Exclusive Clip: Hear Nick Cave Read The Death of Bunny Munro
By Annaliza Savage
September 8, 2009
“I am damned, thinks Bunny Munro, in a sudden moment of self-awareness reserved for those that are soon to die.”
That’s the opening line from musician Nick Cave’s new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, which is now available as an ambitious, multiformat iTunes app.
The $25 Enhanced Editions app includes the full text — which tells the tale of a seedy, sex-obsessed traveling salesman — plus an audiobook with an original soundtrack and a video version read by Cave. The Bunny Munro audiobook alone sells for $21. (Links open iTunes.)
The multiformat release turns the tables on the traditional roles of reader and writer: In the audiovisual versions, Cave drives your emotions where he wants them to go. Readers get inside his head rather than projecting their own ideas on the work.
During a passage that reads: “Bunny realizes that something has changed in his wife’s voice, the soft cellos have gone and a high rasping violin has been added,” violins rasp on the audiobook’s soundtrack, literalizing the writer’s vision.
Cave uses his music to emphasize the emotional turmoil of the characters — the frantic sound of screeching violins or an almost imperceptible percussion track that moves the drama along — giving the writer yet another venue for expressing his creativity.
His writing is visual, musical and extremely poetic: “And like an act of love he sucks deep on a Lambert & Butler… and he says ‘Fuck,’ and blows two furious tusks of smoke from his nostrils.”
This is pure punk poetry. Cave composed the Bunny Munro score along with Bad Seed and long-time collaborator Warren Ellis. The music contains distant echoes of The Proposition, the brutally beautiful Australian Western that Cave and Ellis worked together on.
Photo: Gavin Evans
“Pure punk poetry.” — WIRED
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