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on April 25, 2004
I'm not sure what to make of this book. Don't get me wrong, I did like it, I just can't seem to make my mind up about it.
Firstly, yes, I did read it simply because it was by Nick Cave. That said, once past the initial awkwardness of style and trying to reconcile my mental picture of Euchrid's character with the extremely verbose language he uses, I found the book really quite enjoyable - and certainly as original as anything I've read lately. Distracting was a lack of sense of time; although dates are clearly given, it's too easy to fall into the trap of imagining time passing at the same speed as it seems for the main character.
But it was the ending that threw me. Not that it was totally unexpected, but the cyclical nature left me hanging. I do like stories that finish open-endedly as much as any, but it just felt somehow disappointing: I can't help but wonder what would have become of the characters today, and can't help but feel their story would have petered out to be quite dull.
All up, though, I certainly found it enjoyable. Now, if only I could just put my finger on what I felt was amiss . . .
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on April 8, 2003
I've already reviewed this book here (back when I was known as nucleardriveby), so I won't go into what I think of the novel itself...I'll let the five stars I've given it do the talking. I just want to say that I'm truly glad that someone finally started reprinting this book. It had been out of print for far too long, and when I heard that it had been reissued, I said to myself "I bet 2.13.61 picked it up." And I was right. Henry Rollins and Nick Cave go way back and are actually very good friends. So it's no surprise that Hank wanted to reprint Nick's epic novel. He's already made King Ink and King Ink II available to us...not to mention the photo book entitled Fish in a Barrel. Now, he's finally gotten ahold of the rights to ATASTA...and so a new generation of readers who may not have the time to seek out, or the money to purchase, old hardback copies of this book can get their hands on the fresh new paperback at an affordable price.
Thank you, Henry, for making this amazing book readily available to the public again. If I'd known that this was going to be reprinted...oh, who am I kidding? I still would have shelled out the [$$$] that I paid for my unread British first edition. But I'm a Nick Cave that's just me. If you don't feel like spending that kind of money for a rare out-of-print book, definitely pick up this new paperback. But either way, do yourself an extreme favor and READ THIS BOOK.
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on April 1, 2004
this is the best book i've ever read. i doubt it will ever be matched. it's so full of language and descriptions and it dosn't let up for a second. i'm probably doing it a disservice by even trying to describe it.
don't even bother reading all the revies and just buy the thing. if you don't fall in love with euchrid, even for all his misguided antics, you clearly have no soul. it's moving and it will probably disturb you as well, but that's obviously what nick was out to do with this book. in any case, it will change the way you hear his music and probably the way you look at the world.
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on December 22, 2003
"And the Ass Saw the Angel" is a tough book to read. The characters Nick Cave has created are truly despicable, and some of the violence is difficult to swallow. But this is a very good book. This is the story of Euchrid, a mute born into possibly the worst family in the world, who must continually face an unwavering hatred from the entire town he lives in. As Euchrid decends into a frigtening madness, he sees visions of angels, and begins to exact his vengeance on the town that hates him so blindly.
I'm sure there are alot of things that I don't fully understand about this book, but I do know that this is one excellent story, and Nick Cave proves to be an amazing writer, creating a chilling southern landscape mixed in with his dark gothic roots. This book reads like his song "Red Right Hand" sounds, and I guess that is the best way to describe this book.
Despite the diffuculty in some of the subject matter and the infinite darkness projected in the atmosphere, I couldn't put this book down until it was finished, because the story itself is just that interesting.
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on February 14, 2009
This is a truly awful book. The characters are disgusting, the setting is worse, and the "moral" completely baffles me. In addition the author writes as if he has a thesaurus at his side, never using a simple word where a more complex, archaic one will do. I have seldom read a book that makes you want to gargle after reading. Don't buy it! BH
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on December 14, 2003
If you like dark twisted books, then you'll love this book. It's by far my favorite.
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on October 31, 2003
This is one of the worst, if not the worst book I have ever read. Just because it is set in the South and chock-a-block with disgusting characters and even more disgusting imagery does not make it Faulkner. Not even close. Truly a despicable piece of junk. I wish I could wash the memory of it from my brain.
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