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December 09, 2014

Is that a rocket in your pocket?

Booker Winner Ben Okri Nabs Bad Sex Prize

The Literary Review sent an unmistakable message to authors at a ceremony in London on Wednesday: If you're going to write a sex scene, it's probably best not to mention rockets — symbolic or otherwise. The magazine awarded its 22nd annual Bad Sex in Fiction prize to Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri, a man who did just that in his latest novel, The Age of Magic.

Okri's past accolades — he, after all, did win the Booker Prize in 1991 — didn't spare him from the dubious honor, which recognizes "poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction." Nor did their plaudits spare Haruki Murakami, Richard Flanagan (who won this year's Booker) or Michael Cunningham, all of whom shared the Bad Sex shortlist with Okri.

Presumably, though, it was the rocket that launched Okri to his win.

"She felt certain now that there was a heaven and that it was here, in her body," Okri wrote, in one safe-for-work section of the offending sex scene, all of which can be read here. "The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her. Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off."

Posted by joke du jour at December 9, 2014 06:02 PM

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