Top Five + Mix Tape: If you want to be a SpecOp, act kinda weird.

14 November 2012 by 21 Comments

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:

“€œHello!”€ 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?”
“€œNow,”€ replied Richard with a cruel smile, “€œis 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.

Mix Tape

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.

Top Five

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

  1. Japancakes – Now Wait for Last Year  (inspired by the Philip K Dick book of the same name)
  2. XTC – Dear God  (inspired by a series of children’s books of the same name)
  3. The Cure – Killing an Arab  (inspired by Camus’ The Stranger)
  4. Rob Zombie – Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)  (Um, Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, but that was obvious, yeah?)
  5. 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!


sj (never SJ) hates everything. Except books and music. Sometimes she hates those too. Ask her about drinkalongs.

21 thoughts on “Top Five + Mix Tape: If you want to be a SpecOp, act kinda weird.

  1. MC Lars has a ton of great literature inspired songs…he has a whole Poe tribute album and his song “Ahab” is great,too.

    Iron Maiden & Rush have some good ones. So does Rufus Wainwright. Oh,so many others I’m forgetting right now. I love it when fave artists allude to literature in their songs
    “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush..that’s a fave.

  2. I JUST heard about these Thursday Next books sometime last week. (Well, I’d heard the name before, but never knew what they were about.) They definitely sound like the type of books that every book-lover must read, and I have dutifully added them to my TBR.

    • As I mentioned when I was a squealing fangirl on the last day of my 30 Day Book Challenge, Jasper Fforde is probably my favourite living author.

      I’ve re-read the first 5 Thursday Next books probably 3 or 4 times and I plan on re-reading them ALL again next year.

      Same with the rest of his stuff. His Nursery Crimes series is pretty phenomenal, too. :)

      • *sigh* See, if I would actually just add your blog to my reader like I keep telling myself I should — instead of occasionally clicking over from here or Lucy’s Football or random tweets I happen to catch — then I would have discovered this series a whole week earlier than I did!

        Looks like your feed gets a new subscriber today, lest this sort of thing keep happening.

        • What’s even worse is that I think our comments work differently than wordpress-dot-com comments, even though it’s all wordpress-powered. Usually to make a video show up on our site, you just paste in the link without any code into a comment, but I think on wp-dot-com you use the shortcode in the comment. So I stripped out the code but it STILL only made one video show up. BOO.

  3. Sometimes I think I can’t love you more, and then you put BOTH Mumford and Sons and “Fairytale of New York” on your playlist and my love OVERFLOWS THE BANKS.

    I’m saving this for a day I don’t have to go to bed at at unholy early hour and listening to the whole playlist. I LOVE THIS.

  4. Pingback: [The Daily Five] Bookish Things « crazy dumbsaint of the mind

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