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Jonathan Littell Beats Off Stiff Competition at Bad Sex Awards

Thu, Dec 3, 2009

Books, Pop Culture

kindly_ones_littellThe Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

Turns out we were wrong in our Roth prediction — this year’s Bad Sex Award ended up going to Jonathan Littell for his novel The Kindly Ones. Other fancy-pants runners up included Paul Theroux, Nick Cave, Amos Oz, and John Banville. The judges said very nice things about Littell’s novel — which was originally published in French — calling it “in part a work of genius.” However, lines such as “I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg” clinched the award for The Kindly Ones. Perhaps it came off better in the original French? The award was presented at the — chortle chortle — In & Out (Naval & Military) Club in St James’s Square, London, where 400 guests congratulated themselves on being both highbrow and hilarious on the topic of sex. Check out the winning passage — in which Littell is inspired by ancient mythology, to somewhat disastrous results — after the jump.

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