Supernatural Magazine

Morrissey List Of The Lost – An Honest Review

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Morrissey List Of The Lost – An Honest Review

AS A WRITER, I know what it is like to place your work into the hands of the audience. When art is released, be it novel, album or painting, the creator instinctively knows that their creation will be weighed, judged and examined. The spotlight will shine on every curve, word and detail, explored with surprising vigour. I am almost certain that when Morrisey released his first fictional novel, List of the Lost, he knew that his work would be pulled apart for dissection, word for word. As a fan of his work in music and as someone who is passionate about literature (from both the reading and writing point of view) I knew I would be reading this release with avid interest. I did – I enjoyed it. I was not disappointed. In fact, the only thing that surprised me was the exploration of paranormal themes that saturate the story.

Before I read it, I ignored the main body of reviews that flooded the media when the book was released. When I know I am going to read something, I want to begin without other people’s projections, criticisms and assertions about the work. I read List of the Lost from a blank canvas – from a place of knowing very little about the story itself. I already knew Morrissey could write beautifully, as his first literary release Autobiography testifies to. I saw the same beauty in List of the Lost.

List of the Lost unfolds and resolves over 118 pages, yet this shortness does not detract from the fullness of the story itself. Focusing on four central characters (Nails, Harri, Ezra and Justy) as they experience one summer of their lives in the heat and turmoil of the 1970’s, the reader is immediately drawn into their world as they train for an upcoming relay race (all boys bonded through their love of sport, and each other) whilst facing the biggest questions that life can ask of anybody: What does it mean to be alive? What is the meaning of death? These central themes of death and the internal struggle to find meaning are portrayed through the experiences of Nails, Harri, Ezra and Justy as they navigate their way through a summer of loss, grief, fear – and a surprising confrontation to the supernatural. Morrissey stated himself that there is a touch of the occult and demonic in this tale, and he has cleverly insinuated these aspects into the story without actually falling into familiar horror book territory. It has made it something unique, something difficult to compare with other novels that touch upon those subjects.

I enjoyed List of the Lost because it was not easy to define. So many releases are easy to pigeon-hole and label, but Morrissey has cleverly managed to out-run the genre label but writing something that appears to work its way through many themes, always shifting out of grasp once you think you have a strong hold of what the story is about. At first, I believed it to be drama about friendship, but then after several dark twists and turns, we find that we are exploring death. Then the supernatural elements come creeping in, and before you realise it, you have experienced more in three pages than you do in 300 of many other story attempts.

Morrissey is obviously a master at the written word. This story reads like a classic, something from an age of long ago, yet the fact that it has been written in 2015 is testament to Morrissey’s continuing ability to be only himself, and not altar or shift with the changing tides of fashion, popularity or audience-pleasing.

List of the Lost certainly has something for the fan of the fictional novel. I am a horror fan myself, and there was enough darkness seeping in these pages to keep me reeled in, and clutched to the pages. This aside, it is simply a beautiful, yet twisted story. Hard to define, impossible to categorise, but a pleasure to read.

I hope Morrissey has plans to pen future releases, for his work in literature seem set to impress as much as his creations in music.

TITLE: List of The Lost AUTHOR: Morrissey PUBLISHER: Penguin Books PRICE: £5.59

Fiona Dodwell

Fiona Dodwell

Fiona lives in Torbay, Devon, with her husband. She has been passionate about the paranormal since she was a child, and several paranormal experiences of her own have led her to personal study of this fascinating subject. Fiona has had three horror novels published, and has been studying the paranormal under Dr Ciaran o’Keeffe.