Ever had the feeling you have been drugged with a literary pill? You pick up a book and cannot stop reading it; household chores and schedules are abandoned. Tom Baker’s devilish tale of a despicable fiendish boy, Robert Caligari, in The Boy Who Kicked Pigs is one example. Film buffs among you will also notice a nod to the ground-breaking German expressionistic cinema. It is good to read something batshit-insane once in a while. There is more than a hint of dark humour resonating through this sick fable. It is made all the more delicious as the main bad-boy protagonist does get his comeuppance. The Death of Bunny Munro Nick Cave’s new release is another one that had me hooked; it is a grotesque delight.
A crude piece, crammed with Cave’s trademark apocalyptic style that has made his music so amazing. There is an apology to Kylie Minogue at the beginning of the book which is most needed. It did leave me with quite a chill, unsettling to like the main character as much as I did.
He is not a toned, square jawed, lover boy or cummerbunded ladies’ man but there’s a pull, even in his booze-blasted face, a magnetic drag that has something to do with the pockets of compassion that form at the corners of his eyes when he smiles, a mischievous arch to his eyebrows and the little hymen-popping dimples in his cheeks when he laughs.
Cave has an acute observation of humankind that is always entertaining and honest,
…just one more ugly customer, one more insane episode in an endless parade of demented incidents that collect around the affairs of adults like limescale or something.
Another creative working in a medium that he is not solely recognised is the filmmaker Tim Burton and his poetry collection, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. Macabre, downright unique descriptions in the likes of Staring Girl, The Girl With Many Eyes, Stick boy and Match Girl in Love. My personal favourite is the sombre Melon Head.
Lauren Bacall said,
Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.
These three authors provide flights of fancy that are fiendishly fun. The Death of Bunny Munro and all of these titles have the common thread of celebrating the outsider, a gaggle of outcasts who struggle to find love and belonging in a cruel, crazy world.
Nick Cave photo by Bleddyn Butcher – Nick Cave Management office at ATC / London, CC0