One-Minute Book Reviews

November 27, 2007

Norman Mailer Wins 2007 Bad Sex Award for ‘The Castle in the Forest’

[This post has been updated. A link to the bad-sex scene that won appears at the end of the post.]

The late Norman Mailer has won the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Award from the U.K.-based Literary Review for his novel The Castle in the Forest, beating Ali Smith, David Thewlis and other finalists. I can’t get the direct link to the BBC post on the award to work from One-Minute Book Reviews. (The URL is But you can find the BBC post by Googling its headline, “Late Mailer wins ‘bad sex’ award.” (Sounds like he didn’t mail his application on time, doesn’t it?) You may also want to read the post just before this one on One-Minute Book Reviews, which has the shortlist for the Bad Sex Award and a link to a few lines from Smith’s bad writing on sex.

Update at 7:20 p.m., Eastern Time: Hooray! Just got this link from impatientreaderdotcom (see the comments section) to the lines by Mailer that won the 2007 Bad Sex in Fiction Award. (The winning passage was supposed to have been read aloud by an actress before the announcement. Anybody have a link to a YouTube or other video clip of the reading?) The following link provided by impatientreaderdotcom may look “off” but will take you right to a priceless passage from Mailer’s The Castle in the Forest that begins: “His mouth lathered with her sap …”

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.



  1. Hello, Joyce! This link should take you to online BBC News where you can read a truly awful sentence from Norman Mailer’s novel. I didn’t think anyone could beat that McEwan scene, but Mailer does!
    All the best, K.

    Comment by impatientreaderdotcom — November 27, 2007 @ 6:50 pm | Reply

  2. That line by Mailer is priceless! (“His mouth lathered with her sap …”?!) I agree that it beats McEwan (and also a line I saw from Ali Smith’s “Boys and Girls.” A thousand thanks. You are the hero-of-the-day on this site for providing the link.

    To all of you who need a laugh today, click on the link provided by impatientreader right away. (I’ll try to copy the link and put it into the main post.)

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — November 27, 2007 @ 8:19 pm | Reply

  3. Glad I could help. K. 🙂

    Comment by impatientreaderdotcom — November 28, 2007 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  4. Eeeek, sorry, Janice, for calling you Joyce in the earlier comment. I just realized I did that! 🙂 K.

    Comment by impatientreaderdotcom — November 28, 2007 @ 11:03 am | Reply

  5. No need to apologize. You should see what people do to “Harayda.” Maybe I should say that it’s pronounced “Hurray-dah”? My father was a star high school and college football player, and at least one newspaper wrote in a headline: “Hip, hip Harayda” …

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — November 28, 2007 @ 1:38 pm | Reply

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