Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “And the Ass Saw the Angel” as Want to Read:
And the Ass Saw the Angel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

And the Ass Saw the Angel

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  5,494 ratings  ·  338 reviews
Cave’s only novel to date takes on the southern gothic in this bizarre baroque tale. Born mute to a drunken mother and a demented father, tortured Euchrid Eucrow finds more compassion in the family mule than in his fellow men. But he alone will grasp the cruel fate of Cosey Mo, the beautiful young prostitute in the pink caravan on Hooper’s Hill. And it is Euchrid, spiralin ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 26th 2003 by 2.13.61 (first published 1989)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about And the Ass Saw the Angel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about And the Ass Saw the Angel

Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukA Clockwork Orange by Anthony BurgessAmerican Psycho by Bret Easton EllisThe Elephant Tree by R.D. Ronald1984 by George Orwell
Best Transgressive Fiction
56th out of 696 books — 446 voters
Tagged by Joseph M. ChironA Life To Waste by Andrew LennonCoraline by Neil GaimanPlebs by Jim GoforthGrundish and Askew by Lance Carbuncle
Twisted Tales
13th out of 307 books — 306 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
so i am going to review this one after all, because the book i am reading now will probably take me forever, and i dont want to get out of practice writing reviews that have nothing to do with the book. its a tricky skill, you understand,it must be honed. this may be one of my favorite books ever. i have gone through so many copies of this because i never learn not to lend it to people, particularly people i might be kissing. i think i gave this to two of them, wayyy back in my kissy youth. and ...more
Anthony Vacca
Sleazy, profane, literate, violent, bloated, verbose, apocalyptic, excessive, dense, touching, rhythmic, grotesque, reverent, And the Ass Saw the Angel tells the terrible tragicomedy that is the short and weird and wild-on-top life of Euchrid Eucrow—a backwoods outcast born with the divine gift of an angelical purpose that is compounded with an absurdly articulate mental life that goes unappreciated and, ultimately, unchecked by his hypocritical zealot neighbors on account of Euchrid being born ...more
If Gabriel Garcia Marquez got knocked up by William Faulkner and birthed a deranged novel that was kept locked up in the basement and beaten daily, it would be 'And The Ass Saw The Angel.'

I don't normally write reviews, but this book keeps tumbling around in my mind like shoes in a dryer. I read a review on here that said (and I'm paraphrasing) that immediately after finishing the book, the reviewer wanted to 're-read it armed with a battle axe.' That, I think, is most appropriate given the feel
Seth Hahne
Aug 30, 2007 Seth Hahne rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one with eyes
Shelves: bookclub
While not the worst book I've every had the displeasure of reading*, Nick Cave's work here may be the worst that I've both read and finished. Eragon ? Gave up with extreme prejudice. Da Vinci Code ? Accidentally left it in an airport bathroom in Denver with eleven pages left and did not care enough to visit the library to see how it ended. The Lovely Bones ? Granted, I did finish it and it was bad, but it was a shiny, gold-plated sliver of heaven compared to And the Ass Saw the Angel, which I wa ...more
The Crimson Fucker
To say that I’m giving this book 5 stars based on the fact of how much I enjoyed it, would be a lie. The book had a really weak start and a pretty damn weak plot. In my one, dumb, humble opinion the books is aiight. Yes, here comes the big but…BUT! There were 2 things I fucking loved about this book.

1. The addition of a new kick ass word to my “cool as hell words” list (the word Fornicatrix, which according to a dictionary means: a woman who engages in Fornication). I fucking love that word! Wh
Jul 21, 2007 V. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
This is one of my favorite novels. I have to recommend it with a string of caveats, however. The writing is gloriously, indulgently, and shamelessly overwrought. If you go in for clean, crisp prose, you'll probably hate this. It is also an incredibly grim book, but with a wicked and sometimes viciously dark sense of humor throughout (this is Nick Cave, after all).

The novel's protagonist is a character named Euchrid Euchrow, a physically deformed and mentally deranged mute living in the fictional
If anyone had asked me two months ago if I had heard of Nick Cave, I would have said no. After listening to several of his musical offerings I can say that while I appreciate what he has to offer, he doesn’t appeal to my particular taste. The same can be applied to his first foray into the literary realm as well.

