Cutting book reviews up for Hatchet Job prize

LONDON (AP) — A moan about Morrissey and a bitter verdict on Donna Tartt are contenders for Britain's Hatchet Job award, honoring the year's most cutting book reviews.

Eight finalists announced Tuesday include A.A. Gill's verdict on "Autobiography" by former Smiths lead singer Morrissey — "utterly devoid of insight, warmth, wisdom or likability" — and Peter Kemp's dismissal of Tartt's best-selling novel "The Goldfinch": "a turkey."

The award was established in 2011 by literary website The Omnivore to honor "the angriest, funniest, most trenchant" review published in a newspaper or magazine.

The shortlist also includes David Sexton's unimpressed review of Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize-winning "The Luminaries" and Hedley Twidle's verdict on Paul Theroux's African travelogue "The Last Train to Zona Verde" — "offensive and plain bizarre."

The winner will be announced Feb. 11.

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