Tom Wolfe shortlisted – again – for Bad Sex in Fiction award

Novelist Tom Wolfe is among the list of nominees for the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2012, having won the dubious accolade eight years ago…

The tongue-in-cheek award is designed to discourage badly-written sex scenes in modern novels…

The full shortlist is: The Yips by Nicola Barker, The Adventuress by Nicholas Coleridge, Infrared by Nancy Huston, Rare Earth by Paul Mason, Noughties by Ben Masters, The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills, The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine and Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe…

An excerpt from Wolfe’s nominated Back to Blood reads: “Magdalena woke up in a hypnopompic state. Something was stroking her. It caused no alarm, however, just a semiconscious bewilderment amidst her struggle to turn her lights on.”

Barker’s Man Booker-longlisted novel The Yips contains the passage: “She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of warm custard…

In a reference to EL James’s best-selling Fifty Shades erotic novels, The Literary Review said this year’s shortlist came “in a year in which the country’s obsession with mummy porn, red rooms of pain and Christian Grey has reached fever pitch”…

The purpose of the prize “is to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it”.

The prize excludes pornographic or expressly erotic writing. There would be an abundance of gold-plated riches if it didn’t.

Generally, the prize-winners take the award in the humor intended. Though most – in my experience – resent criticism of any portion of their writing – considering it all to be handcrafted and eternal.

Yoga and Harry Potter are evil, says Pope’s champion exorcist

For most people it is a way of toning the limbs and soothing the stresses of everyday life, but the Catholic Church’s best-known exorcist says yoga is evil.

Father Gabriele Amorth, who for years was the Vatican’s chief exorcist and claims to have cleansed hundreds of people of evil spirits, said yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.

Reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest, who is the honorary president for life of the International Association of Exorcists, which he founded in 1990, and whose favourite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist…

“Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” he told a film festival in Umbria this week, where he was invited to introduce The Rite, a film about exorcism starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest.

“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses,” said the priest, who in 1986 was appointed the chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome…

Father Amorth has previously said that people who are possessed by Satan vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron and have such superhuman strength that even children have to be held down by up to four people.

He has also claimed that the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Germany and other countries was proof that the Anti-Christ is waging a war against the Holy See.

Being caught at criminal behavior apparently is just a result of the anti-christ plot. Uh-huh.

RTFA for more superstitious silliness.