I love the way you say "diegesis"
May 8, 2012 10:07 AM   Subscribe

In 1Q84, as in many of his other books, Haruki Murakami frequently tells us what music his characters are listening to, providing a de facto soundtrack to the novel. What other authors suggest or provide soundtracks to their works and/or what other written works basically have soundtracks?
posted by davidjmcgee to Writing & Language (27 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
posted by chevyvan at 10:11 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: Nick Hornby's High Fidelity?
posted by bcwinters at 10:12 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bad Voltage by Jonathan Litell lists all the songs he listened to while writing it. It's overwrought adolescent cyberpunk, but the whole thing is sort of appropriate.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Bret Easton Ellis does this. American Psycho has at least three chapters exploring banal 80s music in-depth. Glamorama's protagonist is something of a savant when it comes to music and will regularly spout out of an artist, album, song and length in conversation.
posted by griphus at 10:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Many of Stephen King's works do this.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:13 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Tim Winton's (excellent) Dirt Music has a soundtrack
posted by unlaced at 10:17 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: Laura Esquivel's book The Law of Love even comes with a CD that you listen to at key points/plot developments when reading.
posted by jujulalia at 10:21 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: In the comic Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Major, she'll have little margin notes indicating what the soundtrack to that moment is (either what should be playing in the background of the scene in the movie in your head, or whatever she was listening to at the time).
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:22 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: Arthur Phillips' The Song is You.
posted by cestmoi15 at 10:28 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: Jeff VanDerMeer did this for a few of his books. I don't have them to hand, but I'm pretty sure both Finch and Veniss Underground have afterwords with soundtracks.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:52 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: L. Ron Hubbard composed a soundtrack especially for Battlefield Earth (the book, not the movie: Mr. Ron, he dead by then).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:55 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: check out largehearted boy.
posted by mlle valentine at 11:09 AM on May 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Alan Warner's Morvern Callar did this, in a way that was really crucial to the tone of the book, and it actually hipped me to some music that I came to really like. Eventually, it was turned into a film I did not see; I can't speak to the quality of that film's soundtrack.
posted by .kobayashi. at 11:19 AM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Kim Stanley Robinson does this in his Mars trilogy. He also explicitly lists a soundtrack for the different characters in the companion collection "The Martians".
posted by HFSH at 11:21 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: And I remember Richard Powers' The Time of Our Singing as another book in which music plays an important role, and wherein some familiarity with the styles described is crucial to the reader's understanding and enjoyment of the book. Apart from Marian Anderson's voice, though, I think a lot of the music is fictional, so you couldn't make a mix tape of music from the book. Nevertheless, if you read carefully, you can pretty much hear all of it.
posted by .kobayashi. at 11:26 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: It may be considered mainstream chick-lit, but the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger has a little bit of this (the book, NOT the movie).
posted by wannabecounselor at 11:30 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: Number9dream by David Mitchell (who often gets compared to Murakami) is soaked in music, mostly jazz.
posted by jbickers at 11:34 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: I, Partridge: We Need to Talk About Alan has a list of songs and footnotes telling the reader when to push Play on each track.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 12:11 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: In the preface to Garden State, Rick Moody has quite a bit to say about the Feelies.
posted by scratch at 1:49 PM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: It's genre fiction, but Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville books all have a playlist for the book. It's kind of a logical extension of the character since Kitty is a radio DJ.

And a werewolf.
posted by teleri025 at 3:52 PM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: If graphic novels count, Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1969 has music continuously playing in the background, and it often plays a narrative role (Sympathy For the Devil with altered lyrics is used in a dark ritual, etc.). I made a playlist to listen to while I read it, and it really improved the mood! His previous work, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1910, has characters singing Kurt Weill tunes throughout.
posted by painquale at 5:08 PM on May 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus novels do this constantly. Rebus listens to classic rock and trades mixtapes with his younger colleagues who listen to more contemporary music.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:26 AM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Michael Connolly's character Harry Bosch is a jazz fan.
posted by quidividi at 5:29 AM on May 9, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you! Rad. I'm looking forward to reading/listening to all of these.

But especially to SPACE JAZZ.
posted by davidjmcgee at 5:39 AM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Ken Bruen does this in his books quite a lot, particularly in his Jack Taylor series.
posted by OmieWise at 6:34 AM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Pynchon's Inherent Vice. From pynchonwiki.com:
Although there's a playlist for Inherent Vice on Amazon.com, apparently provided to Amazon by Mr. Pynchon himself [1], the links just take you to where you can buy the music. This is a playlist to hear the music, thanks to YouTube, read the lyrics, thanks to LyricWiki, and learn about the artists and songs, via Wikipedia. The songs are organized below by the page on which they are found.
posted by yz at 10:26 AM on May 9, 2012

Best answer: Charlie makes a mix tape for his friends in The Perks of Being A Wallflower. Before everything was so readily accessible on the internet, my husband made me this mix by finding all the albums and making it himself.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 11:02 AM on May 9, 2012

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