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The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave
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's review
Mar 19, 2011

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Following his wife's suicide, cosmetics salesman and sex addict Bunny Monro takes to the road in his seagull-dropping covered car, together with his nine-year-old son, Bunny Junior. As we follow their tragic journey through Brighton's bleaker suburbs selling lotions and potions, we encounter pre-pubescent girls and giggling housewives, blind pensioners and erotically-dressed policewomen.

Having grown up with Cave's music and been a long admirer of his lyrics - many of which have stories at their heart - I had high expectations of The Death of Bunny Monro; being a Brightonian to boot meant the setting particularly appealed. And in many ways, there's much to relish. Contrary to other reviewers, I found Bunny not entirely unsympathetic: that we see him through his son's adoring eyes helps achieve this. There are clear areas where the novel works well: the father/son relationship is touching and convincing - as perspectives shift from man to boy, Cave inhabits both psyches with panache. The characters of Brighton's underclass are keenly observed; indeed the entire south coast setting is painted with a deft hand. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts, so the writing becomes repetitive and the tale protracted. The end is long foreshadowed and too easy to predict. My feeling is it would have been stronger for editing right down; the idea at its core seems too thin, more worthy of a short story or novella, and doesn't quite warrant a full blown novel.
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