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'Musical' Novels

Related thread:
Magical Ballads and Fantasy Fiction (29)


CarlZen 31 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 99 - 01:15 PM
campfire 31 Jul 99 - 01:31 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 99 - 01:37 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jul 99 - 02:07 PM
Chet W. 31 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM
Henrik W. 31 Jul 99 - 03:44 PM
Joe Offer 31 Jul 99 - 03:52 PM
Alice 31 Jul 99 - 05:23 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 99 - 05:29 PM
Peter T. 31 Jul 99 - 05:47 PM
bseed(charleskratz) 31 Jul 99 - 07:00 PM
Art Thieme 31 Jul 99 - 07:44 PM
katlaughing 31 Jul 99 - 07:56 PM
CarlZen 01 Aug 99 - 12:16 AM
Doctor John 01 Aug 99 - 10:37 AM
BK 01 Aug 99 - 10:48 AM
Peter T. 01 Aug 99 - 11:32 AM
Skivee 01 Aug 99 - 02:11 PM
katlaughing 01 Aug 99 - 03:31 PM
Llanfair 02 Aug 99 - 03:13 PM
jon a 02 Aug 99 - 06:35 PM
darkriver 02 Aug 99 - 08:42 PM
darkriver 02 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM
Mike Regenstreif 02 Aug 99 - 08:50 PM
Philippa 03 Aug 99 - 09:49 AM
Peter T. 03 Aug 99 - 10:01 AM
marion 03 Aug 99 - 03:52 PM
marion 03 Aug 99 - 03:53 PM
Susan of DT 03 Aug 99 - 09:08 PM
Philippa 04 Aug 99 - 08:21 AM
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steve t 04 Aug 99 - 10:26 AM
katlaughing 04 Aug 99 - 11:53 PM
Philippa 05 Aug 99 - 02:56 AM
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Malcolm Douglas 05 Sep 99 - 11:07 PM
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GutBucketeer 07 Sep 99 - 12:44 AM
Roger the skiffler 01 Oct 99 - 08:46 AM
Terry Dawson 01 Oct 99 - 12:57 PM
lamarca 01 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM
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Subject: 'Musical' Novels
From: CarlZen
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 12:29 PM

I recently reread the novel "Corelli's Mandolin" by Louis de Bernieres. While it was not directly about music, the mandolin was an important aspect of the book and music was central to the themes in the story.

Any suggestions for other good reading which features music as a central character.

BTW - just my personal opinion, but Annie Proulx' "Accordion Crimes" was a little too bleak a view of humanity for my tastes.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 01:15 PM

Elizabeth Scarborough wrote the Songkiller Saga, light and dark, fun with an underlying message about society & what the loss of folk music would bring about.

Phantom Banjo, Songkiller Saga Vol. 1

Picking the Ballad's Bones, SS Vol 2

Strum Again?, Vol. 3

Can't recommend them enough!


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: campfire
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 01:31 PM

Kat - I think I read that too - did it have a wee bit of magic thown in, too? If its what I'm thinking, I thoroughly enjoyed it, too. Had forgotten about it til you reminded me.

campfire


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 01:37 PM

Yes, the plot basically of all three is the devil trying to eradicate all folk music, with the colussion of the big, mainstream records companies and teh folkies who battle them. BUT IT IS A LOT DEEPER, MEANINGFUL AND ENGAGING THAT QUICK SYNOPSIS!

kat


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 02:07 PM

I'm reading Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. Don't know if you could say music is central to the theme, but the book is filled with references to great songs. I've been reading it in restaurants on the road this week. People kinda look at me funny when I start laughing out loud when I hit a good passage in this book about growing up in Ireland.
With my Catholic upbringing, I get a real kick out of things like the description of Saint Christina the Astonishing.
-Joe Offer-
    And now, five years later, I find I'm married to a saintly and astonishing woman named Christina. who woulda thunk it?
    -Joe Offer, January, 2004-


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Chet W.
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 03:28 PM

These also are not exactly about music, but I think Woody Guthrie's two novels, Bound for Glory and Seeds of Man, are two of the best works of fiction I've read. Read them.

Chet


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Henrik W.
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 03:44 PM

Joe,

I agree that "Angela's Ashes" does have very funny
passages (especially the parts where Frank describes the
world as seen from his young boy perspective - all the
things that seem so strange, when you're a kid), but
on the whole I would say it's not really a "funny" book
but rather a hard hitting account of a brutal, miserable
childhood, don't you agree? It hit me in the stomach
for sure - great book.

On the subject of 'Musical' Novels, ex-Battlefield Band
member and songwriter extraordinaire Brian McNeill has
written a book called "The Busker" about... a busker!
I have not been able to find this book however, so if
anyone has a copy that they'd like to sell (or lend me
even) - let me know! I also believe Brian has recently
completed a sequel to "The Busker" - I think it's called
"To answer the Peacock", but I'm not sure.

Cheers

Henrik


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Joe Offer
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 03:52 PM

I'd say that's a good assessment of Angela's Ashes, Henrik. I think the book takes you through the whole spectrum of emotions. Some parts are uproariously funny, but there is an underlying current of misery through the whole book. I'm hoping for a happy ending. Don't tell me...
It's nonfiction, but it reads like a novel.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Alice
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 05:23 PM

"Under the Greenwood Tree, or The Mellstock Quire" by Thomas Hardy

I quoted parts of this in a discussion regarding The Mason's Apron, but I couldn't find it in a forum search. I'm sure it was part of thread creep, so it didn't relate to the thread title.

