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

3.8 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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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.)
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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865479100
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865479104
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Death Of Bunny Munro, by Nick Cave – Although they are both good books, written by a lover of the English language with a knack for word selection, Nick Cave’s second novel is just about as different from his previous book And The As Saw The Angel as two books can be. The Death Of Bunny Munro is short, brief (meaning it takes place over the course of five days), un-ambitious (in a good way – many great books also takes place over the course of a few days), action-based, modern, most likely film-able (I found myself contemplating casting for the other characters – Bunny, of course, would be played by Cave himself, or Sean Penn) and full of loathsome characters. Well, the latter is true of The As Saw The Angel as well, but these characters are loathsome in their own ways. Bunny is a horror of an individual – a terrible husband, a terrible father, a drunk, a vandal, a misanthrope – and while he never stops trying to be cool in his own nihilistic little way, the only people who really think he’s cool are a cluster of nympos, a guy called Poodle (!!!), and his nine-year-old son (although after a while even the boy, as well as the nympos, start to show their doubts). Like a Bad Lieutenant, he shambles from one car wreck to another, gulping whisky and smoking Lambert & Butler cigarettes. Nutty. And strangely, by the end of the book it seems like it’s the nine-year-old who is the coolest character of them all. Nice!

The prose is rich, almost purple: “Bunny realizes that something has changed in his wife’s voice, the soft cellos have gone and a high, rasping violin has been added, played by an escaped ape or something.” Or “He hears [the chirping of starlings] now above the bombination of the air conditioner and it is sufficiently apocalyptic to almost arouse his cuiosity. But not quite.
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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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