The release of Morrisey’s first novel today (24th September) has sparked a strong reaction on social media after the work received two damning reviews by The Guardian.
The newspaper's Michael Hann criticised List of the Lost, published by Penguin Press, as "an unpolished turd of a book, the stale excrement of Morrissey’s imagination” while a second reviewer, journalist Alex Clark, said it was a “verbose, tangential, unfocused" offering about a 1970s relay team who accidentally murder someone who turns out to be a demon and are thereafter cursed.
Morrissey himself said the the theme of the book is "demonology ... the left-handed path of black magic.” He added: "List of the Lost is the reality of what is true battling against what is permitted to be true.”
Clark said: “It's extraordinary to think of a book of 118 pages as too long, but there you have it." She added it was "perhaps worst of all from a onetime source of such laser-guided lyricism, linguistically imprecise.”
She describes some of the novel's sentences (“in servitude is the watcher, asking of the do-er that he assumes all aspects of the watcher’s desire”) as "pure gibberish".
Clark said that in the book, a 1970s relay team have a big race coming up, but meet a strange “wretch” in the woods whom they accidentally kill. "One of them dies after taking a strange pharmaceutical concoction, possibly deliberately because he’s recently happened upon his mother’s corpse; the survivors dig up a young boy’s dead body and then hunt down the man responsible," she said.
Nico Hines from the Daily Beast described the writing as "laughably clunky", the characters "thinly drawn" and the style "stilted". He argued the "worst" thing about the book is its "repulsive treatment of women".
The Telegraph also identified the 10 most embarrassing sentences in a list that included the lines “lush houses of beddy-bye shut-eye snoozled in sleepland” and “whoever put the pain in painting had also put the fun in funeral.”
Clark concluded: “Steven Patrick Morrissey, here is a plea in return: don’t do it again. Although you probably will.”
The novel's descriptions of one sex scene, described in one 74-word sentence, have sparked reactions on Twitter. The Telegraph, said many have suggested the material is worthy of winning the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Awards.