And the Ass Saw the Angel often reminded me of Cave's songs, as it seems to extend the themes that are expressed within them. Cave consistantly creates a dark world, containing a mighty,
Felisberto Barros
Fantástico e pesado. Quem ler este livro que se certifique que o melhor é lê-lo com um escudo de segurança porque o ataque à sensibilidade do autor é forte. O Nick Cave quase que não dá qualquer tipo de hipótese com este livro. Encontra-se uma escrita muito boa (mas cansativa em determinados momentos), desenrolando uma história criativa, densa e incomum. Para mim este é um livro fascinante, de culto. A arte em torno deste livro consegue assimilar tudo aquilo que de mais ridículo existe como de a ...more
Ariel Marble
While the writing is certainly indulgent, it's important to remember that the narration is in first-person -- that is, the wordplay and elitist vocabulary bordering on nonsense and semi-stream-of-consciousness monologues are composing a cross-section of Euchrid's brain. The prose is complex, gritty and even abrasive at times, but to judge all of the technicalities of Cave's writing as faults of the author is to ignore the possibility - and the necessity - of the main character having some hand i ...more
Nick Cave should stick with his music. He is a more than capable writer, but this book was uninteresting for the most part. I had qualms with a lot of it.

My biggest problem is the vocabulary of the main character, Euchrid. Euchrid is a mute and as far as I know never went to school and his parents certainly didn't teach him anything. His mother being a massive drunk and his father pays more attention to the traps he sets and the animals he maims than to Euchrid. Yet, his vocabulary exceeds that
Southern Gothic, at nearly its finest. Better than Faulkner (although that's probably unfair since I've only managed to read his short stories), but not as good as Flannery O'Connor (though she wrote more short stories than novels). Cave is somewhere between them, but darker, dirtier, and creepier.

I absolutely loved this.

I wouldn't recommend it to people. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I went into it not knowing anything about it other than it was written by Nick Cave (be still, my
Mah God, ah am at last free! From this book, that is.

Overwritten, overwrought, and truly poorly edited, Nick Cave's debut novel is a grimacing, death trodden and DARKSOME tale of mental madness and religious madness and hillbilly hell and rotten mash liqueur and hobos and godsent rain curses and child rape and hooker rape and child lust and hooker lust and child killing and hooker killing.

The one and only star here is the beautiful, inventive and utterly creative use of language throughout. Ha
Tammy Salyer
A dark and disturbing yarn from one of music's most diverse and moving lyricists. Cave has turned the underbelly of Appalachia into something more hideous than our imaginations would have dared conjure on their own. He brings us into a place of such strangeness and depravity that even our dreams cannot escape the black clutches of its evil spawn. If you are looking for something with depth and beautiful prose, but which will also twist your mind, look no further than And the Ass Saw the Angel.
David Sarkies
Nick Cave's contribution to the written word
20 April 2012

I have been meaning to read this book ever since I discovered Nick Cave as a musician. I also recently discovered that he is also Australian (born in Warracknabeal in Victoria) which means that there are actually some decent musicians coming out of Australia, as well as authors. Okay, I probably shouldn't knock Australian artists, but to be honest with you I have never really been a big fan of Australian music, literature, or movies. I gu
Charlene Smith
Like several people I know, I've read the first few pages of this book every six months for the past few years and have given up each time because it's so darn hard to get into.
A month ago, I threw a tantrum. There was NO WAY Nick Cave was going to defeat me, so I mapped out a schedule and decided to read 15 pages a day until the book was finished, regardless of how I was feeling about it.
Five days later, I was done. Once I got into it, I couldn't put it down! I'm not saying it's an easy read, b
Have you ever seen kudzu? It's a vine-like plant that grows up to 2m/week in America, where it is a noxious weed claiming 150,000 new acres each year. It grows indiscriminately over landscape, power lines, houses, roads, and other plants in a thick smother of oppression. The writing in "And The Ass Saw the Angel" reminds me of the Mississippi kudzu infestation I saw a decade ago: heavy, alive but malignant, unstoppable. Cave comes armed with a vast vocabulary and is not afraid to reinvent, redis ...more
Joe Sacksteder
Even though Nick Cave is one of my favorite artists, I went into the book wanting it to be lackluster - my reason was that there HAD to be something this man wasn't good at. Rock star, check - awesome screenwriter, check - soundtrack composer, check. But quotes like this: "Clambering aback of him came the multitude, like a grand parade of clowns, tripping and tumbling their way to a sloppy, fully slapstick salvation." Yowza! And "The two grim figures on the bank, mere shadows now, looked on as v ...more
My 2-star thoughts on this book are specific to this "new edition" Penguin recently released, which is a heavily edited version of the original book as published in mass-market paperback editions and trade editions over the years. If you can get any other edition, I think it's a five-star book.

