OK, so I'm new to this genre. When I think of womens erotic literature, I think of Pauline Reage's The Story of O. This is tripe. These stories did not appeal to me on any, even the basest, level. Not my idea of a good time.
OK, I've been a Nick Cave fan for many, many years now. Too many to claim. I read his first novel, And The Ass Saw the Angel, when I was in my twenties. I fell in love with Eucrid Eucrows' manic cataloging of random objects, his utterly absurd "aloneness" in a ficticious landscape that was a cross between the swampy American South of the early 20th century and the brutality of settlement life in early Australia.
And then came "The Death of Bunny Monroe", which I have now read in my early fourties. I found this new novel to be a relentless, one note narrative. Considering the energetic complexity of it's author, I was shocked to find the title character, Bunny Monroe, to be so utterly lacking in depth. OK, we get it. Bunny's addiction to sex and self destruction is all consuming; at the peril of his wife, to the physical and psychological detriment of his son, and most certainly of his own soul. But this point is made glaringly evident within the first few chapters. From there, the story does not progress. This same dark chord is struck over and over in each successive chapter with the same effect on the reader. Bludgeoned, devastated, having lost all faith in humanity and the genetic bond between father and son, the chapters plod on and on. The reader is not expecting redemption at this point, just some other angle to the story, some irony, some progression, something. But it never comes.
The way The Death of Bunny Monroe wraps up is remeniscent of Patrick Suskind's "Perfume". In both novels, quite unredeemable characters get a very public, somewhat nonesensical comeuppance that could only exist in the rich fantasy life of it's characters. Bunny's is consistently flat and predictable, whereas Jean Baptiste's leads the reader to some kind of absurd epiphany about the power of the most underexplored of the human senses.
Hopefully, Cave's third novel will be the charm.
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