Thursday, July 20, 2023

Ten top novels with good sex scenes

Cleo Watson has worked in politics and campaigning of one kind or another for over a decade. She worked on President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012, the 2017 and 2019 UK General Elections and the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 EU Referendum. In government, she served in 10 Downing Street as Theresa May's Political Adviser then Boris Johnson's co-Deputy Chief of Staff. She has had a front row seat - and, occasionally, one at the table - for some of the most decisive moments in British politics of the last few years. Whips is her first novel.

At the Guardian Watson tagged ten books that "show how incredibly varied good sex in fiction can be," including:
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter

A masterpiece of atmosphere – as good on France as on sex. The unnamed narrator half watches, half fantasises an affair between Phillip Dean, a travelling young American, and Anne-Marie, a local girl, in Burgundy. The writing gives a firm edge to a sophisticated exploration of the line between reality and imagination. While it is Anne-Marie the narrator fixates on, the lithe, confident Dean is perhaps his deeper obsession. The combination of loneliness and intimacy in their intense relationship, through the voyeur’s eye, and the ultimate end of the affair, are beautifully told.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Sport and a Pastime is among Sophie Mackintosh's six top books on desire, Alex Christofi's top ten books on postwar France, Chris Killen's top ten novels about lost friendships, Emma Straub's top ten holidays in fiction, Thomas H. Cook's five must reads on the writing life, Adam Ross's favorite books under 200 pages, Lorin Stein's six Paris Review book picks, and Jeff Gordinier's list of five books that will make you question the wisdom of ever falling in love.

--Marshal Zeringue