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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound insight rising form the pit of human depravity.
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...
Published on 28 Feb 2002

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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. The writing style is kind of impressive and poetic at first, however after a while it just becomes rambling and irritating. The plot in itself is undeniably interesting, but also pretty silly and...
Published on 22 Aug 2011 by Anna


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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound insight rising form the pit of human depravity., 28 Feb 2002
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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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
By 
nat@barrichello.com (Auckland, New Zealand (British)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: And the Ass Saw the Angel (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, dank and captivating, 20 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: And the Ass Saw the Angel (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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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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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
This review is from: And the Ass Saw the Angel (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Humor, Dark Book, Not for the Faint of Heart, 7 Jan 2008
By 
Laurel Whitehead (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Euchrid Eucrow, a mute born to an abusive mother and a father obsessed with animal torture, is an outcast in a valley of conservative religious zealots. He silently takes his mother's beatings, his father's indifference, and the hatred of an entire town. But though he may be silent, his tortured mind is chock full of terrible angelic visions and he goes mad, leaving one to wonder if he can be blamed for the vengeance he exacts on the people who have made his life so awful and so painful.

Sometimes this four star book was a little hard for me to take, but I couldn't put it down.

Review submitted by Captain Osborne
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange and classical in a literary way, 1 July 2003
By 
This could have been written by Faulkner, Joyce et al. It's written in an early 20th century classical litereary style that evidently displays Cave's obvious talent and intelligence.
The story revolves around an ostracised boy who lives in kind of rubbish dump, akin to Stig of the Dump. He's pilloried by the locals for his apparent lack of intellect and disability. The locals in question inhabit a staunchly religious presbyterian town full of it's own foibles and strange characters, none of which will be too unfamiliar.
The dichotomy presented is extremely poignant - a holier than thou community that persecutes a pathetic, disadvantaged boy.
The prose is florid and overblown; sometimes you can almost hear it being read out by a strongly accented southern preacher, but it works.
The story builds to a truly tragic ending that simultaneously is uplifting as well.
A very accomplished book that wouldn't be out of place on the reading list of an English degree.
On the evidence of this Australia has an author who could, if he wanted, stand toe to toe with some of the other contemporary greats.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent darkness..., 29 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: And the Ass Saw the Angel (Paperback)
Picture a town full of religious fanatics, a world of sordid secrets, and a mute, beautiful through his ugliness, and you will get a small idea of Nick Cave's masterpiece. The writing is wonderful, eerie and dark and I couldn't put the book down... Even the most unsensitive person will have to shed a silent tear while reading this...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, twisted, and brilliant, 28 Mar 2011
To anyone familiar with Nick Cave's lyrics, it should come as no surprise that his book is dark, twisted, and absolutely brilliant. From the first sentence to the very last, you will be living the insanity of Euchrid Eucrow with no respite, no accidental slip back into normalcy. In this, I can only compare this book to William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch" and J. G. Ballard's "The Atrocity Exhibition", both widely acclaimed masterpieces. It is a rare gem, and Nick Cave is an extraordinary author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Little Gem, 15 Nov 2010
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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. Following the life of a true outscast in a small, backwards, southern comunity. A dark and twisted tale, 4 stars.
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And the Ass Saw the Angel
And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave (Paperback - 13 Aug 1990)
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