The night is a deep velvet blue and the moon an alabaster balloon and the planets and the stars are spilled across the heavens, in handfuls and heaps, like gold coins. The smell of brine lives deep within the breeze that blows up from across the ocean and speaks, in a secret way, to the crowd of women who walk down the main sodium-lit thoroughfare – it speaks of deep, feminine mysteries and unawakened and illimitable desires, of silver-haired mermaids and bearded, trident-waving mermen and the looped humps of sea monsters and bejewelled cities drowned beneath masses of unreadable water. No one can remember a night quite so magical in Bognor Regis for years.
p. 257 The death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. For that paragraph Sir I might forgive you that lurid Nana-frightening cover.
This book is one of the most filmic I’ve read in ages. I could do casting for it, no problems. Bunny junior would be one of those be-freckled pointy faced Billy Elliott types. Bunny himself – Ian McShane (Al Swearengen of Deadwood fame is his standout role). Pixie-ish and gloomingly voiced Shirley Henderson would be Bunny’s wife (and little Bunny’s mother).
Sir Cave knows how to tell a story and this one combines the brutal and the beautiful so seamlessly. the title may tell you how it ends, but don’t let it stop you taking a ride in Bunny’s Punto. It’s a picaresque journey round Brighton, tainted everywhere by Bunny’s libidinous hankerings, and by the soft and sad yearnings of his son who explores his encyclopedia as if knowledge would bring him safety and happiness.
Next stop, listening to Nick tell the story. Can’t. Hardly. Wait.