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Carnal fiction: the most salacious and sordid literary sex scenes

"The thing inside her jerked and threshed, a rising salmon, plunging home to spawn"

Ask any author what the most difficult part of a novel is, and the answer will likely be not the closing line or plot, but penning a convincing sex scene. From Madame Bovary to modern day Mills & Boon classics, novelists have for centuries attempted to capture the essence of lust, passion, uncertainty and sheer adrenaline that sex conjures up, with varying levels of success.

With the announcement of the shortlist for the 2014 Bad Sex In Fiction award this week (courtesy of the Literary Review), we look at some of best, worst and most surreal excerpts from sex scenes that literature has had to offer over the ages - starting with five contenders for this latest prize.

Prepare yourself for some obscure metaphors, explicit language and all-round hanky panky - with a fair smattering of howling and thrusting along the way...

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