Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Death of Bunny Munro - Book Review

The Death of Bunny Munro - Nick Cave B
A Menace to Society
Published Sept 2009
Nick Cave is a fascinating man, music icon and literary rock star. His second novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, is deviant, dark and hypersexual. I loved the sinister tone of the writing, carefully mixed with black comedy. The protagonist, Bunny Munro, is a traveling salesman and world class cocksman. He tries to f**k nearly every woman he meets and his indiscretion has driven his wife to suicide. The story takes off when our bewildered anti-hero takes his nine-year-old son on a hellish road trip, while he attempts to sell beauty products. It's all very Twilight Zone/David Lynch-esque. Then there is the Kylie Minogue and Avril Lavigne fetish thing. I had to laugh when I read (via Cave explaining the correlation between his novel and Minogue's attention grabbing "Spinning Around" music video, "Kylie's hot pants were all the tabloids could talk about. I think she has to take a certain responsibility for this novel, by wearing those hot pants." Lavigne is also mentioned throughout the novel. In the same Rolling Stone article referenced above, Cave admits, "I'm not sure how Avril Lavigne came about, except that I personally like her very much, and something about her physicality seemed to be the right kind of thing for this character."

What the novel lacks in dramatic structure, it makes up for in pure perverse intrigue. Reportedly, two of Cave's influences for The Death of Bunny Munro were the SCUM Manifesto by the radical feminist Valerie Solanas (she tried to kill Any Warhol in 1968) and the Gospel According to St Mark.  With one screenplay under his belt, 2005's The Proposition, this novel was originally meant to be a screenplay for John Hillcoat (Director of the 2009 film, The Road). However, The Death of Bunny Munro obviously ended up being a novel. It was written on the road while touring with his band, the Bad Seeds.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the audio version is read by the author and comes with an original soundtrack and 3D spatial audio designed for listening on headphones- It's a wicked experience. This novel is definitely not for general audiences. But, if you want to take a walk on the wild side I highly recommend it.

The link below is an outstanding (short) interview with Nick Cave courtesy of WIRED via Youtube. Enjoy!

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