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Oedipal shower romp wins crap sex award

Mum abuses son 'with a bar of soap', author David Guterson explains

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US author David Guterson has walked off with this year's Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, for an admirable contribution to the genre in his novel Ed King.

The book is ominously described as "a re-imagining of the Oedipus myth", and the judges were particularly impressed with "the part where a mother has sex with her son":

In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap. After a while he shut his eyes, and Diane, wielding her fingernails now and staring at his face, helped him out with two practiced hands, one squeezing the family jewels, the other vigorous with the soap-and-warm-water treatment.

Guterson saw off some "strong competition" in the form of Haruki Murakami, whose 1Q84 offered the insight that "a freshly made ear and a freshly made vagina look very much alike".

Chris Adrian's The Great Night also made a plausible bid for glory, featuring "an 'impossibly stiff, impossibly eloquent cock' that 'poked her now from the front and now from the back and now from the side'," the Literary Review explains.

Guterson was unable to make it to the In and Out Naval and Military Club in London to accept his prize from Carry On legend Babs Windsor, so it fell to a representative of his publisher Bloomsbury to do the honours.

The author did, though, say of his triumph: "Oedipus practically invented bad sex, so I'm not in the least bit surprised."

Irish author Rowan Somerville secured last year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award for his second novel The Shape of Her, which included gems such as: "Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her."

Other previous winners include the late Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, who in 2004 wowed the judges with this extract from I am Charlotte Simmons: "Slither slither slither slither went the tongue, but the hand that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand, since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the otorhinolaryngological caverns." ®

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