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List of the Lost is a novel written by Morrissey, released on 24 September 2015.

List of the Lost
List of the Lost.jpg
Book cover
PublisherPenguin Books
Publication date
24 September 2015



The book is about a 1970s relay team in Boston who accidentally kill a demon, which then curses the team.[1][2]


In August 2015 it was announced that List of the Lost would be published later that year through Penguin Books in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, and South Africa.[3] It is Morrissey's first fictional book, having previously written an autobiography, published in 2013.[4] The book was released on 24 September 2015.[1]


The book received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Writing for The Guardian, Michael Hann urged his readers "Do not read this book", due to the numerous typographical and grammatical errors, lack of engaging dialogue, and implausibility of the premise.[5] Alex Clark described the novel as "verbose, tangential, [and] unfocused."[2] In a review for The Daily Beast, Nico Hines accused the book of being a "bizarre misogynistic ramble" due to its "repulsive" portrayal of women, as most in the book are obsessed with sex.[6] In The Telegraph's 1/5 star review, Charlotte Runcie wrote that "List of the Lost is terrible and, at only 118 pages, still feels overlong," going on to describe the novel as "poorly conceived, awkwardly expressed and lazily imagined."[7] And John Niven of the New Statesman, responding to critics who wrote that the book may have been improved by a strong editor, opined that "asking a decent editor to save this book would have been like asking a doctor to help a corpse that had fallen from the top of the Empire State Building."[8]

Even reviews that stopped short of a complete pan were largely unfavourable. NME's Jordan Bassett scored the book 2/5 calling it "a confused, often quite embarrassing slab of cringeworthy sex clichés and bizarre, stilted dialogue."[9] In a review for the Financial Times, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney found the book to contain "a few viciously turned barbs" but was otherwise "more self-indulgent and tedious than its slender dimensions would suggest possible". The review concluded by stating that it "sullies the reputation of the publishing house that has been foolish or greedy enough to commit it to print".[10] Ed Cummings' review in The Observer echoed this sentiment, stating that "the spineless mandarins at Penguin who brought this to print should be ashamed of themselves."[11]

The Independent's Adam Sherwin described it as "a leaden festival of self-pity" but conceded that it was "lifted, however, by the occasional brilliant Wildean epigram."[12] In virtually the only mainstream review that wasn't largely or entirely negative, Melissa Katsoulis of The Times indicates that the work is "a ludicrous gothic fantasy" that is "unreadable at times", but is "a hundred pages of hallucinogenic craziness" that acts as an "antidote to all those earnest, urban epics by the graduate trainees of the literary scene." Katsoulis concludes by praising Morrissey as both "inimitable and irreplaceable".[13]

Outside of the UK, Brazilian critic Jonatan Silva, in a review for A Escotilha, said that in List of the Lost Morrissey attempted to create a kind of pulp fiction a la Oscar Wilde, but failed in trying to connect the book with the spirit of sports and literature. He advised that readers who expected the same lyricism as found in Morrissey's autobiography would be disappointed.[14]

Owen Richardson of The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that "List of the Lost reads like the outcome of the perversity, or simple lack of self-awareness, that induces a writer to run with his bad qualities. It's terrible, though in such a bizarre way, unique even, that it might have prospects as a cult book, or at any rate an enduring curiosity. But I wouldn't bet on it." [15]

The response on social media was critical particularly of a sex scene in the book.[16] In December 2015, the novel was announced as the winner of the Literary Review Bad Sex Award.[17]


  1. ^ a b Jack Shepherd (24 September 2015). "Morrissey's debut novel List of the Lost receives damning first review: 'It is an unpolished turd, the stale excrement of Morrissey's imagination'". The Independent. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b Alex Clark (24 September 2015). "List of the Lost by Morrissey review – 'verbose, tangential, unfocused'". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  3. ^ Daniel Kreps (23 August 2015). "Morrissey's Debut Novel 'List of the Lost' Out This Fall". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  4. ^ Luke Britton (22 September 2015). "First extract of Morrissey's debut novel 'List Of The Lost' revealed". NME. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  5. ^ Michael Hann (24 September 2015). "Morrissey: what we learned about him from List of the Lost". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  6. ^ Nico Hines (23 September 2015). "Morrissey's First Novel 'List of the Lost' Is a Bizarre, Misogynistic Ramble". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 24 September 2015.
  7. ^ Charlotte Runcie (25 September 2015). "Morrissey's novel: the verdict". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Was there no one to stop Morrissey publishing List of the Lost?". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  9. ^ Jordan Bassett (25 September 2015). "Morrissey - 'List Of The Lost'". NME. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  10. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Review by Ludovic (2 October 2015). "'List of the Lost', by Morrissey". Retrieved 1 October 2016 – via Financial Times.
  11. ^ Cumming, Ed (4 October 2015). "List of the Lost by Morrissey review – the publishers should be ashamed of themselves". Retrieved 1 October 2016 – via The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Review: Morrissey's debut novel is a leaden festival of self-pity". 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  13. ^ ""List of the Lost" review in The Times". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  14. ^ Silva, Jonatan (2 October 2015). "Repleto de obsessões, romance de estreia de Morrissey é puro niilismo pop". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  15. ^ Richardson, Owen (23 October 2015). "List of the Lost review: Morrissey's novel succumbs to his sententious side". Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  16. ^, Sarah Deen for. "A graphic sex scene in Morrissey's debut novel is being ripped apart by Twitter". Metro. Retrieved 2015-09-25.
  17. ^ Slawson, Nicola (1 December 2015). "Morrissey wins bad sex award for love scenes in debut novel List of the Lost". Retrieved 1 October 2016 – via The Guardian.