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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
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on 16 April 2017
Bought as a gift and was well enjoyed
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on 28 June 2017
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on 7 August 2017
Brilliant book, brilliant writing, book arrived on time from seller,great purchase
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on 9 January 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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on 5 February 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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on 3 March 2017
Ah lovd the buk. It's atmosfear loomed ovah ma like a dying horse looken inta ma grave. Ma pa an ma wooden approve. Fucken immense.
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on 20 July 1999
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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on 28 February 2002
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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on 7 January 2008
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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on 17 April 2013
Nick Cave's "And the ass saw the angel" is the tale of a disturbed mute, Euchrid Eucrow, born from drunken and abusive parents. The novel follows Euchrid from his birth to his end in a valley of the American South, a valley burdened by a society of savages and teeming with misplaced religious fervor.

The story of Euchrid is strangely compelling. At first, I found the narrative interesting mostly because of its oddity and its graphic description of the lowest and most primitive elements of humanity. As the story progressed, however, particularly in the final chapter of the book, I found that the themes of the novel seemed to center around some deep, almost mythical elements of humanity: The story is a story of innocence, indoctrination and ultimately, the meeting of two human archetypes, the naïve saint and the outcast. This is what for me really lifted the book to a higher level. While the book is filled with violence and depravity, I did not find that it was overdone or that the author in any way revelled distastefully in this, rather the depravity forms a central element of the book and its message.

If I were to come up with anything which I did not like about the book, it would be that the writing is sometimes a bit difficult. English is not my first language, nonetheless I generally read english prose without any problems. Cave's prose in this book, however, is more difficult than average. For someone for whom this is not an issue, I assume that it only adds to the atmosphere, so it's hard to claim this as a weighty criticism, but at least it's a feature that some might want to take note of.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this to anyone in search of an well-done and original novel.
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