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Faith, Hope and Carnage

Faith, Hope and Carnage

Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan

  • awardShortlisted, Adult Non-Fiction Book of the Year, BookPeople Book of the Year Awards, 2023
  • The Sunday Times Music Book of the Year
    A Daily Telegraph Best Music Book of the Year
    The Big Issue Book of the Year
    A New Statesman Best Book of the Year

    Created from over forty hours of intimate conversations with Seán O’Hagan, Faith, Hope and Carnage is an exploration, in Cave’s own words, of what drives his life and creativity.

    The book examines questions of faith, art, music, freedom, grief and love. It draws candidly on Cave’s life, from his early childhood to the present day, his loves, his losses, his work ethic and his dramatic transformation in recent years.


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    LitHub (extract)
    New York Times Magazine      
    New Yorker    
    Refinery 29     
    Sauce Mag   
    Sunday Times    
    Sydney Morning Herald     
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    Weekend Australian ($) 
    Weekend Australian: Simply the best: 2022’s greatest musical moments ($)    

    About the Authors
    Nick Cave

    Nick Cave has been performing music for more than forty years and is best known as the songwriter and lead singer of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, whose latest album, Ghosteen, was widely received as their best work ever. Cave’s body of work also covers a wider range of media and modes of expression, including film-score composition, ceramic...

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    Text publication date:
    8 August 2023
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    Praise for Nick Cave and Seán O’Hagan
    andFaith, Hope and Carnage

    ‘Cave and his faithful interlocutor O’Hagan have chiselled an all-time literary masterpiece from rough granite…Anyone familiar with [Cave’s] hefty body of work will find much to savour, as there’s plenty of rich, detailed and self-effacing discussion of his creative process and various working ­relationships across the decades. But perhaps above all else, it forms a guidebook for navigating bereavement and reengagement with the world following the death of a loved one…[Faith, Hope & Carnage] is a wonder.’

    ‘Essential…The often-harrowing openness of this book [stands] in utter rejection of indifference, cruelty and cynicism….[Cave and O’Hagan’s] commitment to mining for truth of an audacious, transcendent kind is mutual and intense.’

    ‘Illuminating…A great deal of beauty in Cave’s descriptions of the “strange reckless power” that comes when the worst has happened…If it meets a need for Cave, it also feels like a gift to the reader.’

    ‘Astonishing…This beautiful book is a lament, a celebration, a howl, a secular prayer, a call to arms, a meditation and an exquisite articulation of the human condition. It will take your breath away.’

    ‘A fascinating read…O’Hagan is skilled at drilling down to discover the most interesting conversational nubs, but it is Cave’s words that are the star of the show. The man talks like he is writing poetry and the manner in which he describes making music is sure to delight both fans and casual listeners.’

    ‘Vivid, witty…[and] occasionally deeply harrowing…A story suffused with love, teeming with ideas, a document of an artist’s journey from holding the world “in some form of disdain” to a state of empathy and grace.’

    ‘Remarkably candid…The culmination of a prolonged and moving period of reflection…One of Cave’s greatest skills is to bring a secular eye to the religious and a religious eye to the secular, the sacred and the profane intertwined.’

    ‘An extraordinary conversation…O’Hagan’s questions are sensitive and respectful…and Cave’s answers are honest and vulnerable.’

    ‘A panoramic, coruscating book…The unstoppable energy, as well as the reflectiveness of Cave—the musician, the religious believer, the religious doubter, the family man, the collaborator and the friend—continues to be a wonderfully tender balm.’

    ‘Illuminating and restorative.’

    ‘[This] intriguing insight into [Cave’s] inner life…offers inspiration and hope.’

    ‘Wonderful…I am incredibly grateful that they decided to publish these conversations.’

    ‘In the style of the Paris Review long-form interview, this meandering, luminous conversation between Sean and Nick, considers creativity, songwriting, death, grief, love, philosophy, and the crucible of the pandemic; a profound and profane book to dip in and out of luxuriously.’

    ‘An extraordinary, uplifting book…This is a book you could dip into if you had no knowledge of Cave at all, just to find someone unafraid to ask all the big questions: what is grief? What is forgiveness?…Everyday carnage has brought forth a book of hope and freedom and life.’

    ‘An absolutely wonderful book. I don’t think I’ve ever read so integrated and searching an engagement with how faith works, how creativity works, and how grief is bound up with both.’

    ‘An extraordinary book. Incredible.’

    ‘Captures the very essence of Cave’s life and the audacious and transcendent truths that have consumed his defiant manifestation into that of an artist and musician… Shared grief and a dash of addiction and art and the band’s journey, make this a riveting memoir.’

    Other editions ofFaith, Hope and Carnage
    • Faith, Hope and Carnage
      ISBN: 9781922791054
      20 September 2022
      Buy ebook
    • Faith, Hope and Carnage
      ISBN: 9781922458773
      20 September 2022