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And the Ass Saw the Angel (Essential Penguin) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (22 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140294554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140294552
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.2 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 718,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An explosion of linguistic brio and Gothic grotesquery, horrifying, funny and tragic (Michel Faber Guardian) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Nick Cave was born in Australia in 1957. As a member of the rock band, The Bad Seeds, this, his first novel, quickly became a cult classic. He has also appeared in several films.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
Knowing Cave's music well, it is perhaps not suprising that he would write a novel about imbreeds, murder, filth, religion, not to mention some of the most unusual narrative language one can find. I love this book, partly, I suppose, because it appeals to that undesirable aspect of everyone's nature that hungers for the grotesque and bestial. However, if this was all it satisfied, I would soon disregard it as gutter literature, there is a subtle and beautiful voice screaming through the vulgar exterior of the words. On the surface, it would appear that Cave is illustrating a damning perspective of Christianity - false profits, brutal extremism and insane fanatasism - but the occassional change in narration allow the reader to glimpse a faint enlightenment, made clearer through its juxtaposition with the external world of our narrator. I see it as an allegory for much of the human situation, exaggerating the dangers of blind faith but also warning against irrational rebellion. Even if you get nothing from analysis of this book (as you may see, I have great trouble articulating my thoughts), then read purely for the poetical descriptions and powerful characterisation. I assure you, you will go through at least eight contrasting emotions as you journey through it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GRBD on 9 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
Cave's obsession with all things grotesque could have led to this book becoming a vile carnival of obscenity. However, in the story of Euchrid Eucrow, the product of generations of inbreeding and hard drinking, we discover a refined literary talent. As Euchrid, vilified social outcast, is persecuted by his community, his delicate soul cries out from amidst the circus of hypocrisy betraying sensitivity well-disguised. A poignant and tragic tale, it delivers indictments of religious pomposity in prose poetry bordering on the bombastic.

Cave has writen a prose version of his Murder Ballads, bleak ending and generally unpalatable characters all present and correct. It's fantastic fiction.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By nat@barrichello.com on 5 Feb 2002
Format: Paperback
I read the reviews for this book whilst deciding whether to buy it or not and am certainly very glad that I took their positive advice. In short, the language used throughout the book is unbelievably descriptive and poetical (not surprising given the author) and it is worth buying this book simply to submerge yourself in the incredible flowing imagery that it conjures. Sometimes you have to sit for a while to fully grasp the imagery of one sentence. However, do not think that its poetry indicates a beautiful love story - it has a darker side too.
Some of the very real descriptions of Euchrid, a deformed, slightly mad, product of incest, mute and the incredulous happenings that befall him in his small town are graphically real. The biblical edge provided by the narrative makes it even the more sinister. I cared for Euchrid but was repulsed by him too, and from what I can gather, I am sure he would not have cared for me either. This book is a very refreshing read. The beauty of it's narrative is contradicted by the regular flashes of grotesqueness within it's content. It certainly moved me and hung in my mind for hours whenever I stopped reading.
I certainly recommend that this book be read by anyone wishing to experience a truly absorbing book from an immense talent . I had to read in every spare minute (occasionally through covered eyes) until it was finished. An incredible piece of work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Nick Cave's wonderfully complex novel about a mute slowly sinking to his death in a swamp and going over his life is thrilling to read. The Old Testament style storytelling is filled with gothic landscapes and wickedly black humour verging on the sadistic. It is hard not to sympathise with the narrating character (Euchrid) although he is clearly crazed to the point of homicidal. The rationalisation of Euchrids actions is unnerving, but so compelling that you cannot stop reading about the character's strange journey until the tragic conclusion. Set in and around a town of religious fanatics, the book leaves no character unsullied or innocent of the fall of Euchrid. The claustrophobic tension and voyeuristic manner only help to draw the reader in further as the narrator's monologue becomes more twisted and demented, and it's up to the reader to decide what is really happening and what is merely the delusions of a madman. The meticulous attention to detail is breathtaking. A perfect book to read on a cold, rainy night while the trees tap the windows and the dogs howl at the moon.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug 2000
Format: Paperback
'And The Ass Saw The Angel' proves that not only is Nick Cave's music among the most beautiful you have ever experienced his writing is world class aswell. I first heard about this book after I purchased one of Nick Cave's albums. Though I presumed it would be just another one of those books through which musicians try to make a little more money I thought that I would give it a chance. It has to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. Nick Cave's story of a mute child growing up in the deep South of America is possibly the greatest novel wriiten in the last 50 years. Disturbing yet beautiful, tragic yet heart-warming it is a tale that will rip your heart into a million pieces and atart building it all over again. The way in which Cave describes Euchrid you wouldn't be insane to think that they were the same person. The books climax is one you'll never forget. Believe me it deserves 6 stars!
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