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And the Ass Saw the Angel Paperback – 13 Aug 1990

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, 13 Aug 1990
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (13 Aug. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140131515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140131512
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 974,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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. 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback
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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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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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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