About the Author
The lead singer of The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman, Cave has been performing music for more than 30 years. He has collaborated with Kylie Minogue, PJ Harvey and many others. As well as working with Warren Ellis on the soundtrack for the film of The Road, by Cormac McCarthy and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, he also wrote the screenplay for the film The Proposition. His debut novel And the Ass Saw the Angel was published in 1989. Born in Australia, Cave now lives in Brighton.
After a joyous ride from woman to woman, Bunny Munro, a sex-obsessed beauty product salesman, meets his comeuppance when he is fatally injured in a traffic accident. Not until his dying moments does he feel remorse over taking sexual advantage of his female customers and neglecting his nine-year-old son. However, the penitence comes only after many chapters of sexual gratification and coarse language, and one wonders if he is indeed sincere or if the author is merely seeking absolution for his own self-indulgence and bawdiness. Australian rock star Cave, moonlighting as a novelist, has an ear for the rhythm of language, employing dialog that appropriately reflects individual walks of life. But as the story, with little variation, follows Bunny door to door as he flirts with women and occasionally enjoying a "quickie," it soon becomes repetitious and tedious. Verdict Cave's previous novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel, has been hailed as "adventurous," but this work, laced with infantile wit, frankly goes nowhere. Reading like a graphic novel without illustrations, it may appeal to readers with a predilection for weird humor. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Victor Or, Surrey P.L. & North Vancouver City Lib., B.C. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
* Put Cormac McCarthy, Franz Kafka and Benny Hill together in a Brighton seaside guesthouse and they might just come up with The Death of Bunny Munro. A compulsive read possessing all Nick Cave's trademark horror and humanity. -- IRVINE WELSH * Cocksman, Salesman, Deadman; Bunny Munro might not be Everyman, but every man ought to read this book. And read it half in stitches, half in tears. -- DAVID PEACE * Nick Cave will obviously live forever, just because the Devil's scared of him. Rolling Stone * Cave stands as one of the great writers on love of our era. -- WILL SELF * The Death of Bunny Munro is not just a wonderful read, it's also a heartbreaking one. Cave writes novels like he does lyrics, with strokes of blood and sulphur and lightning. He strikes at the mind and heart and is able to bring his readers to their knees. Neil LaBute * There's no more fevered imagination in contemporary song, and now Nick Cave is laying down the gauntlet to the literary world with a novel of sex, sin and mortality. Bunny Munro is our tragic ASBO-hero, whose ghost, past and present, won't let him lay as he embarks on a libidinous rampage through the crumpled Sussex seaside. A lyrical end-of-the-pier morality tale, which, like your average Bad Seeds' album, is a grotesque delight. GQ * The brooding Bad Seeds frontman releases his second novel. The Death of Bunny Munro is about a sex obsessed travelling salesman. Sure to spice up any rainy day. Men's Health * This sad, hilarious and filthy novel could do for men's base private thoughts what Sex and the City did for girl chat. Q Magazine * Cave is unafraid to launch headlong into roaring caricature, but while the sex and death quotient is significant, the book also reveals surprising new weapons in his armoury, particularly the tenderness and humanity with which he portrays Bunny Junior ... Told with verve, studded with scalding humour ... What lingers are the linguistic fireworks. -- Graeme Thomson Observer * I thought it was terrific. Horrifying, but terrific. -- Fiona Sturges Independent on Sunday * Unlike other musicians, Cave doesn't just talk about writing novels, he writes them. And they are really, really good ... [The Death of Bunny Munro] works, stylistically and emotionally. Bunny Munro may begin by seeming a one-note johnny, just lust, but he grows into something greater than either he or we expect. -- Toby Litt The Times The narrative pulses with demented musical energy. While this is not explicitly about rock music, it is in every other sense a rock'n'roll novel ... The Death of Bunny Munro also points the way ahead for the rock novel. -- Ludovic Hunter-Tilney Financial Times * This is a proper novel, properly written, properly put together ... The release is more like a multimedia event, with Edinburgh-based publishers Canongate claiming a world first -- Rodge Glass List * Some of Bunny's escapades might have you howling in laughter; others are quite simple the most digusting descriptions of sexual misanthropy I've read ... Many men will read this and see a part of themselves they're not at all comfortable with. Most will also laugh out loud. Misandrists will love to hate it. But you don't have to be a nut-job or a Nick Cave fan to enjoy Bunny's story. -- Neil Dunphy Irish Tribune * In the sense of narrative animation, and also in the sense of culture significance, the book is a vital one, and is to be welcomed and celebrated. -- Niall Griffiths Daily Telegraph * What truly elevates the novel is not Cave's thesis, but the smoothness of the prose and masterful combination of black comedy and sentiment. -- Matt Thorne Independent * Stylish and engrossing with trademark wit and lyricism leaping from every page, this is Nick Cave at his bleak best. Buzz magazine * Cave's unconventional, compelling tale of the absurd and the tragic, vividly captured through adroit illustration and chromatic prose, is singularly engaging work. -- Roisin Dwyer Hot Press magazine * Every bit as wise and as dark as Cave's songs ... The Death