Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review: The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave

The Death of Bunny MunroThe Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On July 1st, I saw Nick Cave live in concert, on July 2nd, I saw 20,000 Days on Earth, the Nick Cave documentary. This month I have consumed vast quantities of Nick Cave's oeuvre.

Artistically, when it comes to the written word, he is probably my favorite. I love his blend of dark humour and sex & violence and class. He's a literate, well-versed bastard.

I believe it's a good thing to not mindlessly consume and praise everything produced by a thing you love. I believe it's good to judge the individual works on their own. For example, I'm a fan of the Silent Hill series, but don't think all the games are even that good. I kind of wish I had never spent money on Alice Cooper's Special Forces album. I can't stand Katatonia's early work. I don't even like all of Nick Cave's work.

But, I think I like this book so much because of the author. I think if someone else had written a book with a protagonist exactly like Bunny, I would have loathed it.

Because I know I should despise Bunny Munro, he is a horrible, horrible, horrible (I can't say "horrible" enough!) human stain on the Earth. I feel Nick Cave probably tossed as much as he could into and onto the character to make you hate him and want to see him suffer.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of at least three or four other characters from other novels which have done far less terrible actions or had been far better people than Mr. Munro and I have judged them, or just simply disliked them or rolled my eyes. Like Johnny Truant from House of Leaves or Astrid from White Oleander .

And yet I felt pity for him, not contempt or hate.

Because, Bunny felt like one of those characters that was a part of Nick Cave, like the male character in the song Dianna or Jubilee Street, Henry Lee or Saint Huck as opposed to, say...Robert Moore or Stagger Lee. And you could tell Nick Cave was having fun writing it. Consequently I pictured Bunny looking like Nick Cave, which influenced my affection for this book, or at least my willingness to let certain abhorrent behaviors slide.

Besides, Bunny gets everything he deserves.

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