And the Ass Saw the Angel

Nick Cave, Author HarperCollins Publishers $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-016491-1
Australian rock musician, lyricist and actor Cave's first novel is an innovative, if wildly idiosyncratic, tall tale satirizing religious fanaticism. Euchrid Eucrow, despised ungainly son of a trapper father and ``slobstress'' mother, grows up mute but divinely inspired during the 1940s and '50s in fundamentalist Ukulore, a rural swamp peopled with cartoon-like sinners, tricksters, retardates and imbibers of moonshine. Euchrid--self-styled Monarch of Doghead--heeds a winsome guardian angel, along with talking beasts (the title evokes Balaam's ass), and is obsessed with human cruelty and carnality. The foundling Beth, becoming revered as a child-saint, believes Euchrid is divine; Euchrid slips into her room, and is brutally hunted down by Beth's avengers. The plot, rife with gory atrocities, is relayed through clotted, gutsy prose which ranges from poetic to rabid, and is interspersed throughout with graphs, lists, genealogies and scraps of Scripture. Although Cave's manic effort will not lure traditionalists, it may snare the more adventurous. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-14-193532-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-06-109091-2
Paperback - 301 pages - 978-1-880985-72-4
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-14-104487-3
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