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Friday, 25 September 2015

Day 1475 - Lost lists and Paris

Yesterday was a busy day in the world of Morrissey, with his debut novel, List of the Lost being released to an expectant audience, and also a concert in Paris. Here is my review of List of the Lost:

List of the Lost begins way before you open the cover, in fact, it started before the novel was even completed, for unlike most debut novels, List of the Lost isn't just about the story, it is also about the author - the indie pop God and lyrical genius, Morrissey.

A cigarette packet carries a stark warning telling smokers of the dangers of smoking. The cover of List of the Lost carries a similar stark warning that reads, "Beware the novelist" - Neither of these warnings should be taken lightly.

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Morrissey himself gives the best preview to the actual story contained within List of the Lost, telling us that it is, "an American tale where, naturally, evil conquers good, and none live happily ever after, for the complicated pangs of the empty experiences of flesh-and-blood human figures are the reason why nothing can ever be enough" and "the theme is demonology ... the left-handed path of black magic. It is about a sports relay team in 1970s America who accidentally kill a wretch who, in esoteric language, might be known as a Fetch ... a discarnate entity in physical form. He appears, though, as an omen of the immediate deaths of each member of the relay team. He is a life force of a devil incarnate, yet in his astral shell he is one phase removed from life. The wretch begins a banishing ritual of the four main characters, and therefore his own death at the beginning of the book is illusory."

Morrissey's preview is only half the story however, or rather it IS the story, but only half the book, for although Morrissey gives us a taster of the gripping yarn involving Ezra, Nails, Harri, Justy, Eliza, Rims, Dibbs and Dean Isaac, what he doesn't mention, is the autobiographical content of the book - and it's all there, all the subjects that have shaped Morrissey's life:
(In no particular order):
1. Athletics - Morrissey was a very keen runner at school
2. Love of the mother - a scene when one of the main characters, Harri, is mourning the death of his mother, could almost be Morrissey himself, visualising how he will/would feel in a similar situation. The line "soothing patterns of her carefully chosen clothes" is pure poetry
3. Humasexuality - the theme of finding someone attractive regardless of whether they are male or female, is mentioned more than once. The term Humasexual was actually invented by Morrissey.
4. Sex
5. Eroticism
6. Death - a lot of it
7. The purpose of life
8. The torture of thought - particularly with the subject of what is supposedly right or wrong
9. The 'Royals'
10. Thatcher
11. Judges
12. Courts
13. Teachers
14. Authority
15. The establishment
16. The falsities of television - Bonanza was a lie
17. Televison news & sport
18. America
19. God
20. Jesus
21. Police brutality
22. Carnivores
23. War
24. The supernatural
26. Inhumane humanity
27. The beauty of animals
28. The suffering of animals

Morrissey even manages to throw in a bit of masturbation, and also mentions some of his personal heroes, such as singer Buffy Saint Marie, civil rights activist Dick Gregory, and poet Ezra Pound; whose name is given to the lead character. When Morrissey moves Dean Isaac out of America at the end of the story, he moves him to his own current home town of Lausanne.

The way in which Morrissey plays with sentences in the book is a delight. Lines such as, "like the lash of a whip at the starboard tip of a mid-storm ship losing its grip", instantly remind fans of Morrissey's songs, of lyrics such as, "everyone has babies, babies full of rabies, rabies full of scabies" (Neal Cassady Drops Dead).

If this novel were ever to be turned into a film, the soundtrack is already ready and waiting, and there is no reason why each song couldn't be played in full - who needs narrative? David Lynch would have to direct, of course.

1. Hand in Glove
2. I'm Not a Man
3. Kiss Me a Lot
4. Earth is the Loneliest Planet
5. One of Our Own
6. Forgive Someone
7. America is Not the World
8. Asleep
9. Friday Mourning
10. I Have Forgiven Jesus
11. Headmaster Ritual
12. Life is a Pigsty
13. Meat is Murder
14. Children in Pieces

With List of the Lost, Morrissey has re-written the rules of writing. This isn't merely a novel, it is a book which gives us both a gripping short story, combined with the autobiographical. There has been no other book like this one, and the art-hounds just won't get it, but then again, critics have NEVER gotten Morrissey. They will cry out for editing, but nobody ever edited Everyday is Like Sunday -  List of the Lost is what it is... whatever it is!

