December 1st, 2009


Sex Isn't Supposed to Make You Laugh...

...and yet nothing makes us laugh until we cry like poorly rendered sex scenes. Literary fiction certainly has no ownership over egregiously written scenes of lustful coupling, but for some reason it often supplies us with the most hilarious examples of the awkward piling-on of metaphors and similes that can bring any otherwise sizzling hot scene to its knees...and not in a good way.

When the abundance of metaphors and similes fly so amazingly out of control that the sex scene in question is barely recognizable as sex, transforming instead into some kind of dadaist word-salad masterpiece, the result is The Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

This year's winner, Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones, actually manages to equate female genitalia with "a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks." Also, "a Gorgon's head." It makes you wonder if Littell watched a bunch of Ray Harryhausen fantasy movies before writing this scene! Alas, it only gets worse from there.

Thanks, Secret Santa!

Back on Friday, I received a mysterious Amazon gift certificate by email. I say it's mysterious because 1) there was no name in the "from" field, it just said "from: Amazon," 2) it was for a very odd amount: $26.34, and 3) the "message" field said "Payment by gift certificate."

I have no memory of what I might be getting paid for by Amazon. I doubt it's from my Amazon Associates program. I haven't used that in nearly a decade, and when I did use it, it was such a complete failure that it couldn't have generate even twenty-six dollars' worth of income. Or maybe that's what it is and I've simply forgotten, but I prefer to think of it as a mystery.

A mystery that netted me a free DVD of Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin, with commentary by Tom Baker! Thank you, mysterious Amazon gift certificate! And the vengeful ghost of Mary Whitehouse thanks you too!