So you didn’t like the book then?

Morrissey’s writing is Adrian Mole on magic mushrooms, verbal diarrhoea being squirted at you through an industrial hose.

25 thoughts on “So you didn’t like the book then?”

  1. I love Morrissey. He’s one of the greatest living Englishmen, hilariously self-regarding pop star prima donna antics and batshit insane 80’s student lefty politics and all.

    And these might be the three most wonderful words ever written down in the English language:

    Morrissey tirelessly and tiresomely inserts rhymes and puns and alliteration and assonance in his sentences. The place where an old man is killed becomes ‘the scene of the senicide’, while the tramp’s attempt to touch someone is ‘the hobo’s grope’.

    The hobo’s grope! There is a simplicity and economy in that evocative phrase that George Orwell would’ve envied.

    It taps into our deepest, darkest fear about the underclass – that they might try to touch us. And taint us with their poor.

    Bring back the fashion of gentlemen carrying canes and swordsticks in case they should fall afoul of alms-seeking indigents.

  2. “one of the greatest living Englishmen”… dear God, we must be a pisspoor lot if he’s anywhere near the top of the pile.

  3. The reviews are quite glorious.

    http://thequietus.com/articles/18855-morrissey-list-of-the-lost-novel-review

    And what you’re actually looking at is some of the most heinously overblown prose printed by a major publishing house in living memory. It isn’t Joycean cacophony; it isn’t morbidly exhibiting a Dante-esque ability to capture Man’s descent into madness, into hell, through language. (Although, to the author’s dubious credit, reading it does have a similar effect.) It’s neither enjoyable to read nor purposefully unpleasant; or, loosely translated, it’s “not good”.

  4. http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2015/sep/24/morrissey-what-we-learned-about-him-from-list-of-the-lost

    Rare is the writer who is willing to complain that the big problem with Churchill during the war was that he was, frankly, a bit of a coward and unwilling to try to identify with the people he governed, but Morrissey is that writer. “Churchill himself would experience World War 2 safely and in a suite of rooms at Claridge’s most luxurious Mayfair hotel, with not a complicated twitch or pang to trouble his elaborate evening meal.” We’ll leave aside the fact that he makes it sound like Claridge’s is a chain, with the Mayfair branch simply its most upscale outpost – “Yeah, I was going to go stop at the Travelodge, but I got a deal on the Claridge’s at Peterborough services” – and instead note that the entire passage reads like a polemic written by a particularly single-minded street corner pamphleteer (see also Morrissey’s writing about the pernicious power of, wait for it, local television news. Damn you, Look North, with your hegemony!).

  5. JonD – and yet, here we are.

    S2’s links prove it.

    Only a special kind of genius could write a book like that. I can’t wait for the film adaption.

  6. S2 as I am in actual fact living at the hotel in Peterborough services, I should wrote to the Graun to protest at their uncalled for smear on an otherwise perfectly adequate establishment

  7. MORRISSEY’S new novel has condemned everything else in the bookshop.

    List of the Lost said: “Oh, the precious preening of Amis, the exotic effluences of Rushdie, the plodding procedurals of Jo Nesbo. Spare me their callous cacophony.

    “Shelve me alone, though I will permit Russell Brand to be on the next shelf along.

    “And do not dare to mark your place with a leather bookmark. My covers shall curl away from such barbarity.”

    It added: “I will only permit you to read me while seated upstairs on an otherwise empty bus, on a rainswept trip through nameless English towns full of lonely, dreaming boys who look like a young Terence Stamp.”

    Daily Mash

  8. I like to think I was ahead of the curve in my youth in 1980s Manchester when I decided on first becoming aware of Morrissey that he was a complete tosser.

  9. What is it about a certain set of ‘musicians’ whose ego & self-regard massively outstrips their talent? We can all think of a few besides Morrissey (yup, the single name says it all).

    Bono tops the list for me (screams from the U2 corner), but honourable mentions include Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) and Mick Hucknall.

  10. Rare is the writer who is willing to complain that the big problem with Churchill during the war was that he was, frankly, a bit of a coward and unwilling to try to identify with the people he governed, but Morrissey is that writer. “Churchill himself would experience World War 2 safely and in a suite of rooms at Claridge’s most luxurious Mayfair hotel, with not a complicated twitch or pang to trouble his elaborate evening meal.” We’ll leave aside the fact that he makes it sound like Claridge’s is a chain, with the Mayfair branch simply its most upscale outpost – “Yeah, I was going to go stop at the Travelodge, but I got a deal on the Claridge’s at Peterborough services” – and instead note that the entire passage reads like a polemic written by a particularly single-minded street corner pamphleteer (see also Morrissey’s writing about the pernicious power of, wait for it, local television news. Damn you, Look North, with your hegemony!).

    What does he expect Churchill to have done aged 66 3/4? Grabbed a revolver and headed off to command a batallion like he did in WW1?

