The upcoming publication of Morrissey’s novel makes you wonder, almost against your will, just how good songwriters are at writing fiction. They can write, some of them anyway, but coming up with an original, full-blown story is a different matter entirely.
For all the deserved success of Chronicles, Bob Dylan was exasperated. You actually have to make yourself sit down at the desk and work away, for several hours each day. Then edit. And then edit again. It’s a nightmare. It’s not like you can do the whole thing over a flight from New York to Washington DC. Sketchy, disjointed thoughts have to be licked into shape.
Having been suitable impressed/freaked out by Gira’s fiction, I should say that generally I’m too skeptical to bother. Most of it ranges from boring to genuinely awful. Incredibly, some manage both – like John Lennon in the 60s.
Still, if there’s anyone who could pull it off, it’s Morrissey. With his recent autobiography, with his Penguin deal, what proof do you need? He has the ego and he has the time. If it’s bad – I give up. And if it’s good… well, the man is just an exception.