Friday, October 11, 2019

Six top novels referencing pop music

Robert Haller holds an MFA in fiction from the New School in New York City. He lives in upstate New York. Another Life is his first novel.

At LitHub he tagged "six novels that reference pop music in interesting, effective ways," including:
Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

Undoubtedly, this is still the first book many readers think of when it comes to pop music references in fiction. There are almost as many band references as there are pages, but Hornby gets away with it because of the nature of his narrator. Rob is such a music junkie that it’s become the primary way he relates to other people. He’s the sort of the narrator who will tell the reader his ex-girlfriends’ top five recording artists but not their political or religious convictions. Part of the humor of the book is how much the reader is able to draw from Rob’s insights. Turns out we can learn a lot about a character by knowing her favorite singer is Joni Mitchell. In one particularly funny scene, Rob reorganizes his record collection in the order in which he bought them, which he likens to writing his autobiography without picking up a pen. A major theme of High Fidelity is how much of our identities are wrapped up in the things we like.
Read about another entry on the list.

High Fidelity also made Brian Boone's list of five classic books Hollywood should adapt into corny sitcoms, Lisa Jewell's six best books list, Jen Harper's list of seven top books to help you get through your divorce, Chris Moss's top 19 list of books on "how to be a man," Jeff Somers's lists of five of the best novels in which music is a character and six books that’ll make you glad you’re single, Chrissie Gruebel's top ten list of books set in London, Ted Gioia's list of ten of the best novels on music, Melissa Albert's top five list of books that inspire great mix tapes, Rob Reid's six favorite books list, Ashley Hamilton's list of 8 books to read with a broken heart, Tiffany Murray's top 10 list of rock'n'roll novels, Mark Hodkinson's critic's chart of rock music in fiction, and John Sutherland's list of the best books about listing.

--Marshal Zeringue