Bulbous commendation: Morrissey wins Bad Sex award for excruciating passage in a debut novel full of them

The British singer saw off stiff competition at the annual award that celebrates bad and pointless descriptions of sex

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 December, 2015, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 December, 2015, 3:00pm

British pop singer Morrissey’s debut novel, List of the Lost, won the award for the worst sex scene of the year yesterday, for a passage in which two characters roll together into “one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation”.

Morrissey, one-time lead singer of The Smiths, was picked for the dubious distinction of winning the tongue-in-cheek Bad Sex in Fiction Award by Britain’s Literary Review magazine, for his Penguin Classic book about four Boston relay runners who are cursed by an old man.

“The judges were swayed by an ecstatic scene involving Ezra, one of the athletes, and his plucky girlfriend, Eliza,” the judges said, citing a description of the two “screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation ...”

The magazine, which announced the prize at a ceremony in London, said the singer, whose full name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, “was unable to attend due to touring commitments and was unavailable for comment”.

Morrissey, who is a leader in the indie pop movement, was chosen from a seven-book shortlist that included Erica Jong’s Fear of Dying and The Wire screenwriter George Pelecanos’ The Martini Shot.

The prize, whose stated purpose is “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”, was established in 1993. In the past it has gone to such literary lions as Ben Okri, Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe.

The late American novelist John Updike is the only person to date to have won a Lifetime Achievement Award for passages of bad sex writing.

The winning passage in full: “At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the 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.”

Reuters