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15 October 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:11am

Blair’s memoirs nominated for Bad Sex Award

Blair's "animal instincts" earn him a nomination for the annual Bad Sex Award.

By George Eaton

When David Cameron wrote that one of the lessons of Tony Blair’s memoirs was that “politicians should keep quiet about their animal instincts”, I found myself in rare agreement.

For those of you yet to enjoy (or endure) Blair’s prose, here is the offending passage:

[T]hat night she (Cherie Blair) cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me; made me feel that I was about to do was right … On that night of the 12th May, 1994, I needed that love Cherie gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct, knowing I would need every ounce of emotional power to cope with what lay ahead. I was exhilarated, afraid and determined in roughly equal quantities.

Blair’s efforts have earned him a nomination for the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex Award — the first time a work of non-fiction has made the cut. Other nominees for the prize, which celebrates “poorly written, redundant or crude passages of a sexual nature”, include Ian McEwan for Solar, Jonathan Franzen for Freedom and Martin Amis for The Pregnant Widow: “Keith imagined her buttocks as a pair of giant testicles (from L. testiculus, lit. ‘a witness’ — a witness to virility), not oval, but perfectly round.”

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Last year’s award went to Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones for such cringe-making lines as: “I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg”.