A while back I read and had a right old pop at "Post Office" by Charles Bukowski (boy was I in a bad mood that day). Anyway I've just finished another novel built around one appalling main character. "The Death of Bunny Munro" is Nick Cave's second novel and comes 20 years after his debut. "And the Ass saw the angel" was a bit of southern gothic , a bit like a Bad Seeds song but in book form.
"The Death of Bunny Munro " couldn't be more removed concerning a washed up travelling salesman in the suburbs around Brighton. Bunny Munro is a serial adulterer with lurid fantasies concerning Avril Lavigne and Kylie Minogue. He is not adverse to making passes at his customers, waitresses in the B and Bs he has to stay in, his wife's best friends, in fact any woman unfortunate enough to cross his path. In Bunny's world booze and fags go together to make an excellent meal.
He starts to go off the rails with the suicide of his long suffering wife when he decides to take his son with him out on the road. So begins a road trip down through the various circles of hell as Bunny hurtles towards the death foretold in the title.
Reading this you're horrified as Bunny builds outrage upon outrage, whilst also sniggering at his pitch black humour. The sense of guilt magnified by the innocence of his son. Just when you think he can't sink any lower or get any worse, we get to meet his father, a character who is so awful , unsavoury, full of hatred, bile and spite. Then comes the biggest shock of all despite yourself you start to feel sympathy for Bunny and even begin to cheer him on hoping for some last minute redemption.
Nick cave captures Bunny's seedy world to perfection and it's no mean feat to juggle the horror, the humour and the heartbreak so well.
You can buy "The Death of Bunny Munro" by Nick Cave here