And The Ass Saw The Angel

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6 Feb 2009, 8:28

I really dig Nick Cave as a singer, musician and above all, lyricist. That's why I was quite interested in what his book And The Ass Saw The Angel would be like. I was not to be disappointed: it was a sick fucking book.

If there is a book that well and truly represent everything I dig about -music, it is this book. It's got everything good miserable music has: bible thumpin' zealous christian fanatics and preachermen, righteousness, downfall, divine wrath, insanity, alcoholism, degenerate and bloodthirsty dogs, drugs, hatred, murder, violence, God, Satan, decay, torment, pain, bloodshed, death, depression, drunkards, hookers, blood and rain. And much more. It's a delightfully and sickeningly twisted take on Americana as only Nick Cave can do it; similar to many of his lyrics with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but exploring those same depths with far more detail.

The book loses some of its momentum towards the latter half when things start evolving towards an inevitable climax; the build-up just isn't written as tightly as it should be and results in slight tedium from time to time, and I must admit that the ending was a bit anti-climactic even though I didn't expect brimstone and hellfire. But the dragged-out build-up and then the somewhat minimalistic finalé sort of let the reader down.

However, as a debut novel, it's not half bad and the excellent first half alone makes it worth reading. If you like the music and especially lyrics of bands such as Those Poor Bastards and Sons of Perdition, I'd say you damn well must check out this book.
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  • fundevogel

    If you enjoy brutal southern Gothic you might also like Harry Crews "Childhood: Biography of a Place" it's his memoirs growing up in backwoods Georgia in the 30's, and it's pretty bizarre. It's the sort of place where people would rather settle their own scores than get the law involved, even if they lose a hand in the process. It addresses other common childhood foibles like contracting polio, getting boiled alive and eating lye.

    30 May 2009, 8:56
  • Ulgan

    Thanks for the tip, I'll have to see if I can track it down here or, alternatively, what it'd cost to order it from overseas.

    30 May 2009, 9:02
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