Morrissey’s debut novel (or, more accurately, novella) List Of The Lost was published today by Penguin, and at a slim 118 pages, it didn’t take long for the critics to get through it.
When you’re describing an erection as a “bulbous salutation” and have one character’s breasts “barrel-rolling” across another’s mouth, you can expect the online literati’s knives to come out.
Twitter soon lit up with baffled bemusement. David Baddiel suggested it for the Bad Sex Award and #bulboussalutations was trending – or, as one card rephrased it, “a veiny wotcha”. When the more considered website and newspaper reviews began rolling in, they read like Canadian cudgels caving in the fragile baby seal skull of Moz’s literary ambitions. Here are the opinions so far…
Michael Hann, The Guardian: “Do not read this book: do not sully yourself with it, no matter how temptingly brief it seems. All those who shepherded it to print should hang their heads in shame, for it’s hard to imagine anything this bad has been put between covers by anyone other than a vanity publisher. It is an unpolished turd of a book, the stale excrement of Morrissey’s imagination.”
Nico Hines, The Daily Beast: “At times the writing is laughably clunky; the characters are thinly drawn; and the plot twists delivered so matter-of-factly that they prove more confusing than shocking. None of these issues are the most glaring problem with List of the Lost, however. That accolade goes to the extraordinary tone of misogyny that pervades the entire story.”
Michael Deacon, The Telegraph: “Unreadable.”
Alex Clark, The Guardian: “We footsoldiers in the Moz army have had more to contend with than this load of old cobblers, which surely could have been improved if someone had cared enough or, more likely, been allowed to. Onlookers will enjoy the deserved kicking coming its way without sharing our pain; and only those who’ve toiled to the end will seize on the subtext in its final plea that “we remember with kindness”. Steven Patrick Morrissey, here is a plea in return: don’t do it again. Although you probably will.”