Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bad Sex Book

The New Yorker's Lauren Collins this week has what you might call a delayed book review of the steamy potboiler, The Apprentice.

The novel was written in 1996 by the recently-indicted Dick Cheney aide, I. Lewis ("Scooter") Libby. Collins describes it as another "entry in the long and distinguished annals of the right-wing dirty novel... ."

The book was twenty years in the writing. But you can get the entire effect simply by skimming the review for adjectives: "...erotic ... quasi-political ... antique ... scatological... homoerotic ... incestuous... musty... depraved... boring... ."

"So," Collins asks, "how does Libby stack up against the competition? She explains:
This question was put to Nancy Sladek, the editor of Britain’s Literary Review, which, each year, holds a contest for bad sex writing in fiction. (In 1998, someone nominated the Starr Report.)

Sladek agreed to review a few passages from Libby. “That’s a bit depraved, isn’t it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls? That’s particularly nasty, and the other ones are just boring,” she said. “God, they’re an odd bunch, these Republicans.”

Unlike their American counterparts, she said, Tories haven’t taken much to sex writing. “They usually just get caught,” she said.

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