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The Sick Bag Song

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,552 ratings  ·  167 reviews
From the inimitable Nick Cave comes a mesmerizing exploration of love, inspiration, and memory that chronicles his 2014 twenty-two-city American tour with the Bad Seeds.

The Sick Bag Song began life scribbled on paper airlinesick bags during Cave’s 2014 tour. It soon grew into a restless full-length contemporary odyssey.

Spurred by encounters with modern-day North America, b
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Hardcover, 117 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2015)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,552 ratings  ·  167 reviews


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Lynx
Nick Cave takes us on his 2014 North American tour, sharing thoughts, ideas, and memories from his beautifully poetic soul.

*Thank you Cannongate Books and Edelweiss for this review copy.
Kaila
4.5/5 stars

"These are the lollipop ladies, with there severed heads on pikes, shepherding me across these lost and lonely highways and into your arms tonight.”


There's something you should know about me: I LOVE everything Nick Cave related. He is by far my favourite musician and, his poetry and performance continuously leaves me awestruck. So of course I bought this book, or should I say epic poem/tour journal/ overall genius, as soon as I saw it in stores. I absolutely love the voice of Ni
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Karl
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No actual sick bag was used to produce at least this version of the book. What you get are pictures of barf bags from various airlines complete with poetry.

Kind of a cleaver idea to produce Mr. Cave's words to his poetry in such an original manner If you like Nick Cave or are interested in his work than this is worth it.

The Book is white cloth in a black clam shell box and subtitled "For Motion Discomfort".

See it here:

http://thesickbagsong.com/#unlimited-...

Listen to Nick Cave's reading hare:

ht
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Sophie
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything is happening and has happened and will happen again. Everything that exists has always existed and will continue to exist. Memory is imagined; it is not real. Don’t be ashamed of its need to create; it is the loveliest part of your heart. Myth is the true history. Don't let them tell you that there are no monsters. Don't let them make you feel stupid, just because you are happy to play down in the dark with your flashlight. The mystical world depends on you and your tolerance for t
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Vanessa
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sick Bag Song charts Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 2014 North American Tour, and it a fantastic mixture of prose, poetry, and general Nick Cave-ness.

The book itself is stunning - a white dust jacket-less hardback made to look like an airplane sick bag, and photos of each of the sick bags that Nick Cave scrawled on throughout the tour, followed by the expanded version of the free verse that came from these scrawls.

I could hear Nick Cave's voice speak-singing every line as I read through this
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MJ Nicholls
On the afternoon Cave releases his astonishing new song—Jesus Alone—a haunting lament for a recent loss, I flick through this ‘epic poem’ and relish in the warped humour, offbeat poetry, and play with form: a quality that elevates his music from the drear pockets of elder statesman rock.

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William Pauley III
Can I give it more than five stars? I feel like I just got punched in the gut by a book, and afterwards it patted me on the back, sat me down on the edge of the mighty Ohio River, and lit a cigarette for me. It will all be okay.
Bjorn
Mar 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia
The tour diary is a special kind of rock'n'roll memoir; the account of work-a-day rock'n'roll filtered through equal parts honesty and exhaustion along with the general surreality of a rock star being herded from city to city.

The Sick Bag Song is set during Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' 2014 tour of the US and Canada, as Nick travels from city to city, performs, tries to call home, considers his influences, his past and his future ... It makes for a good companion piece to his film 20,000 Days on E
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Papa's got a brand new sick bag!
psychonout
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Satyajeet
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

1

I sit alone on the bank of the glacial Saskatchewan,
Beside a low-lying bridge,
Picking at a thread in my jacket sleeve. Pick, pick, pick.
Cubic tonnes of water spew along the river’s course.

The river is a pulsating, living artery.
It has nine known qualities.

It is not ashamed of its actions.
It flows without resistance.
It washes its own history away.
It has no memory.
It is eternally of the present and in the present.
It is not dependent on the whims of the muse.
It needs no angels to transport it.
It
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Chalchihut
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was a little child, I didn't know that those paper bags in the aeroplanes were sick bags. I thought we could put food in them or some personal stuff (at that age toys perhaps). One day we were flying and a girl just got sick of overcoming the gravity and puked in that bag! I was very shocked and at that moment I comprehended that those clean and nice bags was meant for something that disgusts us.

Despite my childish disappointment, now I feel kind of glad to have thought that those bags co
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Brian Joynt
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Musings, poems, and hallucinogenic snippets of travelogue-like journal entries make up the majority of this for-fans-only piece from the always beguiling Nick Cave. I don’t think the casual listener (does he even have any casual listeners?) will find much of value here, but those who are ignited by the electric prose in his songs/stories/folk tales should enjoy these subtle (yet crudely vivid) meanderings.
Emily Patten
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in a few hours, pure Nick Cave poetry! Can't wait to listen to the audio copy that came with the book, definitely one of my favourite working artists.
Ethan Miller
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sick Bag Song is a collection of free form writing developed from notes and scribbles that Cave committed to the back of airline barf bags while 1st classing it across America on tour. A blur of the great theaters and halls and the finest hotels from one coast to the other in 2014, at the commercial height of a career in music that has now spanned 3 and a half decades. Some prose, some poetry, some drawings or diagrams, very little is a straight journal entry or specific descriptions about g ...more
D.
2019