From the introduction:"The village musicians of the 'Mellstock Quire', whose fortunes are central to the book, are prototypes of the Wessex rustics characterized in the later novels..."


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 05:29 PM

Henrik: I found the Busker at bookfinder.com for $3.30 here


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 05:47 PM

Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann, is all about music, and is wonderful, but it is HEAVY!!!!!
Non-fiction, but Maynard Solomon's psychobiography of Beethoven is compelling -- and the final unravelling of the "Immortal Beloved" mystery is worthy of a good detective story.
H.C. Robbbins-Landon's, 1789, Mozart's Last Year, is heartbreaking, but beautifully written.
Any of Peter Guralnick's books, including the 2 volume biography of Elvis, especially volume 1, Last Train to Memphis, are well worth reading. I couldn't put them down (the ultimate accolade).
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: bseed(charleskratz)
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 07:00 PM

In Point Counterpoint by Aldous Huxley, music: particularly fugue, is ever-present and an organizing principle. My wife is reading An Equal Music by Vikram Seth: I'm waiting for her to finish it before I start. She says classical music is a dominating presence in it. --seed


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Art Thieme
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 07:44 PM

Any of science-fiction writer Manley Wade Wellman's novels made up of his various stories about the fellow only called "John" who teavels through the Appalachians with a guitar strung with silver strings to protect him from the evil and supernatural creatures and spirits, ghosts and witches, warlocks and spells from folklore and folksongs---especially the big ballads. Just great!!

Art


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 07:56 PM

Art, that reminds me...any of Charles de Lint's books, many of which take place in Ottawa where he lives, have fantasy, magic and music as their main elements. One that I esp. like is "Into the Green".


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: CarlZen
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 12:16 AM

This is turning into a fine booklist. Thanks and keep 'em coming.

And, Peter, - - Isn't Faustus the German version of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads"?


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Doctor John
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 10:37 AM

Chet, I'd call the two WG books more faction than fiction. Although not novels the biographies of Woody and Lead Belly are worth reading. As is "Woody Cisco and Me" by Jimmy Longhi - gives you insight into the character of these two legends. I've just got the biography of Moe Asch which looks good but I haven't stated it yet. "Adventures of a Ballad Hunter" by John Lomax I read at school: must try a get another copy. Dr John


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: BK
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 10:48 AM

Kat - I'm a big Scarborough fan & was not aware of these books; In her godmother series she deals a lot w/music (& many other things, sometimes very serious) - even mentions Finbar Fury. I'd highly reccomend those books. I've REALLY liked everything I've read by her so far. (the latest Godmother - forget the name - starts a little slow but winds up great; haven't read "Healer's War" yet - thought it might strike a little too close to home)

Evern noticed? - a lot of phoakies are fond of Sci-Fi; ?any connection?

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 11:32 AM

CarlZen, absolutely.
Anyone else here a fan of Anne McCaffrey? I got hooked on the Dragonsinger books, which are so completely out of my usual range of interests. I was given them to read at a cottage one summer by a friend's teenage girl who had just graduated from Black Stallion books! They are complete fantasy trash!!!!!!
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Skivee
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 02:11 PM

CarlZen has started a great thread here. As he said, his Accordion Crimes opinion is his own and he's welcome to it. IMHO Ms. Proulx's use of music has been one of the elements that make the depressing threads that run through her novels bearable. There's a great series of personal stories that run out of the accordion playing of Quoyle's Sig-o in The Shipping News. There's a wonderfully drawn guitar player in Heartsongs. Music is the pulse of her novels. Her stories are grim, but they are funny, ironic uplifting, subtle, obvious, insightful. They work on so many levels at once, that I can't get enough. I just love the way she crafts sentences. The first 100 pages or so of The Shipping News was some of the most difficult reading I've done in many years, but I'm sure glad I pushed through. Skivee


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 99 - 03:31 PM

BK, the Healer's War is really excellent, but of course, could be too close to home for anyone who might've been in Vietnam. I've never read a Scarborough book I didn't like!

I've heard that the godmother series is really good. Will get them soon and get started. Anybody who likes Scarborough would like Chas. de Lint, whom I mentioned above.

This is a great thread!

kat


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Llanfair
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 03:13 PM

Yes, PeterT, i love Anne McCaffrey's books, and I can't put one down 'till it's finished. o n the musical theme, what about "The Ship Who Sang". I cried at the end!!! Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: jon a
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 06:35 PM

More Anne McCaffrey; The crystal singers, Killashandra & Crystal Line are good,

also Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough:- powers that be series, well worth a read IMO.

Jon


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: darkriver
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 08:42 PM

I too found Angela's Ashes, while grim in places, to be musical. And I thought that Accordion Crimes and Corelli's Mandolin were as spellbinding as a good song. --Not to mention beautifully written.

I thought that Brendan Behan's prison memoir, Borstal Boy, was very musical. Many of the songs mentioned in the Naughty Kids' Songs threads appear in the book. The use of many dialects of the British Isles makes for music as well.

Anthony Burgess (may he rest in peace) wrote Napoleon Symphony, a longish novel in which he tried (as much as possible in a long prose work) to apply the structure Beethoven's Eroica symphony to the Napoleon story--down to repeated phrases as motifs. Sounds dry, but it works as a novel. Very funny too.