This new version attempts to tighten up the book by cutting out a lot of descriptive prose and focusing on the plot. I would argue that this is a tragic mistake in this case--this book is as much a story
This is Faulkner meets Nick Cave at the end of what should have been the American South's disappearance. The book is an absolute classic. Unfortunately, the South has become more Rednecky and Crackery than ever. At any rate, I read this book in huge chunks, like a fever-dream of youth. I believe Nick wrote it in Berlin, when he was living there. This is the Nick Cave book to read, as he recently released another one, something about someone named Bunny Munroe or something, which wasn't anywhere ...more
Alex Fresta

I think this is an incredibly adacious book. Remember that this was Cave's first novel. For a debut, this is brazen. Cave is obviously very infuenced by Faluker, but at the same time this is a very authentic and individualistic peice or writitng. You can tell as you read that the artist has made no compromise whatsoever.

The prose can be dense and overwrought at times, but on the whole this a very comepling novel. The images the writing conjures linger long after the reader has put the book down.
Kirk Smith
It has been nearly a decade since I first read this, and it was probably the first Southern Gothic that I read. It does still hold up and is in fact in good company as one of the most gruesome in the category. I place it next to The Devil all the Time by Donald Ray Pollock and also Child of God by Cormac McCarthy and that is among very good company indeed. One interesting thing I noticed is that while many readers placed it in the Southern Gothic style, the majority placed it in Horror. This is ...more
Tokrat sem ostala brez besed. Izjemen prevod, takšen, da se na novo ali znova zaljubiš v materni jezik. Iskrena hvala prevajalcu, da imam kup novih najljubših besed.

Knjiga je zame vsekakor zajeten zalogaj. Po eni strani jo želim nestrpno prebrati do konca, a me knjiga kar 'bremza'. Po drugi strani je pa kar nočem (še) končati.

Izjemno redko naletim na takšno čtivo. Vsekakor je poslastica svoje vrste.
Kristina King
I had to read And the Ass Saw the Angel because I'm a Nick Cave fangirl. I met a fellow obsessive Cave fan a couple of months ago, and in discussing various things, I had to admit I hadn't read either of Cave's novels. My excuse had always been that And the Ass is out-of-print, and Xenu-forbid I spend more than four dollars on a book. But, I shouldn't be a bad fangirl. So, I found a used copy online for ten bucks shipped—a miracle, as this wasn't the first time I was looking for a cheap copy—an ...more
Oh Nick, How I love much.
The premise of the book has already been revealed, so to talk about my feelings on the book.
Well, I find "hillbilly fiction" a hard thing to master without hitting the Wall of Trite. Nick, my friend, you hit the wall. Fortunately, there were times when you ricocheted and had some truly heartbreaking, descriptive language. Eucrhid at the well was profoundly moving, seeing the girl through Euchrid's eyes was the kind of honest, twisted insight I expect from Mr. C
Unsung Stories
There's no doubt about it that this book will put people off. There'll likely be fervent 5* reviews and no doubt more 1* WTH reviews. That's Nick Cave for you though, pushing at barriers of tolerance since 1978. This story is a Byzantine, frequently prolix nightmare. It's not meant to be easy, it's meant to be a delirious and intense smack in the face, steeped in ritualism, magic, blood and horror.

