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tagesmann

The Death of Bunny Munro - General Discussion

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The copy I read was a BC bookray, I passed it on pretty quickly because of the impending postal worker's strike, so I'm afraid I working from memory and can't recheck at first hand. I think the fact that the book is narrated in the third person also influenced my thoughts, not sure now I can judge that for reliability. We get the impression that Bunny had a certain 'something' and he did seem to arouse a good deal of female response, but knowing how he regarded women, as nothing more than a 'vagina', I can't help but feel that in the aftermath very few would want a repeat encounter with our anti hero. I'm pretty sure the waitress who was used and abused wouldn't want to see him again in her lifetime. I guess this is all nitty gritty detail that would take a re-reading to sort out. But yes, this book is overwhelmingly about Bunny Munro, Cave created a very sad, despicable monster, one I certainly won't forget for a while.

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I think the fact that the book is narrated in the third person also influenced my thoughts, not sure now I can judge that for reliability.

I'm pretty certain this isn't an unreliable narrator and, as you say, a third person unreliable narrator would be rather a novelty. In fact, I'm not sure I can even see how it could work as a concept.

 

Bunny may be unreliable, and may be self-deluded but that's not the same as an unreliable narrator.

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MrHG, while I'll agree that this is Bunny's book, to say that something that happens in it again and again doesn't matter doesn't do justice to the story. Whether or not the women consent is an important part of the reading of the book - I don't think you can understand Bunny properly without considering that his attitude to consent seems to be that it doesn't matter much. That needs to matter to us if we want to understand him.

 

Also, I didn't mean that the book was a reworking of Updike. Influenced, certainly. All literature is to some extent derivative (there are only 2, or 7, or x number of plots, remember ;) ) I'd hazard a guess that Roth's Portnoy's Complaint also has a well-thumbed copy on Nick Cave's shelf.

 

 

I don't think it matters whether or not the women gave their consent. ...

Disappointed, though, to hear that the book is essentially a reworking of John Updike. I had thought Bunny seemed quite original as I was reading it - finding out that it wasn't rather changed my overall evaluation of the book.

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I'm pretty certain this isn't an unreliable narrator and, as you say, a third person unreliable narrator would be rather a novelty. In fact, I'm not sure I can even see how it could work as a concept.

 

Bunny may be unreliable, and may be self-deluded but that's not the same as an unreliable narrator.

It's true that the book is written in third person but it's such a subjective, limited third person that most of the time we may as well be inside Bunny's head. I don't think we see anything from any perspective other than his.

 

Technically, ''unreliable narrator'' is possibly an incorrect expression but I think all the same that the book has the tone and effect of unreliable narration. It's one of its rather clever aspects.

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There is also the breakfast waitress from the hotel start of the book. When Bunny meets her later in the book she warns him off with obvious fear. He must have done something wrong - even if it isn't described in the book.

 

I'm glad others feel that Bunny's sexual conquests are delusional. I started the book thinking Bunny’s character was so unbelievable that I seriously thought of giving up. But being a fan of Nick Cave I continued and I’m glad I did. One of the first hint’s I got that something wasn’t quite right was the first night after Libby’s death. He couldn’t sleep and decided to take a “trusted Rohypol” – a well documented date-rape drug. Other instances have also been mentioned. There is also the fact that Bunny had been banned from McD’s and other fast food restaurant’s. Why did he have so many Anti Social behaviour Orders (ASBO’s) against him? Did he try to harass female employees/customers the same way he groped Sabrina on the day Libby came back from the hospital after Bunny Jr’s birth?

 

I think that is the beauty of this book. We are led to believe at the start that Bunny is some sort of successful womaniser, which is certainly how he sees himself. However, slowly it’s revealed that Bunny lives in a dream word where rape, prostitution and “sympathy ****s” are his way of life.

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Welcome garry.

 

I think that is the beauty of this book. We are led to believe at the start that Bunny is some sort of successful womaniser, which is certainly how he sees himself. However, slowly it’s revealed that Bunny lives in a dream word where rape, prostitution and “sympathy ****s” are his way of life.

 

On reflection that puts the book into a different light doesn't it? Still not convinced about it though...

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I think that is the beauty of this book. We are led to believe at the start that Bunny is some sort of successful womaniser, which is certainly how he sees himself. However, slowly it’s revealed that Bunny lives in a dream word where rape, prostitution and “sympathy ****s” are his way of life.

That's an astute observation; I agree.

 

Looking back at some of my previous posts on this thread, I think I have changed my mind. It is important to understanding Bunny to understand that he is unfussed by matters of consent. Were it not for other books, I'd be interested to give this one a reread.

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So many people put down this book complaining that they couldn't get to grips with its protagonist Bunny. They cannot find any redeeming features on which to place their hopes that some day he will find himself redeemed and reform.

 

I think the important thing about Bunny is that we are not supposed to like him. We are not supposed to look for a glimmer of hope in his personality, as he himself declared: He is damned. Many readers are so used to that antihero style of character, who appears dark and irredeemable but through experiences or interaction with other characters... usually some overly naive love interest reveal a soft and lovable side. Bunny Monro is a nymphomaniac with very little concern for anything other than his insatiable sexual appetite, in many ways Cave's seemingly gruesome portrayal of humans in more realistic than those other books. People are who they are and, in bunny's case, not meant to be liked by the reader.

 

I kept that in mind and enjoyed the book very much.

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