We’re all here because we love books, right? Thursday Next also loves books. So much so that she’s a LiteraTec – a member of SpecOps group 27, dealing with stolen or forged works of literature and manuscripts.
See, Thursday Next doesn’t live in our England. She lives in an alternate England created by Jasper Fforde. An England in which you’ll find yourself harassed by door-to-door Baconians:
“Hello!” replied a voice. “My name’s Edmund Capillary. Have you ever stopped to wonder whether it was really William Shakespeare who penned all those wonderful plays?”
It’s an England that has been engaged in the Crimean War for over 100 years, and it’s also an England where one can attend Rocky Horror type live performances of Richard III.
Richard opened his mouth to speak and the whole audience erupted in unison:
“When is the winter of our discontent?”
“Now,” replied Richard with a cruel smile, “is the winter of our discontent.”
A cheer went up to the chandeliers high in the ceiling. The play had begun. Landen and I cheered with them. Richard III was one of those plays that could repeal the law of diminishing returns; it could be enjoyed over and over again.
It’s an England with a Time Travel Guard, it’s an England with cloned pets (Thursday owns an early model dodo), it’s an England that’s almost (but not quite) entirely different from our own.
But it’s an England (and a world) that almost any book lover would want to be a part of. If I had a chance to live in any fictional world, I’d likely choose Fforde’s Nextian England. My biggest problem would be the lack of cheese.
I’d love to go on and on about the Nextian world (if you’re interested in my fangirling, you can read more here), but to do so would involve spoiling things for you, and I only do that for books I don’t think you should read. Go pick up The Eyre Affair (if you haven’t already) and we can talk more.
What better choice for a Literary Detective than a playlist of songs about literature? I’ve created this mix tape with an eye towards songs that are based on, make mention of or are simply inspired by books. Originally I was going to just do classics, but that was more difficult than I thought because it would have probably ended up a mostly metal mix tape. I think Thursday would appreciate what I’ve done instead. Even if she doesn’t, I hope you will. You can find the playlist on YouTube by clicking here.
I tried to avoid the obvious, but some may have slipped in. I was super tempted to just make a whole Radiohead playlist, but I didn’t give into it.
I know I don’t usually use the same criteria for the Top Five list as I do for the Mix Tape, but this time I am. I’m not including these songs on the playlist, and I’ll be the first to admit that this list is completely biased. The songs I’ve picked are either by bands I love, or based on the works of authors I love. Sorry. My list. I can do what I want. [wink]
Top Five Songs Inspired by Literature
- Japancakes - Now Wait for Last Year (inspired by the Philip K Dick book of the same name)
- XTC - Dear God (inspired by a series of children’s books of the same name)
- The Cure - Killing an Arab (inspired by Camus’ The Stranger)
- Rob Zombie – Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy) (Um, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, but that was obvious, yeah?)
- Nirvana - Scentless Apprentice (inspired by Patrick Süskind’s Perfume)
What about you? What are your favourite songs inspired by books? Tell me in the comments!