I also thought that Burgess' A Clockwork Orange was very musical--again because of the sounds and rhythms of his invented teen slang, Nadsat.

doug


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: darkriver
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 08:43 PM

What the hey? I could swear I put in that end-italic tag after 'Ashes'!

Oh well. Sorry.

doug


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 02 Aug 99 - 08:50 PM

Chet mentioned: "These also are not exactly about music, but I think Woody Guthrie's two novels, Bound for Glory and Seeds of Man, are two of the best works of fiction I've read. Read them."

While I agree that both are great books worth reading, "Bound for Glory," is an autobiography, not a novel.

Of course, fact and fiction often mix in autobiography (not that I'm saying that's the case here).

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Philippa
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 09:49 AM

Quoted from http://www.folkworld.de/10/e/murray.html :
In 1993, Neil Murray wrote a novel called 'Sing for me Countryman'. This semi-autobiographical story follows a young white man as he heads for the outback, searching for himself and a sense of connection with his country. He feels that the key to his puzzle can be unlocked by the Aboriginal people. Through the formation of a musical group he explores black and white relationships, and finally achieves a remarkable bonding which transcends all racial divides. Cathy Bell reports.: in Folkworld, mostly on Neil Murray's band Warumpi


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Peter T.
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 10:01 AM

Reminds me of Bruce Chatwin's Songlines which is a good read, but is completely inaccurate about songlines. Might get you interested in the real story, however.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: marion
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 03:52 PM

Here's a thread I started awhile back, asking what literary works/scenes people have found to be inspiring musically:

Music in literature

I'll refresh it as well.

Love, Marion


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: marion
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 03:53 PM

sorry, I'll try that link again:

Music in literature


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Susan of DT
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 09:08 PM

Michener had several ballads in The Drifters. A lot of fantasy novels include bards. Besides Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey has a series on Free Bards (I prefer her other books), Morgan Llewellyn has a book titled Bard, and Tom Dietz often has music plying a role in some of his VERY strange books.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Philippa
Date: 04 Aug 99 - 08:21 AM

I just finished reading a novel set in Rathlin Island (off the north coast of Ireland), "Truth in the Night" by Michael McLaverty. Like the McGuinness and Behan books mentioned in this thread, the McLaverty novel isn't ABOUT music, but songs and tunes and dances and instruments are frequently mentioned as a feature in island life. (McLaverty mentions a couple of poems and books and a Shakespeare play as well) There were a few verses quoted in the novel. Here's two I'm not familiar with:
Come, my love, and let us roam
Through the towns and across the foam.
East and west we'll travel together,
Bracelets and silver and fine new leather -
Oh - roh - oh roh -oh - roo
I'm the man to buckle your shoe.

The Flowing Bowl

No nor anyone it may control
Keep me from the flowing bowl.
When I'm single, single I'm free
Love, love, love will never conquer me

also a couple of titles: "The Prodigal's Return" ( a version of the Wild Rover?); I have a notion he mentions a song called "Raheny Pilgrim" or something like that, but I can't find the reference now and I mistrust my memory.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels -AUTOCORRECTION
From: Philippa
Date: 04 Aug 99 - 10:05 AM

I meant McCOURT; Frank McGuinness is a playwright


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: steve t
Date: 04 Aug 99 - 10:26 AM

I loved "Songmaster" by Orson Scott Card. It's sci-fantasy. The last part, about the former "songbird" as an old man will live forever in mind.

Kim Stanley Robinson wrote The Memory of Whiteness. Science-fiction. Mathematical music is the theme. Not as fun, but quite interesting.

A note for people interested in DeLint. He had nine? unpublished novels when he got Moonheart published. Most of the unpublished novels then got published. Some are crap. Choose carefully.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Aug 99 - 11:53 PM

Phillipa, that Flowing Bowl reminds me of a slightly different version we used to sing, that went like:

Landlord fill the flowing bowl
Until it doth run over
REPEAT
For tonight we'll merry be
DITTO
DITTO
Tomorrow we'll be sober/single.

Stevet: which deLint do you not like? I haven't read all of them, but really enjoyed all that I have.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Philippa
Date: 05 Aug 99 - 02:56 AM

aye, Kat, I've heard it that way also.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' literature and film
From: Philippa
Date: 05 Sep 99 - 01:47 PM

What about novels, plays and films that are based directly on songs - and vice versa. I heard that Woody Guthrie composed "Tom Joad" after seeing the film based on the Steinbeck novel "Grapes of Wrath". And that the melodramatic ballad "Gill Morice", which is in the DT database, was staged as a play (I'd like more details).

I have more knowledge of songs in Irish and Scottish Gaelic: Ailein Duinn (in the DT) was the basis of a radio play and I think it was on the live stage also. A' Bhean Eudach (one women drowns another woman because of jealousy) and Caoinneadh Art Uí Laoghaire (widow's lament) inspired short films. An Mhaighdean Mhara was retold as a novelette by Cliodhna Cussen and is the subject of a play and arts exhibition to be staged this month by school children in Conamara.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Sep 99 - 11:07 PM

Not a novel; but Fiona MacLeod's collection of short stories "Under the Dark Star" is certainly worth looking at: especially "The Dan-Nan-Ron" (Dance of the Seals).


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Sep 99 - 10:32 AM

Do plays count? "Dark of The Moon" by Rerney and Richardson was the first off-Broadway production at Circle-In-The-Square directed by Jowe Quintero. It's about withcraft, Appalachian folklore and features some of the traditional ballads and folksongs in the show.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Sep 99 - 08:14 PM

That is Berney and Richardson, Jose Quintero and witch craft although it was done with craft, too. Sorry about the typos.

