May I Have The Envelope, Please?

The winner of the 2015 Bad Sex Award in Fiction goes to the singer Morrisey for some first-rate second-ratedness in his debut novel, List Of The Lost.

You will recall that I had my heart set on Joshua Cohen winning for his particularly turgid passages in Book Of Numbers, and I really am crushed that he didn’t win.  It’ll take all day for me to get over it.  My glasses are all streaky with teardrops, and I’ve developed a godawful headache.  Nonetheless, who could truly argue against awarding some prize to a passage like the one below?

“At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”

I mean, come on.  Has there ever been, in the history of prose, a more dazzlingly-incorrect usage of “extenuating”?  And I can’t remember anybody using “whacked and smacked” in the same sentence since the last translation of Beowulf.  How clever.

Let us hope that Morrisey has the generosity to share his prize, both the honor and the money, with his editor, who, I am given to understand, shepherded this project through the press using only two Dixie cups and a very long piece of string while on an international vacation to visit the Fleer Bubblegum factory in Philadelphia here in the States.



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