If you stick with it though, burrow through the brush into Euchrid's sanctum then it's a caustic an
This is the harrowing account of a profoundly abused boy and his revenge. It is violent but thrilling and the imagery stays in your mind. It is disgusting in some places and I will not reread it. But it felt like a guilty pleasure. The writing was annoying at times because it felt like Cave memorized a thesaurus and spit out every big word he could. Not one for the clarity of language. But in other ways the writing is outstanding, if only because it raised it nasty story into the realm of litera ...more
I would have to agree with a fellow reviewer of And the Ass Saw the Angel by saying that this novel is very much what would happen if William Faulkner wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude. It is a meditation not only on isolation, but exclusion. Nick Cave's grandiloquent debut novel plays upon the notions of madness and zealotry: their intersexions and divergences. It's hard to call this dark, though it certainly plumbs darkness. As the book progressed, I notived many common themes with his songs ...more
Mar 20, 2008 Jacob is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Nick Cave wrote a book? Yeah, he did. I bought this book for less than a dollar and I've read the first couple of pages several times but I'm not really sure what it's about other than the vague impression of something southern and something gothic and I think that's probably as far as I'll go with it, that is, unless things change, which they won't. The other day I was getting coffee with a friend and Nick Cave came on the radio but it wasn't just Nick Cave it was Nick Cave singing a cover of a ...more
Adam Cresswell
God I hated this. The thinnest of plots, a completely unfaithful use of dialect, no redeeming characters and just never gripping or interesting enough to make me care to work at it.

I always preferred Gallon Drunk anyway.
Tracey Jarvis
Aug 06, 2012 Tracey Jarvis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: friends with twisted minds and strong stomachs
Recommended to Tracey by: It's by Nick Cave - needs no recommendations!
Imagine you've been driving through the deep south of America. You come to a crossroads, it seems like there is nothing but corn fields and more heat no matter where you turn. Then you notice a shack. Sitting on the run down veranda is a blind bluesman of indeterminate age, playing guitar using the neck of a whisky bottle for a slide. You pull up in front of him and he asks you if you want to hear a story. And the Ass saw the Angel is that story. A black bible of small town prejudices, religious ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Snowball in Hell
  • Kingdom Come
  • The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs
  • The Room
  • Nineteen Seventy Seven (Red Riding, #2)
  • Experience: A Memoir
  • Clown Girl
  • The Coma
  • The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History
  • Slaves of New York
  • I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick
  • Leaving Las Vegas
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
  • Kiss Me, Judas
  • The Flying Troutmans
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • Bad Seed: The Biography of Nick Cave
  • The Fuck-Up
Nicholas Edward Cave is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional actor. He is best known for his work in the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and his fascination with American music and its roots. He has a reputation, which he disowns, for singing dark, brooding songs which some listeners regard as depressing. His music is characterised by intensity, high ener ...more
More about Nick Cave...
The Death of Bunny Munro King Ink King Ink II The Secret Life of the Love Song and The Flesh Made Word: Two Lectures by Nick Cave (King Mob Spoken Word CDs) Complete Lyrics

Share This Book

“...because once you've got one scar on your face or your heart, its only a matter of time before someone gives you another - and another - until a day doesn't go by when you aren't being bashed senseless, nor a town that you haven't been run out of, and you get to be such a goddamn mess that finally it doesn't feel right unless you're getting the Christ beaten out of you - amd within a year of that first damming fall, those first down borne fists, your first run out, you wind up with flies buzzing around your eyes, back at the same place, the same town, deader than when you left, bobbiong around in the swill - a dirty deadbeat whore in a roadside ditch. But a little part of you deosn't die. A little part of you lives on. And you make an orphan of that corrupt and contemtible part, dumping it right smack in the laps of the ones who first robbed you of your sweetness, for it is the wicked fruit of their crimes, it is their blood, their sin, it belongs there, this child of blood, this spawn of sin...” 40 likes
“Listen, ah don't wanna speak ill of the dead but have ah told you that mah mother was a great whopping whale of a cunt? Well she was precisely that - a great whopping whale of a hog's cunt with a dirty maggot for a brain.” 11 likes
More quotes…