Frank


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jen
Date: 06 Sep 99 - 09:05 PM

Oh, yes, DeLint is good. (Moonheart wasn't his first book, btw, at least I don't think it was. He wrote under another name also, like Dean Koontz.)

The Songkiller books are out of print, but you can probably find them online somewhere. I read the first one and half the second, and never did get to find out what happened.

Another suggestion, and only a suggestion, would be Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey and someone else (can't remember the other person's name right offhand.) There is a series, and they were cute.

War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (magic and music there, I read mostly fantasy, good book!)

And Manly Wade Wellman--well, I have all but one of the Silver John books, and reread them at least twice a year. I love those books. Still find duplicate copies occasionally, too.

I'm sure I'll think of more, so I'll post them when I think of them.

Just got back from the RenFaire and I'm tiiiirrrrrreeeedddddddd

Jen


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 07 Sep 99 - 12:44 AM

I really loved some of DeLint's descriptions of the magic of music in Into the Green, Moonheart, and his other novels and short stories. It seems his more recent writings have become darker. It's a pity.

Ellen Guon collaborated with Mercedes Lackey to write "Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" and "Summoned to Tourney". She published a prequel called Bedlam Boyz on the same subject.

Mercedes Lackey also wrote the Bardic Voices and Bardic Choices books. Great stuff which includes The Lark and the Wren, Teh Robin and The Kestrel, A Cast of Corbies, and at least one more.

L.E. Modesitt is in the middle of putting out a new series about an opera singer who gets transferred to another universe where music is Magic. There are two so far, the Soprano Sorceress, and the Spellsong War. The first one was great, the second started to become more formulaic towards the end.

If you like puns there is the SpellSinger series by Alan Dean Foster.

Not in Sci Fi and Fantasy I really liked the Devil's Dream by Lee Smith. It seems to be loosely modelled after the Carter Family. She is a good "southern writer"

JAB


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Roger the skiffler
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 08:46 AM

I read some James Lee Burke on holiday (I'd only known his Dave Robichaux detective novels before), frequent evocations of Woody, Leadbelly etc, his heroes all love slide guitar.
Also Scott Lee, a new name for me, even wove the death of Blind Blake into a very Blake Morrison-ish plot.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Terry Dawson
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 12:57 PM

My favorite Charles DeLint is "The Little Country", where the protagonist are a piper and a concertina player. Contains wonderful original tunes. I also agree that Wellman's "Silver John" books are a delight.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: lamarca
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM

Before she started writing the Brother Cadfael novels, the late Ellis Peters (Dame Edith Pargeter) wrote a slew of mysteries about CID Inspector George Felse and his family. My favorite was "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Heart", which takes place at an English folk festival,in which the mystery's plot is that of a Child ballad (I won't spoil it by saying which one). She was a music scholar, so several of her earlier mysteries are from the world of classical music - "Funeral of Figaro" is about the murder of a loathsome tenor; the heroine is a young woman getting her start in opera by playing all the famous transvestite roles, starting with Cherubino..."The Horn of Roland" is another. All fine books.

Madeleine L'Engle wrote two fine adult novels about a concert pianist at different points in her life, "The Small Rain" and "A Severed Wasp", both of which deal strongly with faith and music.

For fantasies, another fine Canadian author is Tanya Huff, who has several novels about bards who can "sing" the powers in the elemental quarters, earth, air, fire, water and spirit.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: T in Oklahoma (a.k.a. Okiemockbird)
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 01:53 PM

Nice thread.

Besides some of the books already mentioned, I have enjoyed Modesitt's The Soprano Sorceress and The Spellsong War. A sequel, Darksong Rising is theoretically in the works.

Teen fiction with a musical backdrop that I have enjoyed: a novel called Midnight Hour Encores. I have forgotten the author. The protagonist is a cello player.

Okiemockbird (a.k.a. T in Oklahoma)


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: sophocleese
Date: 01 Oct 99 - 02:40 PM

For more teenaged readers there is a trio of books by K.M. Peyton about a young man, Patrick Pennington, with a gift for the piano. I read them years ago.

Patricia McKillip writes beautifully and uses stories and themes from ballads. I've been a fan of hers for years.

I would like to add my voice to lamarca's in recommending Tanya Huff. I just finished her latest, The Quartered Sea, I didn't do anything else until I had read it cover to cover.

I'm sure there's more that I could think of over the next couple of days but those are the ones off the top of my head.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Rosebrook
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 10:57 AM

With all the mention of series in this thread, I am reminded that the question may come up, "What order are the books in such-and-such series?" and I wanted to share this site:

http://www.kentlibrary.lib.mi.us/whats_next.htm

If you enter the author's last name, it will produce a list of all that author's series works in the order it was meant to be read. You can also search by book title or series title.

I have found it to be a helpful tool, although it is very fussy (my best success is in searching by author, last name only, all capital letters), and the databank has some glaring ommissions.

Though not all of her work is focused on music, I want to mention Gael Baudino as a fantasy author to check out. The author herself is a harp player, and her books are definately fantasy genre with a leaning towards wiccan magic and female empowerment. Her book Gossamer Axe is about a 500 year old Celtic harper who is displaced in the 1980's and becomes a heavy metal guitar player, blending elements of music from ancient Ireland. Either you love it or you hate it. I think she's great for a fast, fun read.

