Friday, June 13, 2014

feel-bad sex

The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave

Bunny Munro is not a nice man. A philandering, increasingly alcoholic, door-to-door beauty product salesman, his entire purpose in life revolves around having sex. Continually sniffing around his female clientele for any sign of weakness that will give him an in, Bunny will shag anything that doesn't run away fast enough - including himself - several times a day. One of his thoughts upon discovering his wife's hanged body was that her tits looked really good.

Following his wife's suicide, Bunny takes to the road, son Bunny Junior with his ever-present encyclopedia in tow, to escape her ghost and to find something to bonk. Things deteriorate.

I was initially excited when I stumbled across this book - Nick Cave's second novel - at the library. I had never read any of his fiction, but am a huge fan of the musician. And of course many of his songs have a strong narrative that feature less than sympathetic characters. I am thinking of Cave's murder ballads, in particular. And I did quite like young Bunny Junior, poor sweet kid.

But although reading The Death of Bunny Munro was somewhat akin to passing a particularly nasty auto wreck, one that is impossible to avert one's eyes from, the writing is ultimately disappointing. Whether you believe sex addiction is a real thing or just an excuse for acting like a self-centered asshole, the writing just isn't that great. Ultimately, Bunny Munro's obsessive pursuit of sex, and Cave's endless descriptions of same, felt vaguely juvenile. I felt Nick Cave was capable of better.


John Mutford said...

I didn't even know he had written any novels. Like you, I'm not surprised to hear that his protagonist is an unsavoury character. Too bad it disappointed though.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That said, I would still like to read his other work, John.

mandotodd said...

His first novel And The Ass Saw The Angel is difficult and disturbing, but very rewarding. And better than Bunny Munro (which I liked quite a bit).

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Despite my reservations on Bunny Munro, I still want to read And The Ass Saw the Angel, Todd. And your recommendation has clinched that!