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Originally published February 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM | Page modified February 11, 2014 at 6:18 PM

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Morrissey mauling wins Hatchet Job review prize

It was Morrissey who once sang: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."


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LONDON —

It was Morrissey who once sang: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."

The former Smiths frontman may wish to replay the song. A savage review of his best-selling memoir won Britain's Hatchet Job award Tuesday for the year's most cutting book review.

Writing in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, journalist A.A. Gill said Morrissey's "Autobiography" was "utterly devoid of insight, warmth, wisdom or likability."

"Autobiography" topped the British best-seller lists when it was published last year. It appeared under the Penguin Classics imprint, a rare designation for a living writer.

In his review, Gill said that publishing the book as a classic "doesn't diminish Aristotle or Homer or Tolstoy; it just roundly mocks Morrissey."

The Hatchet Job award was established in 2011 by literary website The Omnivore to honor "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant" review published in a newspaper or magazine. It has been criticized for rewarding mean-spiritedness, but organizers say the tongue-in-cheek contest has a serious purpose: to encourage reviewers to be fearless.

Gill receives a golden hatchet and a year's supply of potted shrimp from the award's sponsor, a fishmonger.

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Online: www.hatchetjoboftheyear.com



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