Rose


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Frank Hamilton
Date: 02 Oct 99 - 01:46 PM

Finnegan's Wake.

"Quiet Flows the Don" my Michail Sholokov which contain the lyrics that Pete Seeger used to fashion "Where Have All the Flowers Gone".

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,kira.seaton@tri-c.cc.oh.us
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 10:44 AM

Where did you say you found the music for Borstal Boy? I'm working on a production and stymied on some of these tunes.... ANY help is welcome.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: SDShad
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 02:23 PM

Then there's R. A. MacAvoy's two books featuring a Zen Buddhist Irish-American fiddler who has a romance with a Chinese dragon in human form--who joins her band on keyboards!--"Tea With the Black Dragon," and "Twisting the Rope (Casadh an T'Sugain)," which takes its title from one of my favorite Bothy Band tunes....

Just the thing who like a little eastern mysticism with their folk.

Chris


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Callie
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 06:53 PM

Brian McLaverty's "Grace Notes" Nick Hornby's "High Fidelity" Carson McCullers' "Wunderkind" (short story) Josef Skvorecki's "The Bass Saxophone" Venero Armanno's "Strange Rain"


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Wavestar
Date: 12 Jun 00 - 11:44 PM

I think it's so marvelous that every single book I thought of to mention when I read the first posting on this thread had already been mentioned by the time I got to the bottom, and now I have lots more lovely recommendations to read!

I was going to mention Charles de Lint (who may be getting darker, but at least he's got good causes he fights for), Orson Scott Card's Songmaster, R.A. McAvoy, who also wrote the Damiano series, about a young musician who is taught by an angel, and even Anne McCaffery's Dragonsinger series... which actually, I find to be her least irritatingly formula and sweet books. The Crystal Line books, and the Ship Who books were good for the first couple. I don't remember the author either, but Midnight Hour Encores I remember from when I was in elementary school... I do recommend it. I've thought of others, but they've slipped from my mind as I ponder what I read... perhaps I'll think of them again later.

I'm delighted to hear that Emma Bull has written a book... I'm a great fan of the Flash Girls, which I'd like to hope that many of you are familiar with... If you aren't, you should be!

A wonderful thread, thanks.

-Jessica


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Gervase
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 05:23 AM

James Joyce was no mean tenor, and music fills his work, from his early Chamber Music, through The Dead and Ulysses to Finnegans Wake. I know people regard Joyce as daunting, but when read aloud there's no mistaking the musical influence. For a darned good essay on music in Joyce's work, take a look at this


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Millring
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 07:32 AM

A folk music discussion about books that doesn't yet include Cold Mountain. One of the main characters is redeemed by his fiddle music. Beautiful story to get lost in, easy read!


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Wesley S
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 05:53 PM

I'm glad that Millring mentioned "Cold Mountain". Tim O'Brien released a CD with the songs mentioned in the book. There is some great fiddle and clawhammer banjo on it.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 06:33 PM

Kira, I'm not sure darkriver is still around, but I believe the threads he said the songs were in are:
Naughty kids'greatest hits Naughty kids' greatest hits II Hope this helps. If you need more info, ask and we'll give it our best shot.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Jun 00 - 06:47 PM

Frank Conroy, who I believe is a pianist himself, wrote a novel "Body and Soul," about a classical piano-playing prodigy. Unfortunately, I can't recommend it. I never finished it, finding most of the characters bland and uninteresting-with the exception of the hero's mother, who is an agoraphobic former cab driver.

John B. Keane's "The Bodhran Makers" sounds intriguing. I have the book, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I just now found this blurb on Barnes & Noble's website, bn.com, and it has piqued my interest:

"Synopsis: This novel is set in rural Ireland in the 1950s. Canon Tett, the parish priest, mounts a campaign against the ancient holiday of Wren Day, celebrated by Wrenboys marching over the countryside playing music led by the bodhran (a drum), and collecting donations to finance the wrendance. A party involving music, dancing, and drinking, the wrendance is the only entertainment all year for most Dirrabeg residents, but to Canon Tett it is wicked and sinful."

Keane also wrote "The Field" which was made into a movie.

Roddy Doyle's "The Commitments" was a novel before it was a movie. I haven't read the book, but I loved the movie.

Ciaran Carson's "Last Night's Fun" isn't a novel-it's actually a book of essays all centered around Irish music-but it contains some fine writing. I highly recommend it.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 07:20 AM

Salman Rushdie's 'The Ground Beneath Her Feet'

Toni Morrison's 'Jazz'

Personally I found E. Annie Proulx's 'Accordian Crimes' really funny, each death got progressively more unlikely or more tragic - it's a fine line between tragedy and comedy. There again perhaps it was just me!

On balance, I think 'Bound For Glory' is more fiction than fact, but probably tells you more about Woody because of this.

Brian


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Hollowfox
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:24 PM

Midnight Hour Encores is by Bruce Brooks (Harper & Row, 1986). Enjoy.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:32 PM

Both Niven and Brin (sci-fi authors with dashes of anthropology/psycholinguistics/societal follow-through, I recommend everything they've written, pretty much) have folksinging characters, and people who sing to themselves out among the stars and aliens, and so on. Also Spider Robinson. Niven and Robinson also have lots of stories set in bars (I especially like Niven's bar where there are little sparkling electrical discharge things for the aliens who get drunk on electricity), and a lot of people singing in the bars. Between drinks. And jokes.

