decades ago when I was juicy & young, sometimes I might have looked for something naughty to look at, and I noticed that when I found the really nice, beautiful, sensual, flawless artistic pictures, that it didn’t embarrass me foe someone to know I had looked at, I felt more self-conscious than horney. But when I found something really naughty that was real, life-like, not touched up, just raunchy, that had a better effect at getting me rolling. Same with reading something like that. If it’s really good, it doesn’t get me off as much as something that just gets descriptive & puts images in my head of something I wouldn’t really do. Or maybe reminds me of something that I did— or would secretly want to, in one of those moments…..

    but I have to add, there was nothing erotic in The Pink Room that I can remember. I don’t remember the goat or the dead woman either.

  6. Linda said,

    Actually, we’d all like to hear more about the goat, Mark.

  7. LaFlamme said,

    Okay. The goat. A young man, under the influence of the solstice alignment in Mayberry, Maine, believes he is having crazy sex with his older sister. It goes like this:

    “Sonny Le Masse, teenage son of a wealthy lumber man, spent a sinful hour making unrestrained love to his older sister. It was something he dreamed of many nights for the past two years. And it was wonderful how she gave herself to him.

    “In the throes of orgasm, he screamined her name and gazed into her beautiful eyes. Only it wasn’t Sandra Le Masse, age 19, who lay beneath him. It was a dead and reeking goat he had apparently strangled in a fit of erotic insanity.”

  8. Treehugger said,

    Sorry about that Brenda, she was a nag, not a goat.
    However, speaking of goatfuckers, where is KY.

    Did Tarr kick his ass?

    Has Weasel taken him to his den and done ungodly things to him?

  9. Linda said,

    That’s right Mark, I remember that part now. When I read it I was still waiting to see if the dead-dog thing was going to continue before committing to the book.

  10. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, a lot of dogs died, but nobody had sex with them. I should be applauded for my restraint.

  11. Linda said,

    That’s kind of a modern version of a Shakespeare line: “Men have died from time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for love.”

  12. brenda said,

    oh, yeah, now I remember the goat passage. That was pretty good. I was amazed at your ability to present insanity so empathetically. I spent years studying psychology, wanting to understand my schizophrenic uncle, but always on an intellectual level, I never had that good of a grasp of what it must BE like to lose contact with reality. I don’t know how you imagined a psychotic episode so well.

  13. brenda said,

    Linda- what? what’s love got to do with it?

  14. brenda said,

    oh, #9- that’s interesting that you say that, because I had the same process, at a certain part of the book, deciding whether to commit to the book. I read it in bed on the night we had an Arctic Wind, the building’s heat went out and the frigid air was twirling around my bed! I had the weirdest dream, affected by the book! I had to think about whether I could trust the writer to take me anywhere I’d want to go with the story, or was he a sicko who would write something that would cause me lasting psychic damage!
    Somehow, I did decide to read it & I did like it anyway.

    -so if I’m cuckoo- maybe I can blame it on Mark!
    just kidding

  15. LaFlamme said,

    I can write about madness like nobody’s business. Love, too. Writing a woman’s character is a little trickier.

  16. LaFlamme said,

    We should have a Penthouse Forum writing contest in here. Nastiest story gets submitted.

  17. LaFlamme said,

    Good chance to take words like “throbbing, member, throbbing member, thrust and glistening” out for a walk.

  18. LaFlamme said,

    But I’m just thinking aloud, now.

  19. brenda said,

    ok, I like that idea. I’ll think about it and come back & write some in the middle of the night…

  20. Linda said,

    Ha — thanks for the warning Brenda!! (Just joking)

    I emailed Mark, sort of a “who are you and how many more dogs are you going to do in?” He passed some vague sort of test with his answer so I read the book. And I am just as normal as I ever was!

  21. LaFlamme said,

    I probably explained that in the first draft, a lot of those dogs were kids who got abused and killed. At the advice of an editor, I toned it down and used animals, instead. I love dogs. AND I catch and release spiders from the shower.

  22. asshat photos said,

    That’s interesting! I emailed him that day with my weird dream, and I don’t know what he thought , but his response somehow passed whatever test also. That’s funny.

  23. brenda said,

    oh, man, what happened to my name? that really sucks.

  24. Nadine said,

    OMG! One of my favorite books is Entropy by Thomas Pynchon! All about Chaos Theory and Thermodynamics — when did he move on to writing smut?? I don’t remember when Entropy was written, but I first read it about 13-14yrs ago. Great book and was the first to turn me on to that way of thinking and I’m now obsessed with Spiral and String Theories! Very weird!

    No wonder he can’t write about sex! Would be like Freud trying to document something UNrelated to sex! Haha.

    • Vina said,

      Herlig tema som gjer at me kan bli enda betre &qntk;tjeuo" med kvarandre 🙂 Eg lurte litt pÃ¥ ein ting: kan ein ha med sÃ¥ mange bilder ein vil i innlegget som ein linker til? vil det dÃ¥ bli dommarane som velger ut det bildet dei liker best, eller er det bildet ein legg til via inlinkz som gjeld? :)Ønsker dere ein fin kveld!Klem Helene

  25. LaFlamme said,

    Mmmmm… Chaos theory…

  26. Nadine said,

    Sexy, right? Haha! K, thunder boomin’ — I’m out.

  27. LaFlamme said,

    Damn right, it’s sexy. Chaos theory is my latest fascination. It creeps me out. And just by writing that, I may have altered the course of my life.

  28. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    For my next story I should try to combine sex and the chaos theory. One sex act alters the course of my characters’ lives.

  29. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. I mean, you have sex with one goat and you get branded a weirdo.

  30. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    Or you find the following posted in your obituary: “Survived by their four-legged friend, Puddin; grandcats, grandhorses and granddogs.”
    What I’d like to know is who is Puddin if they are not a cat, dog or horse. I guess Puddin could be a pig, turtle or llama.

  31. LaFlamme said,

    Elementary. Puddin IS a cat. It’s the mother of the mother of the grandcats.

  32. Mandy, the obit writer said,

    That makes sense, although I imagine the mothers of the grandhorses and granddogs might be feeling left out.

  33. LaFlamme said,

    1) Frank Buble recently tried to kill his son Phillip because he disapproved of the younger man’s, um, relationship with his dog. Seems that Phillip’s a zoophile who considers his pet his wife. Well, when Frank was sentenced last month in a Maine courthouse, Phillip wanted to attend with his old lady. But despite this moving plea–signed by both husband and wife–Superior Court Judge Andrew Mead rejected the request. (1 page)

    AUDIO UPDATE: Turns out Phillip Buble isn’t a one dog man. In a TSG interview Monday–click here for a creepy MP3 excerpt–the animal lover explained that he also has a soft spot for an 86-pound German shepherd named Duke. But wife Lady, Buble noted, still remains his main squeeze.
    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/ladybuble1.html

  34. Linda said,

    Donkey. I bet Puddin is a donkey. I hear they make great friends.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2137259/

  35. Mainetarr said,

    9-1 Maineiacs Win AGAIN!!!

  36. Linda said,

    Did you use your air horn a lot?

  37. John Lawrence said,

    Google is the best search engine

  38. hahahdsdscs said,

    Comenzaron y se fuerzas logrande), el pelo, la acomodar de mis piernas de fin de cómo soy.
    carlos trejo.
    mujeres chichonas.
    calze nere.
    pilladas gratis.
    historias de reflexion

    Bye Bye

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