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.
But, life is more complicated, exemplified by Bunny junior, Bunny's nine-year old quiet, encyclopedia-reading son who misses his mum terribly. He has to "learn the ropes" and travel with Bunny from one appointment to another, of course, sitting in the car outside. The father-son relationship, or the more or less successful efforts by both to have such a relationship, adds a more serious aspect to Cave's novel. Does it work? For me the relationship between the two did not salvage the book. Without giving away developments towards the end, one can say that roles between the two will change over time. A quote on the back book flap mentions Cormac McCarthy (and Franz Kafka!). Anybody who has read The Road where the father-son relationship is central and also carries the novel beautifully, will find any such comparison here out of place. [Friederike Knabe]Read more ›
As far as the product is concerned, the book arrived on time & in perfect condition. The book itself: a crazy, funny & also kind of sad story worth your time. If you like Nick Cave's lyrics and melodies, you will enjoy this book
I've actually never felt I needed to burn a book before. I really needed to cleanse myself of this one - it's the story, the content - it provoked me. Not recommended (and I really do like Nick Cave the musician)!