But I don't know yet if there is a real connection between phoakies and scifis, as someone earlier asked...


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 03:57 PM

I really enjoyed De Lint's 'Trader' where the central characters are a Luthier and Singer/Songwriter. Some really neat musical references.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Nikki
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:25 AM

I heartily second many of the recommendations made here. Also want to mention Lee Smith's "The Devil's Dream." It's available in paperback and from libraries. Tells the story (family saga type) of a country-western/bluegrass singing family with perhaps some similarities to the Carter family, but it is not a roman a clef. All her books are good and as I recall probably have music in them somewhere as they are mostly set in the Southern mountains.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: wysiwyg
Date: 16 Jun 00 - 07:57 AM

What about our own Mudcat Tavern Enterprise?????

Somebuddy clicky that pleeze!!

~S~


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 12 Nov 00 - 12:31 AM

I just found "The Phantom Banjo" the first in Elisabeth Scarborough's Songkiller Series in a used book store today. I read the back cover and just had to have it! It is almost too prophetic, given the attacks on Mudcat and the oral tradition in general by ASCAP, Harry Fox and the music industry overall.

From the Cover:

"The Mankind Project was going pretty well, thought the devils. Raila strife: up. Poverty and homelessness: up. Moreal decay: way up. Mistrust of government: off the scale. But despite their best efforts, those ornery humans still managed to avoid destroying themselves. The devils had been waiting for the Big One for years, but every time it seem to be just round the corner, phht: nothing.

Ehsy in Hell was the problem? After much research, it became clear that only one thing was keeping mankind's fingers clinging to the precipice - music ! And not just any music - the devils quite liked some of the popular stuff= but FOLK MUSIC: the songs people sang when they were stranded in dust bowls, chained in slavery, working in dank and dangerous mines; the songs that gave oeople the strength to carry on.

The answer was clear: Folk music had to go. The devils didn't think it would be too hard. A few bureaucrates, a few licensing laws, a few well-timed accidents, and folk music would be musical history. One by one the performers, and worse, the songs would disappear. But the devils hadn't counted on the power of the music, the strength of the human spirit- or the magic that lay inside one enchanted banjo..."

Just my type of book!!!!

JAB

p.s. Kat: thanks for the reviews above!


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 07:19 PM

Those who enjoy Cape Breton music might like the book "No Great Mischief" by Alistair McLeod.

And here's another vote for Michener's "Drifters"; some 60's music references, and quite a lot on Child ballads.

Marion


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Ely
Date: 19 Nov 00 - 08:49 PM

If you can handle Victorian stuff, Thomas Hardy used a lot of old songs in his stuff (the two novels in particular that come to mind are _Tess of the d'Urbervilles_ and _Far From the Madding Crowd_). Personally, I'm a bigger fan of _Madding Crowd_. There is a great 1967 movie version of it starring Alan Bates and Julie Christie, which includes "Bushes and Briars", "One Morning in May"/"Bold Grenadier" (some version of that song), "Harvest Home", "Soldier's Joy", and a lovely tune that I've only found as an untitled "Dorset Four-Hand Reel". Not all of the tunes are mentioned in the novel, but there is enough talk of music in it that it's certainly no stretch to put them in the movie.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Alice
Date: 20 Nov 00 - 12:18 AM

Ely, you would like "Under the Greenwood Tree", another by Thomas Hardy. If you go back earlier on this thread, you will find a message I posted describing it.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Burke
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:10 PM

I picked up R.A. MacAvoy's Damiano trilogy at a book sale last fall. Damiano is a lute player/witch being taught by the angel Raphael during the time of the plague. I'm beginning the third book & was wondering about other books with music as a central theme. I knew it had to be an old topic!

I've read a lot of these, but see several I'm going to try to get.

Any more?

The Damiano trilogy is: Damiano -- Damiano's lute -- Raphael. It has also been reissued as: A Trio for Lute.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Burke
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 06:19 PM

There's link to help with finding the next book in a series in one of the old messages that no longer works.

Here's the current link: What's next


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 09:42 PM

Saw this thread pop up on one of my occasional wanders through...

I just read Sharon McCrumb's "Songcatcher" (no relation to the movie, I believe). The search for a long-lost ballad (which McCrumb actually wrote for the book) is central to the story.

Another story I have looking around (and this one's difficult to find) is Poul Anderson's novella "World Without Stars". There's a song called "Mary O'Meara" whose lyrics crop up verse by verse as the story unfolds. For those of you in FSGW-land, it's one of the songs I sang when I hosted the "Songs From Literary Sources" Open Sing last year.

I could probably find more SF with musical bits if I went and trolled my bookshelves...

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 01:46 PM

My mother Dahlov Ipcar wrote two novels that seem to fit in here. THE QUEEN OF SPELLS is largely based on the old Scottish Ballad "Tam Lin" and A DARK HORN BLOWING is based on elements in the Child ballads "The Queen of Elfan's Nourice" and "Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight." Both are now out of print but can usually be purchased from the used books websites.

More about Dahlov Ipcar and her work can be accessed from her website:Click Here!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 02:57 PM

Funny this thread should pop up today. A friend dropped in this morning and told us about Sharyn McCrumb's "ballad novels." She mentioned Songcatcher, Rosewood Casket, Ballad of Frankie Silver, and She Walks These Hills, and something about "Peggy-O." Any others?
Anybody have a favorite McCrumb novel they can recommend to me?
Hey, there's another coincidence - see my note above.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 03:40 PM

What a great resource this thread is! I've bookmarked it and at my leisure will go through it and paste out all the names. Thanks, folks.

