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Set adrift by his wife's suicide and struggling to keep a grip on reality, Bunny Munro does the only thing he can think of: with his young son in tow, he hits the road. To his son, waiting patiently in the car while his father peddles beauty wares and quickies to lonely housewives in the south of England, Bunny is a hero, larger than life. But Bunny himself, haunted by what might be his wife's ghost, seems only dimly aware of his son's existence.
When his bizarre trip shades into a final reckoning, when he can no longer be sure what is real and what is not, Bunny finally begins to recognize the love he feels for his son. And he sees that the revenants of his world—decrepit fathers, vengeful ghosts, jealous husbands and horned psychokillers—are lurking in the shadows, waiting to exact their toll.
At turns dark and humane, The Death of Bunny Munro is a tender portrait of the relationship between a boy and his father, with all the wit and enigma that fans will recognize as Nick Cave's singular vision.
The protagonist of Cave's pleasantly demented second novel, set in England, is living out a porno: door-to-door lotion salesman Bunny Munro spends his days seducing invariably attractive women, servicing both their sexual and moisturizing needs. His wife's suicide, though, threatens to derail Bunny's amorous adventures, as he can't shake the feeling that he might somehow be responsible. Another new obstacle is the need to look after his nine-year-old son, Bunny Jr. In an effort to escape the creepiness of the apartment he shared with his wife, Bunny takes his son on the road, teaching him the ropes of salesmanship. Meanwhile, a man in red face paint and plastic devil horns accosts women in northern England before a murderous turn sends him journeying south. Bunny's deterioration from swaggering Lothario to sputtering pity case suggests he is carrying around more guilt than he cares to admit, and his obsessive behavior, while a bit of a stretch, allows for an interesting portrait of modern family dynamics. Cave's bawdy humor, along with a gallows whimsy that will be familiar to fans of his music, elevate the novel from what might otherwise be a one-note adventure.