Being a fan of Morrissey's songs will not necessarily be enough to enjoy List of the Lost, for this is for a different audience. Twin Peaks fans, on the other hand, will love it.

If you smoke, then you shouldn't be surprised if you get lung cancer. If you read List of the Lost,  you shouldn't be surprised if the author leaves you feeling surprised. You have been warned.

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And now to Paris. I spent the early part of this morning watching footage, and it would appear to have been another marvellous night, with highlights once again including Kiss Me a LotBoxers, My Dearest Love and the wonderful, wonderful Oboe Concerto, which with all the excitement of hearing/seeing You'll Be Gone on Sunday night, I feel I haven't paid enough attention to. I LOVE Oboe Concerto!

On the subject of You'll Be Gone, Morrissey and the band reportedly tried starting it three times last night, before then giving up - with Morrissey allegedly saying, "three of us are human" - I wonder which three? I dearly hope this won't lead to You'll Be Gone being abandoned - it CAN'T be, it is as good as ANY cover Morrissey has ever done.

It has also been reported that Morrissey informed the Olympia audience that he would be going to see Charles Aznavour in concert on Friday. Well what do you know!

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I am presuming that there were no blue roses in Paris, as none of the BRS were in attendance. Chucky Orange will, however, be attending a couple of concerts next week in Germany. How I would dearly love for Chuck to be the first European to have a blue rose accepted.

And on the subject of the BRS, the owner of the BRS tumblr has updated it to include myself, Kerry Cocktail and Bitchy Bobby Neville wearing our roses in London last Sunday.

*Goes off singing*
Mes traits ont vieilli, bien sûr, sous mon maquillage
Mais la voix est là, le geste est précis et j'ai du ressort
Mon cœur s'est aigri un peu en prenant de l'âge
Mais j'ai des idées, j'connais mon métier et j'y crois encore


  1. 'You'll Be Gone' was started three times and Moz said, "Three of us are human"? Hmm, I'll leave that open for others to comment on who are more obsessed with numbers than I am. I hope Moz has a wonderful time at the CA concert tonight.

    I very much enjoyed your review of the novel, Rats, and I'm grateful you didn't include any spoilers for those of us who are still waiting for our copy of the book to arrive. The more I hear about it, the more tantalizing it sounds. I can't wait to dig into it, hopefully very soon.


  3. The teasing twitter reference.. but he dosn't go on twitter

    1. "As this teasing twitter played out its daily dozen."

    2. OMG!!! How did I miss it? My apologies, Manc lad, I thought you must have been on the sauce again. Thanks comrade herpes for spelling it out. This deserves a blog entry of it's own. This is Manc lad's finest hour. #DrearyDeludedDozen

    3. Oh, Manc lad - you fraud! You didn't spot the Twitter reference at all, it was LizzyCatMoz who spotted it, and posted it on TWoM. I should have known you wouldn't have been so observant.

    4. once again I am reduced to being worthless, oh well, so be it and a big thumbs up to Lizzy also

    5. I copy and pasted it from Lizzycat's comment in (what is known in Australian politics as) The Other Place.

  4. maybe whiskers you will learn from it SLOW DOWN

    1. Good grief, I'm being given life advice by a washed-up lush.

  5. Agh. I just noticed that you've linked to the "humasexual" article on Urban Dictionary. If I may explain the history of that. I had noticed that UD doesn't have a definition for it, so I sent one in that I really liked, but it was rejected, because it wasn't explicit enough. So I changed some words and sent in another, which was again rejected, and I got a bit pissed off, typed some stuff that doesn't actually make sense, made sure that I included the word "fuck" and thought "Let's see if you publish THAT". And they did. I obviously didn't think that through :-/

    1. I hadn't noticed that it had been submitted by you. I don't suppose you have to actually have sex to be a humasexual, in the same way that you don't have to have sex to be a heterosexual, homosexual or any other type of sexual - having the thoughts is what defines what we are, not carrying out the act.
      Well done for submitting it - perhaps one day the word will make it into the Oxford English Dictionary.

  6. SO CREATED A PLAYLIST ... for your list of the lost soundtrack:

    I'll wait to see if chuck is able to give Morrissey a blue rose b4 UPd@ting the Morrissey's Blue Rose Society video...
    From what I see, NO BLUE ROSES in Belgium eithERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRR R R R!

  7. Page 109: "Edgar Allan Poe couldn't concoct this."


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