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The Death of Bunny Munro: A Novel Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865479100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865479104
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Put Cormac McCarthy, Franz Kafka and Benny Hill together in a Brighton seaside guesthouse and they might just come up with Bunny Munro. As it stands, though, this novel emerges emphatically as the work of one of the great cross-genre storytellers of our age: a compulsive read possessing all of Nick Cave’s trademark horror and humanity, often thinly disguised in a galloping, playful romp.” —Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

“[Nick Cave] stands as one of the great writers on love of our era.” —Will Self, author of The Book of Dave

“Nick Cave will obviously live forever, just because the devil’s scared of him. Ever since he stomped out of the junkyard with the Birthday Party, Cave has walked tall in the role of Lucifer’s rock-and-roll boyfriend.” —Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone


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Customer Reviews

This book was a fun read.
D. Russell
Some have worried - or complained - that many will unfortunately miss such things because of all the shocking material, but there is really no one to blame but Cave.
Bill R. Moore
This new story from musical genius Nick Cave is so visually descriptive, haunting and a direct reflection of his lyrical talents.
Claire O'Neil

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By monty on June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The bastard. Not content with making provocative genius records for thousands of years. Scripting a decent movie. Co- creating wonderfull film scores he now writes a great novel. Equal to his musical output. An incestuous cousin to "The Road " ( though not as good as that masterpiece ). As twisted and dark as his best lyrics. Subtle too, because although it seems to be about Bunny we read it through the boys eyes. I'm jealous.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Friederike Knabe VINE VOICE on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bunny Munro, the hero of this somewhat strange novel, is a traveling salesman promoting his samples of beauty products to women in small towns around Brighton in Southern England. Visiting an oddly disparate collection of women he does much more than selling his wares. In his self-assessment he is the irresistible charmer and seducer, thanks in part to his "lovelock", that, heavily pomaded, winks enticingly at any woman he encounters. Since the suicide of his "beloved" wife Libby, his stable framework is crumbling. He feels constantly observed by somebody and suffers from premonitions of death... In desperation he hits the road to escape and to do the only thing he knows well...

Seen as a farce and satire on human, in particular male, behaviour, one might get some enjoyment out of reading the travails of Bunny and his women. The lurid descriptions, however, become predictable and repetitive... No doubt, he is a sex addict of a certain kind more than anything else; if no suitable object for his almost constant availability is in his field of vision, he gets himself into the mood for the next encounter by imagining Avril Lavigne's "mother of all" private parts.

I have to admit that this is not my kind of book. Still, I have to respect Cave's writing excellence when it comes to evoking the seedy to depressing atmosphere of the apartments, houses or restaurants and their neighbourhoods that Bunny visits. With a few deft strokes he also captures the essence of the people the salesman meets. When later on in the story he recalls images of his characters, and in particular the women's more or less attractive body parts, the reader will also remember the individuals and the encounters the hero had with them.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Leo McMarley on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This novel is bound to spark lots of different reactions because it is provocative and explicit and strange and dangerous and incredibly funny and genuinely challenging. But I hope that the beauty of the writing and the seriousness of the book's moral dimensions are not overlooked because of the "controversial" aspects of the novel. For this second novel by Nick Cave is a major piece of literature that makes so much of what is being written today in this country look anodyne and flaccid.

At the emotional heart of this death trip of a ride is this extremely tender and movingly captured relationship between the Bunny Munro of the title and his nine year old son Bunny Junior. It has real depth and is utterly convicing and so when you do get to the end of the rollercoaster you feel literally spent.

But along the way you will experience some of the sharpest and funniest writing you are likely to find this year. Fans of Cave's music will lap it up like cream (and the audio book which he has recorded with an accompanying soundtrack by him and fellow Bad Seed Warren Ellis) but it should also win over a lot of new fans because it is so damn good. The novel's protoganist, the travelling salesman Bunny Munro, is an unforgettable and utterly flawed and tragic anti-hero that is going to live forever.

Rock on Mr Cave and thanks for writing such a stunning book. And please don't leave it another twenty years before you give us a third novel!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Danielle on February 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I didn't do the usual research before buying this book, so it caught me off guard. I didn't expect it to be so sexual and so ...."man"ish. Made me wonder on more than one occasion what goes on Mr Cave's head??!?! More *prudish* readers could find it offensive as there is no shortage of descriptive phrases involving female private parts. But the on-road story of Bunny, a sex-addict door-to-door salesman, and his young son after the suicide of his wife kept me intrigued until the end. Bunny visually and progressively evolved before my eyes and I knew how it was going to end but wasn't sure how it was going to get there, which is cool thing. Not totally my thing but certainly an interesting ride...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tintin on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback
Sorry, I loved And the Ass Saw the Angel and as a big Nick Cave fan I was predisposed to Bunny Munro. However, and to my surprise, I found it tedious and pointless. The main character is not interesting, and the story has no arc -- it's just a smear... If I needed to remind myself why I like Cave I'd read And the Ass again. That, like his music, is extraordinary. This is something else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Vaughn on September 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel left me crying for hours, i couldn't peel myself away from it, and read it rather quickly. I feel that this novel touched a part of me that had been locked away for years. Nothing has hit this close to home and described the relationship that i had with my father. I feel this could possibly be the best novel of this generation.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By AbsintheMinded on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, I've been a Nick Cave fan for many, many years now. Too many to claim. I read his first novel, And The Ass Saw the Angel, when I was in my twenties. I fell in love with Eucrid Eucrows' manic cataloging of random objects, his utterly absurd "aloneness" in a ficticious landscape that was a cross between the swampy American South of the early 20th century and the brutality of settlement life in early Australia.

And then came The Death of Bunny Munro, which I have now read in my early fourties. I found this new novel to be a relentless, one note narrative. Considering the energetic complexity of it's author, I was shocked to find the title character, Bunny Munro, to be so utterly lacking in depth. OK, we get it. Bunny's addiction to sex and self destruction is all consuming; at the peril of his wife, to the physical and psychological detriment of his son, and most certainly of his own soul. But this point is made glaringly evident within the first few chapters. From there, the story does not progress. This same dark chord is struck over and over in each successive chapter with the same effect on the reader. Bludgeoned, devastated, having lost all faith in humanity and the genetic bond between father and son, the chapters plod on and on. The reader is not expecting redemption at this point, just some other angle to the story, some irony, some progression, something. But it never comes.

The way The Death of Bunny Munro wraps up is remeniscent of Patrick Suskind's Perfume. In both novels, quite unredeemable characters get a very public, somewhat nonesensical comeuppance that could only exist in the rich fantasy life of its characters. Bunny's is consistently flat and predictable, whereas Jean Baptiste's leads the reader to some kind of absurd epiphany about the power of the most underexplored of the human senses.

Hopefully, Cave's third novel will be the charm.
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