Saturday, December 06, 2008

And the Ass Saw the Angel

The Elder Son suggested And the Ass Saw the Angel, Nick Cave's first novel. I have trouble with it for 2 main reasons: 1) the accent is so odd, "sounding" to me like it is trying to be Southern, but it doesn't sound like any kind of Southern accent I'm familiar with; 2) the language is obscure. Now I like unusual words, but this book reads as if the author wrote it with one eye on a thesaurus. I ended the book with mixed feelings.

from the back of the book:
In a word of Southern moonshine and madness, he followed his vision of vengeance.

Euchrid Eucrow - outcast among outcasts. Born mute to a drunken mother and a father who spends his days building vicious traps and his nights building delicate towers of cards, Euchrid has a mind that seethes with words to express his vision of the world around him.

It is Euchrid alone - ever hidden to escape the town's self-righteous rage, finding more compassion in the family mule than in his fellow man - who will grasp the cruel fate of Cosey Mo, the beautiful young prostitute in the pink caravan on Hooper's Hill. And as years pass and events unfold, it is Euchrid, driven farther and farther from the human fold, deeper and deeper into his mad angelic vision, who will both redeem the town and its people with his pain and sacrifice - and wreak a terrible vengeance.

The review at The Modern Word says,
Thoroughly exploring the histories and damaged psyches of his characters, he spins a rich, highly nuanced tale of small-minded religious hypocrisy coming into violent confrontation with one man’s rapidly spiraling insanity – the results of a catastrophic plan indeed.

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