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The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave (HarperCollins) 

Bunny Munro is one bad seed

Nick Cave has created one of the most sorrowfully pathetic, misogynistic jerks to ever grace the printed page, and that takes talent. Philandering beauty product salesman Bunny Munro would make Martin Amis proud, with his chronic masturbation and obsession with Avril Lavigne's vagina. Boozing, sexing and all coked-up, Bunny is caught off guard by his wife's suicide, leaving him alone for the first time with his young son, Bunny Jr., who, for some reason, still idol-worships his pops. The two set off on an ill-fated road trip, with some horrifying turns along the way. Thankfully there is humour in the duo's ignorance: Bunny's blind belief that all female fast-food workers are under his spell, and Bunny Jr.'s eagerness to please his insane dad. Vividly written, but occasionally over-told---perhaps an over-compensation moving from lyric to long-form---the novel's only downfall is Cave's stereotypical American culture, which seems to come from Fox Television and Cormac McCarthy novels. He's created a land of rednecks, desperate women in tight Juicy yoga pants and dusty suburbs filled with "groups of scissor-legged school-things with their pierced midriffs."

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Vol 27, No 20
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