'Billiard Rack' Genitals Win Bad Sex in Fiction Award
'Unsure as to how many testicles the character in question has'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2017 1:00 PM CST
Shrink
We'll never look at a billiard rack the same way again.   (Getty Images/belterz)

(Newser) – Despite facing tough competition from novels featuring the phrases "mouth-machine" and "diabolical torso," Christopher Bollen took home the 2017 Bad Sex in Fiction award Thursday in London, courtesy of the Literary Review. NPR reports the passage that earned Bollen the prize comes from his novel The Destroyers. "The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub," Bollen writes in a passage describing the protagonist having sex with a former girlfriend. "Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”

The Guardian quotes the Literary Review's thought process in giving Bollen the prize: "Bollen goes overboard in his attempts to describe the familiar in new terms, leading occasionally to confusion. In the line quoted … they were left unsure as to how many testicles the character in question has.” While the sex writing is bad, the award is not necessarily so. Only "otherwise good" novels are eligible, and past winners include literary luminaries like Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and John Updike. The 2016 award went to a description of "ballet dancer" genitals, and the 2015 Bad Sex in Fiction award was claimed by Morrissey.

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