The book is about a 1970s relay team in Boston who accidentally kill a demon, which then curses the team.
In August 2015 it was announced that List of the Lost would be published later that year through Penguin Books in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India, New Zealand, and South Africa. It is Morrissey's first fictional book, having previously written an autobiography, published in 2013. The book was released on 24 September 2015.
The book received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Writing for The Guardian, Michael Hann urged his readers "Do not read this book", due to the numerous typographical and grammatical errors, lack of engaging dialogue, and implausibility of the premise. Alex Clark described the novel as "verbose, tangential, unfocused." In a review for The Daily Beast, Nico Hines accused the book of being a "bizarre misogynistic ramble" due to its "repulsive" portrayal of women, as most in the book are obsessed with sex. In The Telegraph's 1/5 star review, Charlotte Runcie wrote that "List of the Lost is terrible and, at only 118 pages, still feels overlong," going on to describe the novel as "poorly conceived, awkwardly expressed and lazily imagined." And John Niven of the New Statesman, responding to critics who wrote that the book may have been improved by a strong editor, opined that "asking a decent editor to save this book would have been like asking a doctor to help a corpse that had fallen from the top of the Empire State Building."
Even reviews that stopped short of a complete pan were largely unfavourable. NME's Jordan Bassett scored the book 2/5 calling it "a confused, often quite embarrassing slab of cringeworthy sex clichés and bizarre, stilted dialogue." In a review for the Financial Times, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney found the book to contain "a few viciously turned barbs" but was otherwise "more self-indulgent and tedious than its slender dimensions would suggest possible". The review concluded by stating that it "sullies the reputation of the publishing house that has been foolish or greedy enough to commit it to print". Ed Cummings' review in The Observer echoed this sentiment, stating that "the spineless mandarins at Penguin who brought this to print should be ashamed of themselves."
The Independent's Adam Sherwin described it as "a leaden festival of self-pity" but conceded that it was "lifted, however, by the occasional brilliant Wildean epigram." In virtually the only mainstream review that wasn't largely or entirely negative, Melissa Katsoulis of The Times indicates that the work is "a ludicrous gothic fantasy" that is "unreadable at times", but is "a hundred pages of hallucinogenic craziness" that acts as an "antidote to all those earnest, urban epics by the graduate trainees of the literary scene." Katsoulis concludes by praising Morrissey as both "inimitable and irreplaceable".