Books and songs- one lifetime is never long enough.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Burke
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM

Joe,
I thought I'd do a quick check on Sharyn McCrumb, but some of her titles are just too wonderful. Here's a list of all her books, in reading order based on the What Next? page. Many of her books are set in Appalachia, most seem to be mysteries.

Ballad series:
If ever I return, pretty Peggy-O
The hangman's beautiful daughter
She walks these hills
The rosewood casket
The ballad of Frankie Silver
Ghost riders
The songcatcher : a ballad novel

Elizabeth MacPherson mysteries:
Sick of shadows
Lovely in her bones
Highland laddie gone
Paying the piper
The Windsor knot
Missing Susan
MacPherson's lament
If I'd killed him when I met him --
The PMS outlaws

Science Fiction Series:
Bimbos of the death sun
Zombies of the gene pool
Published together as: Bimbos & zombies

Short Story Collections:
Foggy Mountain breakdown and other stories
Our separate days


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 11:00 PM

Not a novel,but a recommended short story:
"O Yes" in Tillie O;sen's collection "Tell Me a Riddle"....
and Tim Winton's novel "Dirt Music"


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: rich-joy
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 02:17 AM

I'm sure there are other threads about this subject too, as I remember posting to one of them!!

I'm definitely a Charles de Lint fan (he's got 50 books out now!) and his website contains his newsletters which also talk of the music he's currently listening to and recommends. Very interesting!

Anne Rice (she of those great vampire chronicles) did "Cry to Heaven" - about the lives of 18th century castrated male sporanos in Italy.

There are other authors beside Sharyn McCrumb who have written novels around The Big Ballads too - I haven't read them but maybe they could be found on The Net via the sites of Charles Vess and GreenmanPress or Terri Windling e.g. (oh, Pamela Dean did an updated version of Tam-Lin, that I read ...)

There's also Brian Keenan's "Turlough", centred around the blind harper in Ireland ...

And Phil Rickman gets into the darker side of folklore and customs too, in many of his novels ...

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Susan of DT
Date: 08 Apr 06 - 05:32 PM

A recent thread brought this subject up again.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 May 06 - 05:43 AM

there are a few other threads on this very excellent subject that need cross-linking too!

here's one :
thread.cfm?threadid=83864 ("references to folk music in books" - from 1985)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 May 06 - 05:50 AM

and then there's this one :

thread.cfm?threadid=3540 ("ballads used in literature" - from 1998-2004 ... the thread, not the ballad usage :~)

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 May 06 - 05:55 AM

and there's this one :

thread.cfm?threadid=49185
("folk in current novels" - from 2002)


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: rich-joy
Date: 12 May 06 - 06:03 AM

and even this one is sorta related :

thread.cfm?threadid=26174
("favourite stories in folk songs" from 2000-04)


now what about all the "folk in the movies/films" threads??!!!!!
- anyone??!!!

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 12 May 06 - 10:26 AM

Charles Delint's TRADER is a fantasy book about a luthier. Charles didn't go into this blind, but did his research with Ed Dick and Grit Laskin. Charles is also a Celtic musician, I believe, with a regular weekly gig in Ottawa.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 12 May 06 - 11:31 AM

Mary Higgins Clark also writes mystery novels with titles that are lines from songs, though not necessarily "traditional". She quotes verses as chapter headings, sometimes, too.             Tw


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 11:36 AM

Here is a list of (most of) the books listed on this and the related threads, if excel will past in well.

