Nick Cave's books contain a little bit of the author's personality, as many books do, but they are not absolutely smothered by it. They contain characters with distinct personalities, thoughts, motivations, and if there are any lessons to be imparted, then it is through the development of the plot and in the interactions between characters instead of through exposition. It is fairly easy to divorce the writer from the work, or at least to read it without thinking every character sounds like Nick Cave. This is not the case with List of the Lost.
No searching for biography is required in LOTL; it is so clearly an extension of Morrissey himself that anyone who cannot recognize this is either oblivious to Morrissey's history and espoused world view or feigning ignorance. And even if the former were true, any remotely perceptive reader would eventually pick up on an obvious trend in the text: the frequent polemics on the same subjects. If the bulk of the text weren't dedicated to frenzied rants on familiar Morrissey subjects, and if the characters (and narrator - there's no escape) weren't so one-dimensional, if they had some semblance of unique personalities instead of being automatons that all regurgitate Morrissey's very well-known and well-established opinions, then I dare say that critics and readers alike would be less inclined to speculate on Morrissey's pathology for writing it. They're not grasping at straws, rather they're being handed them in fistfuls. Could some be a little less vicious about it? Sure. But to not comment on the overwhelmingly Morrissey-esque quality of the book seems like a massive oversight.
As an aside, I'm beginning to wonder if any kind of criticism of this book will be tolerated by its apologists, never mind the reviews deemed too harsh or vindictive. Whenever someone expresses a negative opinion about the book, they are dismissed as being a hater, or jealous of Morrissey's supposed capability as a novelist, or being unable to "get it," regardless of what their objections may be or how articulately they are expressed. I've noticed this not just here, but in many other Morrissey fan hubs online. The idea that Morrissey may have written a bad novel is so distasteful, so unthinkable to some that they will rationalize and justify the book's merit to the point of utter foolishness. It's fine if you enjoy the book, love it, even sleep with it under your pillow every night and recite its passages daily. There are arguably things about it to enjoy. But this idea that if Morrissey produced it, it must be without fault is nonsense, and by refusing to acknowledge any validity in the criticism this is essentially what many apologists are doing. There's a reason the book's only ardent defenders are Morrissey fans; readers who are a little less biased are more inclined to acknowledge its many shortcomings.
One of the biggest tragedies of LOTL for me is that Morrissey, who has demonstrated time and again an astonishing gift for storytelling in the worlds and characters he creates in his lyrics, squandered the greatest opportunity in his career so far to exercise that gift by writing a book that largely throws character, setting and plot by the wayside to accommodate the same caustic, bitter rants he writes for TTY regularly. Maybe "he wrote the novel he wanted to write," as some of the book's defenders have asserted, but if that's a case it's a damn shame.
Yes, the narrative is Morrissey. Yes, viewpoints expressed on politicians and other issues are certainly his BUT to assume that EVERY word that people utter in the book are his views is ridiculous and delusional. Furthermore I have nothing against a bad critic BUT there is no need to get vicious, too personal and to make assumptions which go too far. So, everyone thinks that Moz talks about his personal experiences, fears, wounds etc. Then these reviews would be even worse. Say that the book is bad but don't ridicule. It can't be that difficult. It's unbelievable how angry and over the top everyone gets about a book. A BOOK. There are worse things on the planet. Life moves on.
If this person doesn't find self-doubt in the book I really that he read it PROPERLY. This is all I have to say.
I don't perceive the reviewer as angry, so much as disappointed. Further, he expressed his disappointment eloquently and with * swathes * of support from the text, something that virtually every other published review was bereft of. Morrissey created something for the public eye. He has no control over the reaction, which has, by and large, been negative. As others have said, if there were positive reviews pouring forth, they would be relayed here. But...they just aren't there.
the best theory that ive read so far is cg's, that moz wrote it while blindly drunk. probably written around the same time he wrote those tty blind drunk missives at harvest records.
nothing else makes sense. an irish gay ghost grabs a gay runners testicles? drunk for sure.
I've noticed this not just here, but in many other Morrissey fan hubs online.
But this idea that if Morrissey produced it, it must be without fault is nonsense
One strongly gets the impression that many people are disappointed because over the years they apparently thought all these things Moz talked about in songs and interviews were just his shtick, small little stories he invented to make himself interesting.
Well, there is AYNIM, although I was thinking of the many Morrissey and Smiths-themed Facebook groups (particularly There Is a Light That Never Goes Out and The Smiths and Morrissey Facebook Fanclub) and the Mozarmy Twitter community.Err... Silly question perhaps, and I admit never bothered to check in other ports of call than this one, but are there other Morrissey forums??
Well, there is AYNIM, although I was thinking of the many Morrissey and Smiths-themed Facebook groups (particularly There Is a Light That Never Goes Out and The Smiths and Morrissey Facebook Fanclub) and the Mozarmy Twitter community.
Well the author is planning a gig on NYE, that's hardly what a paragon of self-doubt would do.
...Unless he's also planning a disappearing act on that night, which I must say would be magical. A la David Copperfield. With a couple of doves flying off at exactly the right moment...Surprise! Mystery! Excitement! I'd like that.
New years or not. I can't seem him caring what day it is.
Yeah? I can see him being very fussy about that date. -Not that there is one planned or anything.
To me, playing in Las Vegas on January 2nd sounds like wanting to swim in other people's vomit. Kind of a seedy disco with the lights switched on.
Makes it almost tempting to die on stage, really.