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And the Ass Saw the Angel [Paperback]

Nick Cave
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Sep 2009

Outcast, mute, a lone twin cut from a drunk mother in a shack full of junk, Euchrid Eucrow of Ukulore inhabits a nightmarish Southern valley of preachers and prophets, incest and ignorance. When the God-fearing folk of the town declare a foundling child to be chosen by the Almighty, Euchrid is disturbed. He sees her very differently, and his conviction, and increasing isolation and insanity, may have terrible consequences for them both...

This new edition of Cave's cult classic has been cut down and reorganized by the author so the plot is clarified and the characters stand out more clearly. The book retains all its brilliance but is much more accessible to the general reader.

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And the Ass Saw the Angel + The Death of Bunny Munro + The Complete Lyrics: 1978-2013
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014104487X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141044873
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 331,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


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. He moved to London with his band The Birthday Party in 1980. Four years later he founded The Bad Seeds, with whom he has made many albums. And the Ass Saw the Angel was published in 1990 and quickly became a cult classic. Cave has also appeared in, and written the music for, several films.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark poetry 9 Jan 2007
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
4.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book, must read but be prepared! 5 Feb 2002
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, dank and captivating 20 July 1999
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel of breathtaking beauty 17 Aug 2000
By A Customer
'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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For Nick Cave fans...
this book has the language and prose of Nick Cave, it sets a horrid setting with a despicable background of characters. I found it a riveting read
Published 2 months ago by George
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I bought this book on recommendation from a friend. While I'll say it's well written, I did not enjoy it at all. A very visceral experience, but also a depressing one. Read more
Published 12 months ago by L D'Arcy
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and thought-provoking
Nick Cave's "And the ass saw the angel" is the tale of a disturbed mute, Euchrid Eucrow, born from drunken and abusive parents. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alexander Sokol
4.0 out of 5 stars Job Done
This is like diving in to the Old Testament and finding a modern (ish) day Job living out a life of misery. Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2012 by PA
1.0 out of 5 stars and the ass saw the angel
I would love to review this book, but am yet to receive it, really hope it arrives soon! I have already read the book years ago, but wish to read it again
Published on 21 April 2012 by meg
2.0 out of 5 stars Original, disappointing and unpleasant
I really didn't enjoy this at all. I really liked 'The Death of Bunny Munro' and have always found Nick Cave kind of interesting, so I approached this book expecting a good read. Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by Anna
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, twisted, and brilliant
To anyone familiar with Nick Cave's lyrics, it should come as no surprise that his book is dark, twisted, and absolutely brilliant. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by Z de MC
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Little Gem
This is a book i'v wanted to read for some time and I have to say that i was not disapointed. Much like this great singer/song writers lyrics this book is both buitiful and dark. Read more
Published on 15 Nov 2010 by TheReader
5.0 out of 5 stars nick cave- what you see is what you get
mr cave has a morbid sex appeal that doesn't come off in writing
the audio book works better then the written word
he is all about presence
if you like him, you will... Read more
Published on 9 April 2010 by Ruth D. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Grotesque content, beautifully crafted. Cave's language is unique in its combination of styles - echoes of Arthur Miller, Dylan Thomas and Poe. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by G. D. Postle
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