of Bunny Munro is above all an extended riff on the rampant male libido at the point where it leaves the realms of joyous Dionysian appetite and edge into darker areas of neurosis and psychopathology. -- Peter Murphy Irish News * A deathly black slice of Gothic caricature, the story of a man's descent into depravity and desperation ... The Death of Bunny Munro is written with undeniable verve and narrative propulsion. -- Doug Johnstone Scotsman * Cave makes you shudder and sob simultaneously. -- Sue Arnold Guardian * The Death of Bunny Munro is essentially a tragic tale; a novel that is essentially a tragic tale; a novel that is by turns sick and funny, and sometime both simultaneously, but that moves inexorably, determinedly, towards its terrible end. -- Sean O'Hagan Observer * In its own twisted way The Death of Bunny Munro is a plea for love in a world rancid with lust ... Bunny's bad boy charm makes it all too easy to go along for the ride. -- Keith Watson Metro * Bunny Munro and the twisted ravages of his search for salvation will live with you for a worryingly long time after you close the covers on these tortured souls. -- Sophie Gorman Irish Independent * Bleak, hilarious and heartbreaking. Waterstones Books Quarterly * The novel reads like a modern-day parable, illuminated with raw lyricism, scraps of tenderness and dark phantasmagoria ... Accessible, thrilling and gloriously impolite, it's a morality tale with all the fire, brimstone and humanity that Nick Cave is known for. The man has proved yet again what a rare and grossly talented polymath he is. -- Holly Kyte Sunday Telegraph * Cave is a natural storyteller and entertainer, and the journey that the two Bunnies (father and son) make it sordid and sobering and a sort of rotting valentine in all weekend. A real treat from a real artist. -- Neil Labute Sunday Herald * A rock novel you can hum along to. Financial Times * All debauchery and hedonism and full of the mistakes of men. -- Rodge Glass Sunday Herald * Ends up packing the cathartic emotional wallop of his most grandiose work. -- Kris Needs Rock Collector * An impudent novel, not just in terms of scatology, but also its refusal to psychoanalyse the protagonist's compulsion to nail everything in a skirt. -- Peter Murphy Hot Press * Nick Cave's second book is a diabolical and hilarious read. Bunny Munro ... this death of a salesman is a must read. -- Donal O'Donoghue RTE
The protagonist of Cave's pleasantly demented second novel, set in England, is living out a porno: door-to-door lotion salesman Bunny Munro spends his days seducing invariably attractive women, servicing both their sexual and moisturizing needs. His wife's suicide, though, threatens to derail Bunny's amorous adventures, as he can't shake the feeling that he might somehow be responsible. Another new obstacle is the need to look after his nine-year-old son, Bunny Jr. In an effort to escape the creepiness of the apartment he shared with his wife, Bunny takes his son on the road, teaching him the ropes of salesmanship. Meanwhile, a man in red face paint and plastic devil horns accosts women in northern England before a murderous turn sends him journeying south. Bunny's deterioration from swaggering Lothario to sputtering pity case suggests he is carrying around more guilt than he cares to admit, and his obsessive behavior, while a bit of a stretch, allows for an interesting portrait of modern family dynamics. Cave's bawdy humor, along with a gallows whimsy that will be familiar to fans of his music, elevate the novel from what might otherwise be a one-note adventure. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
In 1989 Melbourne-born musician, Nick Cave, released his debut novel And the Ass Saw the Angel-a lyrically dense (and some would suggest impenetrable) book, steeped in biblical imagery, violence and wry humour. Twenty years later the much anticipated second novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, is a very different beast altogether. While still bearing the usual Cave hallmarks-the dark wit, lyricism and violence-The Death of Bunny Munro is a bawdy romp of a novel. If Dante had ever written a 'Carry On' film it may have turned out something like The Death of Bunny Munro. Bunny Munro is a self-styled ladies' man with a wife and a nine-yearold son, Bunny Junior. Narcissistic and swelling with hubris and lustful desires, Bunny Munro sells beauty products from door-to-door on the south coast of England and sets out to seduce lonely housewives- and pretty much every woman he meets-along the way. On the death of his wife he is set adrift and hits the road, hawking his wares for one final time with Bunny Junior in the passenger seat. As is evident from his songs, his earlier (and now this) novel, Cave has skilfully mastered the wry humour and grotesquery of the grand guignol. There is much to find repulsive in the character of Bunny Munro-and many of the characters in this book-as he descends into his own libidinous hell and to his inevitable end. Foreboding, trepidation and the reader's sympathies accompany him, and Bunny Junior, to the last page. In the quiffed Bunny Munro (rarely in literature has one lock of hair possessed such personality), Cave has created a compelling character. The world Nick Cave paints isn't pretty yet there is such beauty to be found in it-in the humour and pain and the hope, in his storms and his losers, in his lyricism and prose. While the Kylie Minogue and Avril Lavigne fixation in the novel, at times, wears a little thin, Cave's masterful and poetic command of language and his wry observations makes this a delight to read, as do the many laugh-out-loud moments in this otherwise dark tale. Nick Cave fans have been waiting a long time for this second novel. They, no doubt, will not be disappointed. Deborah Crabtree is a Melbourne-based fiction writer and bookseller