Three years after reading this text, I disagree with my original review. This book is everything, and that's all I'll say.
_____________________________________
2016

An excellently dark narrative poem from an amazing musical artist. Cave, however, could've used a better, more conservative editor.
Kit
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very likely one of my new favorite books. Nick's thoughts always strike a chord with me, but the universal themes of distance, risk, anxiety, love, and the creative drug are both useful and arrestingly communicated. I found myself taking pictures of almost every other page to save a part to my phone for later use and read it all in one sitting on my porch. The man's a visionary.
Nadja
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, ear-porn
Ive listened to this after visiting Brighton and running into Nick Cave... now I am nurturing my obsession. My life is a Nick Cave shaped bubble at the moment, filled with his words via music, literature, and film. The Sick Bag Song was a weird wild ride, a sick journey narrated by a master-poet. Will revisit single chapters in the coming weeks with my notebook and pencil ready.
Andrea SadLuck
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you feel obsessed with Nick Cave? Good! This book helps you to satisfy your voyuer urge to get into Nick's head or even his bed. You'll probably end up re-reading the book while playing each and every song mentioned there couple of times. Or is it just me?
Thomas Farmer
Came across this in a NY record store, sat down, and accidentally read it cover to cover. A bit impossible to recommend this to anyone who isn’t a Nick Cave fan, but nonetheless a very personal, introspective form of word vomit from an artist amidst his draining live performances.
Lisa
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t imagine anyone other than Nick Cave tempting me into reading a book of poetry. I didn’t understand all of it but I really really liked it.
Tristan Cordelia
It isn't Nick Cave's third novel - instead a mostly-non-fiction narrative in verse - but it is his third narrative-book, and probably the best of the three. And The Ass Saw The Angel has abominably beautiful prose but the narrative is static for hundreds of pages, clearly the work of a great poet who did not understand how to write a novel, with character arc and motion. The Death of Bunny Munro has a more mobile plot, but it's really quite a stupid book of bad jokes and irrelevance.

The Sick Bag
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Lucas Chance
“The boy will grow older, and over time there will be other songs – not many – ten or maybe twenty in a lifespan, that stand apart from the rest of the music he will discover. He will realise as he grows older still, and crosses the Canadian border and drives down into Seattle, that not only are these songs holy or sacred, they are hiding songs – what the Aztec Indians call carrion songs – that deal exclusively in darkness, obfuscation, concealment and secrecy. He will realize that, for him, the ...more
Jennifer
Dec 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A forest I’m happy to get lost in.
A visit to a wild mind
and I feel like I have to be careful so I don‘t bump my own head on anything,
but then I realise it‘s wide enough -
enough space for interpretation and imagination.

There is someone waiting at the train station.
They are waving at me.
I don‘t know them, but they seem to know me,
they help me carry my luggage
and as the weight becomes lighter
I can turn my load into a song.
A sick bag song?

Together we are making our tomorrows different.
Mind the Book
Let the world know that I died of love, när jag läste den här. Består av Nick Caves anteckningar - "rejectamenta" - på diverse sick bags från en USA-turné. Detta skapar en säregen litterär form: lyrik blandat med listor, nattlig melankolisk stämning och åkallande av muserna.

Läste på BA-flygningen till Baltimore, "borne across a gentle, purple North American dreamscape" med en "grim, grey British Airways sick bag" som bokmärke.
Simon Sweetman
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this - perhaps I wasn't expecting to, still not sure what my expectation was actually...it's funny and the debt of influence from Leonard Cohen is acknowledged on what feels like every second page. It's a sly mix of memoir, epic narrative poem and travel diary. Cave's having a lot of fun playing with the myth of Nick Cave lately. And it suits him.
Cail
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nick Cave's wild, dancing poetry interweaves with his memories of the Bad Seeds 2014 tour. My brother and I saw him in Vancouver and it was a top-three, all-time experience. His sick-bag write-up of Vancouver was good but I wish he'd talked about humping my brother's face during Stagger Lee.

Audacious in its imagery and (surprisingly) lucid in its narrative, this book is a must-read.
Gina
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyed it. Not sure I completely understood it all. Maybe it was meant to be obscure. Yes, I think that's it. He's on tour. He can not get ahold of his wife. He is frustrated from missing and longing her. THAT, I get. Unique approach.
Zivile
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I went to the concert when Nick Cave toured and was writing this impressionistic book. He wrote a little essay on each city he stayed. Of course, naturally, my favorite essay was about New Orleans, where I live, which he described in vampiric way, but how can't you?!
Ville Verkkapuro
Jesus christ.
Wow.
This.
Was.
Powerful.
I had no idea Nick Cave is such a great writer! I knew he is the best, but this is a perfect fucking book.
Poetic, dark, honest... with tons of cultural references which I am a sucker of.
I love Nick Cave The Writer! Where have you been all my life?
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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

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“The boy will grow older, and over time there will be other songs – not many – ten or maybe twenty in a lifespan, that stand apar from the rest of the music he will discover. He will realise as he grows older still, and crosses the Canadian border and drives down into Seattle, that not only are these songs holy or sacred, they are hiding songs – what the Aztec Indians call carrion songs – that deal exclusively in darkness, obfuscation, concealment and secrecy. He will realize that, for him, the purpose of these songs has been to shut off the sun, to draw a long shadow down and protect him from the corrosive glare of the world.” 23 likes
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