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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Best and Worst Sex Scenes in Literature

The Telegraph newspaper has compiled lists of the best and worst literary scenes.

The Best list of 14 titles includes books by D. H. Lawrence (no surprise) and also Margaret Atwood’s The Robber Bride, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Ian McEwan’s Atonement.  See the complete list and read the relevant scenes at

The newspaper’s list of worst sex scenes has 13 titles.  These books are much less known; the only one I have read is Ed King by David Guterson.  The full list and excerpts can be read at

Later this fall, look for the nominees for the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award.  This year will be the award’s 25th anniversary.  The award honours “an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel. The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction.”  Go to for information about previous winners.