Thursday, December 03, 2009

And The Ass Saw The Angel

No, this isn't an entry about a date between Al Gore and Ginnifer Goodwin (who admittedly isn't quite angelic, but is super cute and the best person I can think of this late at night to use in this example).

What it is is a book review of the old Nick Cave novel which I have finally got around to finishing.

I bought it as a Pengiun Classic a couple of months ago because a) I had always wanted to read it and b) it was reduced to $7.95 which is a reasonable price for a new book in my book.

I took it away on holidays to the Gold Coast with me because it is such a small book and I thought I could get through it quickly. I was wrong. Mainly it didn't grab me at first. The first few pages had me struggling and at one point I thought I would just have to throw in the towel because I couldn't cope with the protagonist's use of the term "ah" for "I" as a way of representing his hillbilly accent. At the beginning it nearly drove me round the twist.

Then I fell into it and the only thing that stopped me devouring it was the [lack of] time factor during the holiday.

So I've managed to finish it these last couple of weeks by snatching a few pages here and there. Not the most satisfactory way of reading but beggars can't be choosers.

I found myself very surprised to have so thoroughly enjoyed a book featuring not one single endearing character. There is not a single likeable person in the entire novel.

Nick Cave is fascinated with religion, the Bible and the dark side of society and the human psyche. In And The Ass Saw The Angel these points collide in a rollercoaster ride through madness.

There are certainly faults to be found for the nitpicky reader and I couldn't entirely overlook these. But overall it was a great, dark, gothic tale and the atmosphere was built perfectly. Like his songs, which resonate with my darker side, this book takes you to a place you'd rather not think about but which is fascinating nevertheless. Like a horrorific car accident, you are repulsed but can't drag your eyes away.

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