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    abacab – “What does he expect Churchill to have done aged 66 3/4? Grabbed a revolver and headed off to command a batallion like he did in WW1?”

    The accusation of cowardice is odd because weren’t World War Two and the Russian Civil War the only two wars in Churchill’s life time that he did not fight in? He liked to fight. So much so that he fought in other people’s wars when he could.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Tractor Gent – “Bono tops the list for me (screams from the U2 corner), but honourable mentions include Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) and Mick Hucknall.”

    The problem with some musicians is that their self regard often merges seamlessly into mentally illness. Rowland is probably a good example. As is Adam Ant. We are not dealing with genuine self regard but full blown psychosis.

    Where does Bono stand in this? I don’t know. I think he has delusions of his own grandeur based on an odd understanding of his religion. Would it surprise anyone if he announced he was in fact the Second Coming? He looks a little borderline to me.

    Mick Hucknall on the other hand looks like a very boring suburban Dad who ended up being mildly famous for no readily apparent reason. So his self regard is truly a wonder to behold. Otherwise he seems perfectly sane. Despite not being a musician in the same category as Bono, whatever else you can say about him, or Adam Ant – or even Rowland.

  13. SMFS: All those people you mention are entertainers rather than musicians. They may be able to strum a few chords, recognise a beat and wail some words, but most are musically illiterate.

  14. “What is it about a certain set of ‘musicians’ whose ego & self-regard massively outstrips their talent? … Bono tops the list for me ”

    “Where does Bono stand in this? I don’t know. I think he has delusions of his own grandeur based on an odd understanding of his religion.”

    Bonney, at her best – versus Bono (in a duet)…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQVz6vuNq7s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpYDcfDpeQA

    “entertainers rather than musicians. They may be able to strum a few chords, recognise a beat and wail some words, but most are musically illiterate.”

    Indeed – how in hell was Luciano supposed to follow that with a straight face…

  15. There was one very good thing about the Smiths, and that was Johnny Marr. There was one very bad thing about the Smiths, and that was Morrissey. Listen to How Soon is Now, for example, and try to ignore Morrissey’s caterwauling. It’s almost a great song. Morrissey can do tunes. The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get could have been excellent. But anyone who can write “I bear more grudges than lonely high court judges” then not immediately cross it out, shuddering, and burn the piece of paper on which it was written it is clearly a wrong ‘un.

  16. “…with his carefully orchestrated retirement plans walloped across local newspapers…”

    That one had me laughing. “Walloped” for fuck’s sake!

  17. Johnny Marr.

    The most-mentioned British musician in France (j’en ai marre = I’m sick of it – a phrase the French utter often)

  18. Mick Hucknall is a phenomenal singer. I’m not a fan of his music, but would always watch the TV if he’s going to be singing live. He makes it look easy, but what he does really isn’t.

    I might buy an album of Smiths instrumental mixes. I’ve never understood how Smiths fans don’t hear that Morrissey sings like a cross between John Major and a stoned goose. He shits over every song.

    Adam Ant is mentally ill, yes, but not all that self-regarding. Before their falling-out (which is a result of the mental illness), he made a point of mentioning in interviews that the success was mainly down to Marco’s songwriting. Compare to, say, Chuck Berry, who was apparently quite happy to let Johnny Johnson die a pauper.

    I think there are two Bonos. The real one isn’t half as much of a pain in the arse as the public persona. And married to his childhood sweetheart for over thirty years. That’s not a sign of a man who believes his own hype. Doesn’t drag his kids in front of the paparazzi either.

    Kevin Rowland is mental.

  19. Theo,

    > All those people you mention are entertainers rather than musicians. They may be able to strum a few chords, recognise a beat and wail some words, but most are musically illiterate.

    I still find this attitude bizarre. What, for you, would make someone musically “literate”? Grade 8 piano? A diploma in music theory? Some people are naturals. Some people aren’t, but teach themselves, without access to teachers or classes. And some get good by studying it academically. In my experience, they complement each other: the classically trained guys are technically amazing at playing other people’s music, but usually not much good at improvising. The self-taught tend to be good at coming up with new ideas.

    BB King’s unique style came about because he was trying to copy Elmore James records but didn’t know what a slide was. Music is better off for a few ignorant mistakes like that.

    And it really shouldn’t be controversial to claim that Ella Fitzgerald was a musician.

  20. ‘Mick Hucknall is a phenomenal singer.’

    ‘Phenomenal’ is a ridiculous word to describe Hucknall. Chicago has turned out hundreds of better singers, as has Philly, as have most other US cities.

    Bearing in mind that he was trying to emulate black soul singers of the late 60s and 70s.

    He may have been a ‘phenomenon’ in his own family, and possibly his own street, but much beyond? No.

  21. I’m coming down on S2’s side of the fence here. I have my doubts about the Smiths, and would love to hear hucknell do something guided by a great writer.

    Also: I think he’s correct about the qualifications require to me a musician. Just produce great records and I’ll qualify you.

    (so says the PiL fan)

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