The Death of Bunny Munro

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 July, 2010, 12:00am

The Death of Bunny Munro
by Nick Cave
Canongate, HK$104

Two decades ago, Nick Cave published a novel called And the Ass Saw the Angel. Although 'novel' is hardly the mot juste. Like Bob Dylan's Tarantula, And the Ass was more a tumbling collection of visionary song lyrics than narrative. The Death of Bunny Munro is a beast of a different stripe. A bona fide story, it has a beginning, a middle and an end - lots of ends. Bunny Munro is a cosmetics salesman living in Brighton. A walking porn mag of a man, he sees life as an erotic movie created for his pleasure. Driving his Fiat Punto, he practically implodes with lust at the 'delirious burlesque of summertime unfolding before him'. The reality of Bunny's life is no smaller: his clinically depressed wife commits suicide; his father is also at death's door; his son is haunted by his mother's death and desperate to find meaning in the world. All the while, an apocalyptic serial killer stalks the land. The prose whirls. There are bawdy sidetracks about Kylie Minogue and Avril Lavigne. At the eye of Cave's storm, however, is a passionate search for truth and beauty in a universe that has no use for such luxuries. The Death of Bunny Munro is like nothing else out there - and thank God for that.