Ethan Miller's Reviews > The Death of Bunny Munro

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave
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's review
Aug 10, 10

Read in September, 2009

Nick Cave. Songsmith, Poet, Artist, Screenwriter, Performer--of all his great talents and larger than life artistic abilities novelist seems to be the one area that he just doesn't shine quite so much. And I love Nick Cave. I wouldn't quite say "worship" as many do, but certainly "idolize" is appropriate for my feelings toward him. As an idea "Bunny Munro" is prime Cave material and perhaps would ring with greater resonance and deeper human truth and tragedy as a song, possibly a full album or even a screenplay. But though the novel is about human redemption in some extremely roundabout way the author just doesn't earn his character redemption. The writing is often funny (in the very very blackest, sinister and cruel way it could be and still be called humor), it is often pornographic, often the descriptions are so sharp and wonderful that you can smell the pomade dripping off Bunny's pompadour in the hot afternoon sun of a Brighton summer day (as well as a lot of other too real smells from Bunny's dripping body parts). And yet with all that it reads more like Bukowski than Norman Mailer. Like Bukowski, Cave is brilliant with a line but lacks mastery of story architecture and character nuance. Yet in his music the architecture and character nuance is often pitch perfect so the potential is there. And like Bukowski, after any bearing of the soul or glimpse at complexity into the male psyche there remains this ringing bellow of base alpha male misogyny and mean spirited masculinity at it's worst that doesn't allow the sensitive moments of emotional depth to carry much weight. I just can't tell if "Bunny Munro" was supposed to be a cruel little dirty bit of fun or have a depth and human quality that leaves you with something you could put in your heart or want hanging around your head. Either way, it's not really that fun though one might let a couple chuckles go at any one of the many descriptions of Avril Lavigne's vagina floating through the air. A must read for Nick Cave fans only for the sole fact that a true Nick Cave fan works obsessively through every bit of his work. I'm not sure this book holds interest for anyone else and definitely not for the faint of heart. 3 stars because I love Nick Cave.

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