Delving into Darkness, part 2

As promised a couple of weeks ago, this week I’ll be writing about Nick Cave’s recently released second novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.  While it is certainly more accessible than his debut (particularly in that the protagonist isn’t mute.  Hence, dialogue!), it’s still a dark novel that isn’t for everyone.  The protagonist, Bunny Munro, is a sex-addicted cosmetics salesman who only cares for himself, despite having to care for his young son after his wife’s suicide.  Half of the fun of the book is merely finding out what insane, morally reprehensible thing Bunny will do next.

As I mentioned earlier, Bunny returns home after an adulterous romp to find his wife’s body hanging in their bedroom, driven to suicide by his mistreatment over the years (in a brilliant showcase of Bunny’s monstrosity and sexual addiction, upon seeing his wife’s corpse, he finds himself thinking about how the way she’s hanging makes her breasts look incredible).  Bunny seems surprised by his grief, which he tries to drown in liquor, seeming to forget that he is now solely responsible for his son, Bunny Junior.  Unable to stay in the home where his wife died, Bunny and his son go on a road trip throughout England.  Bunny, usually in the throes of a sexual encounter with a potential buyer of his cosmetic products, begins to see visions of his dead wife.  She continuously haunts him, driving him further into alcoholism and promiscuity.

With a title like The Death of Bunny Munro, you spend the length of the novel anticipating Bunny’s eventual death.  And the final scenes don’t disappoint with regard to creativity and weirdness.  But strangely, Nick Cave actually makes you feel sympathy for this monster of a man, which is the true triumph of the book.  Bunny is not a character you ever really love, but find yourself seriously pitying by the end of the novel.

As an aside, Bunny also has an obsession with both Kylie Minogue and Avril Lavigne, who he mentions repeatedly as his ideal sexual conquests (in the novel’s acknowledgements, Nick Cave thanks and apologizes to both women).

To end this brief fiasco of a post, this is one of the best novels I’ve read in a while and I would highly recommend it (although go into it expected to be regularly taken aback by the monster of a man that is Bunny Munro).  It’s an incredibly entertaining read that I guarantee will make any problem you have seem trivial in comparison to the problems of the protagonist.

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No Comments on "Delving into Darkness, part 2"

  1. Mel
    02/10/2009 at 9:32 am Permalink

    Man, this sounds weird.

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