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Thread: Books You've Read Because of Music

  1. #1

    Books You've Read Because of Music

    What books have you sought out to read because a song or album was inspired by or referenced a book?
    Offhand I can think of:

    The Tain - A collection of tales of Irish mythology, after hearing the Horslips concept album with the same title.

    Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead and a couple of other Ayn Rand books, after reading that she was an influence for some of Rush's songs in the early days, and Neil Peart dedicated the 2112 album to her.

    Autobiography of a Yogi, after seeing that Jon Anderson was influenced by it while writing Tales from Topographic Oceans. I don't think I finished it.

    I read a couple of Herman Hesse books for a college lit class and later read that Close to the Edge was inspired by a Hesse book (can't remember which one now) and went back and read it a second time with that perspective.

    Probably a few others but that's all I can think of for now...
    "Moustache stays right where it's at" - Clutch

  2. #2
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    yeah, i went through all the usual Ayn Rand books in the 80's after i got into Rush. it help a lot to understand Neil's themes better.
    The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged are excellent novels i would recommend them to anyone who listens.

  3. #3
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Well. I read Walter Klimczak's novel 'Falling In The Garden' which I thoroughly enjoyed-very interesting book, and even though the next in the series wasn't as good he quoted from 'An Island in the Darkness' by Tony Banks, and when I connected with him he said that he was heavily into Banks and that song in particular influenced his writing for those books. This led me to get a bunch more of his books, but 'Falling in the Garden' is his best I feel.

  4. #4
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Jonathan Coe’s “The Rotters Club” because he talks about Hatfield and the North.

    ”High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby because it describes 30 years of my life.
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:12 PM.

  5. #5
    The Worm Ouroboros because of National Health.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  6. #6
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BravadoNJ View Post
    The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged are excellent novels i would recommend them to anyone who listens.
    Ayn Rand has a reputation as 'justification literature' for extreme greed and lack of social responsibility.

  7. #7
    Ayn Rand is a blight.
    I'm not lazy. I just work so fast I'm always done.

  8. #8
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    I also read quite a few of Ayn Rand's books after listening to Rush back in my younger days.

  9. #9
    Member wiz_d_kidd's Avatar
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    "This is Your Brain on Music", Daniel J. Levitin. He explores interesting concepts of how we recognize music (it's by intervals, not the notes), and how we're able to tap out a constant repetitive beat (it's tied to the ability of proto-humans to run to escape danger), and many other fascinating hypotheses about how our brains perceive and process music.

  10. #10
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Huh, I found the Levitin book to be pretty thinly researched and many of his conclusions questionable at best.

    That reminds me though of another couple books: Jaron Lanier's "You Are Not A Gadget" and "Who Owns The Future" from a futurist who also plays a bunch of instruments. His album is called "Instruments of Change" and it's worth searching out.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Ayn Rand has a reputation as 'justification literature' for extreme greed and lack of social responsibility.
    The movie version of The Fountainhead (starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal) is worth watching in a “so bad it’s good” way, though. Campy melodrama with some of the most preposterous dialogue ever filmed.
    Confirmed Bachelors: the dramedy hit of 1883...

  12. #12
    The only book I read because of music I heard, was Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse, which I read after hearing Reboelje -Magysk teater (Allinnich foar gekken). Mostly I hear the music after reading the book. I love Rush, but I hate the ideas of Ayn Rand, which in a way diminish my love for Rush.

  13. #13
    Lord of the Rings - Tolkien (via Led Zep, Rush, Styx and so many others)

    Elric of Melnibone (via Blind Guardian, Cirith Ungol, BOC, Hawkwind)

    H. P. Lovecraft

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Lord of the Rings - Tolkien (via Led Zep, Rush, Styx and so many others)
    For me the other way round. Lord of the rings made me discover Bo Hansson, Gandalf, Johan de Meij.

  15. #15
    Lucky Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progbear View Post
    The movie version of The Fountainhead (starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal) is worth watching in a “so bad it’s good” way, though. Campy melodrama with some of the most preposterous dialogue ever filmed.
    Plus at the time Patricia was an extreme hottie.

    lol

    But, yes. Otherwise Ayn Rand's books have seemed to cause more trouble than they're worth.
    Perhaps finding the happy medium is harder than we know.

  16. #16
    I took a stab at reading both Michael Moorcock and Roger Zelazny, after learning Hawkwind had songs based on their respective works. The Moorcock I found a bit dry and not very interesting. The Zelazny stuff I've read, though, I liked quite a bit.

    There were a couple different things that led me toward reading Robert Heinlein, but as best as I can remember, it wasn't a coincidence that the first two Heinlein novels I read, Stranger In A Strange Land and Number Of The Beast, share their titles with Iron Maiden songs (though the songs are otherwise completely unrelated to the books). I've ended up reading and owning quite a few of his books since.

    One book I probably should read is The Sheltering Sky. It apparently left a mark on Bob Fripp (who named a King Crimson track after it) and Sting (who wrote Tea In The Sahara from the book). In fact, I suspect they probably read the same copy of the book. Andy Summers says he gave Sting his copy of the book. Given the fact that Tea In The Sahara was on Synchronicity, I suspect it's possible that Andy got the book from Fripp, during the I Advanced Mask sessions. Or at the very least, Bob may have suggested to Andy that he read the book.

    I've never read Ayn Rand, though.

  17. #17
    Paul Gallico's The Snow Goose comes to mind.

    Of course The Rotter's Club by Jonathan Coe.

    Kevin Barry's Beatlebone, because I read a review in which was mentioned it was about a fictionally adventure of John Lennon.

    Peter Straub's Full Circle, after the wonderful soundtrack by Colin Towns.

    Two of Maryson's Master Magician-books, because the writer simultanously released CD's based on those books.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    Two of Maryson's Master Magician-books, because the writer simultanously released CD's based on those books.
    Forgot about those. To bad he never released music for the other books.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    Forgot about those. To bad he never released music for the other books.
    Yes indeed. The only other music by Wim Stolk (alias W.J. Maryson) I could find was on a compilation-album, called The Reading Room: https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-...elease/6314329
    As you might know Wim died in 2011, while working on the third Maryson-album (at least that's what his wiki-page says).

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by interbellum View Post
    Yes indeed. The only other music by Wim Stolk (alias W.J. Maryson) I could find was on a compilation-album, called The Reading Room: https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-...elease/6314329
    As you might know Wim died in 2011, while working on the third Maryson-album (at least that's what his wiki-page says).
    I know he died. Actually he is the only fantasy writer, whose work I liked.

  21. #21
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    The other way round: I heard Janaceks Sinfionetta because I read Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.

  22. #22
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Jonathan Coe’s “The Rotters Club” because he talks about Hatfield and the North.

    ”High Fidelity” by Nick Hornby because it describes 30 years of my life.
    Those were the first I thought of, but I've also read Rotters II (Unbroken Circle) and Rotters III (Middle England - just out this year)

    Read a few Herman Hesse books as well, and a few Beat authors (Kerouac, Ginsbergh, etc) via jazz, including Burroughs' Naked Feast (and not just thought SM and SD,... but Dashiell Hedayatt as well)

    Never bothered to check much of Ayn Rand, and my reading Tolkien's LOTR had nothing to do with rock (not even Marillion)
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    The other way round: I heard Janaceks Sinfionetta because I read Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.
    Me too

  24. #24
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trane View Post
    including Burroughs' Naked Feast
    Oh yeah, I bought "The Soft Machine" and "The Naked Lunch," but never read either of them.

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    Journey to the center of the earth. Francois Rabelais. Gargantua and Pantagruel. Shouldn’t have to explain either here.


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