Anderson         Poul        Arsenal Port
Armanno         Venero        Strange Rain
Baudino         Gail               Gossamer Axe
Brooks         Bruce               Midnight Hour Encores
Brust         Steven        Broke Down Palace
Bull         Emma               War for the Oaks
Burke         James Lee        
Card         Orson Scott        Songmaster
Carr         Jayge               Leviathan's Deep
Chatwin         Bruce               Songlines
de Bernieres        Louis        Corelli's Mandolin
De Lint         Charles        Into the Green
De Lint         Charles        Little Country
De Lint         Charles        Trader
Dean         Pamela        Tam-Lin
Foster         Alan Dean        Spellsinger
Frazier         Charles        Cold Mountain
Gilman         Greer Ilene        Moonwise
Greig         Andrew        When They Laid Bare
Guthrie         Woody               Bound for Glory
Guthrie         Woody               Seeds of Man
Hardy         Thomas        Far From the Maddening Crowd
Hardy         Thomas        Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Hardy         Thomas        Under the Greenwood Tree
Hawkes-Moore        Julia        Dancing in Circles
Hornby           Nick               High Fidelity
Huff           Tanya        Quartered Sea
Huxley           Alduous        Point Counterpoint
Ipcar         Dahlov        Dark Horn Blowing
Ipcar         Dahlov        Queen of Spells
Keane         John B        Bodhran Makers
Keenan         Brian               Turlough
Kushner         Ellen               Thomas the Rhymer
Lackey        Mercedes        Cast of Corbies
Lackey        Mercedes        Free Bards series
Lackey        Mercedes        Knight of Ghosts and Shadows
Lackey        Mercedes        Lark and the Wren
Lackey        Mercedes        Robin and the Kestrel
Lackey        Mercedes        Spirit White as Lightening
Lackey        Mercedes        Summoned to Tourney
Lee        Scott        
L'Engle         Madeleine        Severed Wasp
L'Engle         Madeleine        Small Rain
Llewellyn        Morgan        Bard
MacAvoy         RA               Damiamo trilogy
MacAvoy         RA               Tea with the Black Dragon
MacAvoy         RA               Twisting the Rope
MacLeod         Fiona               Under the Dark Star
McCaffrey        Anne        Crystal Line
McCaffrey        Anne        Dargonsong
McCaffrey        Anne        Dragonsinger
McCaffrey        Anne        Killashandra
McCaffrey        Anne        Powers that Be
McCaffrey        Anne        Ship Who Sang
McCourt               Frank        Angela's Ashes
McCrumb               Sharyn        Ballad of Frankie Silver
McCrumb               Sharyn        Ghost Riders
McCrumb               Sharyn        Hangman's Beautiful Daughter
McCrumb               Sharyn        If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O
McCrumb               Sharyn        Rosewood Casket
McCrumb               Sharyn        She Walks these Hills
McCrumb               Sharyn        Songcatcher
McKillip        Patricia        
McLaverty        Brian        Grace Notes
McLaverty        Michael        Truit in the Night
McLeod               Alistair        No Great Mischief
McNeill       Brian        Busker
McNeill               Brian        To Answer the Peacock
Michener        James        Drifters
Modesitt        LE        Darksong Rising
Modesitt        LE        Soprano Sourceress
Modesitt        LE        Spellsong War
Morrison        Toni        Jazz
Murray               Neil        Sing For Me Countryman
Peters               Ellis        Black is the Color of my True Love's Heart
Peters               Ellis        Funeral of Figaro
Peters               Ellis        Horn of Roland
Pratchett        Terry        
Roberts                 Barrie        Crowner and Justice
Robinson        Kim Stanley        Memory of Whiteness
Rushdie               Salmon         Ground Beneath Her Feet
Scarborough        Elizabeth        Godmother series
Scarborough        Elizabeth        Phantom Banjo
Scarborough        Elizabeth        Picking the Ballad's Bones
Scarborough        Elizabeth        Songkiller Saga
Scarborough        Elizabeth        Strum Again
Seth               Vikram            An Equal Music
Sholokov        Michail           Quiet Flow the Don
Skvorecki        Josef           Bass Saxophone
Smith               L. Neil           Bretta Martyn
Smith               Lee        Devil's Dream
Wellman               Manley Wade        
Whitehead        Colson        John Henry Days

I just encountered another series (Haunted Ballad Series)
Grabien       Deborah   Weaver and the Factory Maind
                         Famous Flower of Serving Men
                         Matty Groves
                         Cruel Sister
                         New Slain Knight

Deborah is a mudcatter.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 12:19 PM

Susan: Is Deb over here? Hadn't ever noticed that before. That would be amusing as Sheryl corresponds with her on another forum. (That would not be the first time our separate on-line worlds converged either...)

-- Gary


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Deb Grabien
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 12:22 PM

"Is Deb over here?"

No, but I could be...


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Sugwash
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 01:13 PM

The Bodhran Makers by John B Kean.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Janie
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM

Add another Lee Smith novel - On Agate Hill.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Mark Ross
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 02:25 PM

The Ace Atkins books, great mysteries, based in New Orleans, with a tie to the blues.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 03:28 PM

Himalayan Concerto. John Masters wrote a spy novel about a classical composer travelling India. Music is woven very well into it.

Not only is Where Have All the Flowers Gone from And Quiet Flows the Don, but Sholokhov included a lot of folk songs.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 03:51 PM

LMAO.......When this thread first ran nine years ago I recall being impressed with the books mentioned and having been around here only about a year at the time I hated to prove what a lowlife I was. Now after almost 10 years on the 'Cat I am positive everyone knows what a lowlife I am, so....................

First thing that popped under my low brow was "Christine" by Stephen King. Basically the story of a boy and his car which happens to have an evil mind of its own and the special powers to carry out its twisted and murderous wishes. The car is a '58 Plymouth and the radio constantly plays '50's rock which King quotes many times in each chapter to aid the plot/character development. There are probably 40+ songs used. King said it was a huge mistake and something he'd never do again as he had to pay royalties on each song, each usage, and for every copy sold, which cut his $$$ on the book to almost a loss.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 04:44 PM

This is NOT about a novel, but a wonderful book about a great musician's sometimes tragic life and ending.

When the Music Stopped; Discovering My Mother is written about a woman top-flight concert pianist, by her son, Thomas(?) Cottle.

The significance of the title will become apparent when I tell you that Gitta Gradova, the artist-mother, was a phenomenal musician, hobnobbing and performing on an equal level with such giants as Rachmaninoff, who was also a close personal and family friend, and others of that level of artistry. She was a big name of that time.

She had terrible personal stress because her demanding though personally rewarding concert life conflicted with what she saw as her duty to her husband and children, and finally she chucked the concert career, nearly chucked music altogether ("when the music stopped"--I told you it would be apparent), and the rest of her life was blighted by the cold-turkey withdrawal.

All of this is told through the eyes of her son, Cottle. The story of an amazing concert career, and of a tortured human being. I can't recommend it enough.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Ref
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 06:38 PM

Astonishing that this thread has run this far with nobody mentioning "Edson" by Bill Morrisey. Yes, THAT Bill Morrissey!


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Amos
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 07:15 PM

One of the finest musical novels of all time, more classically inclined, is Doctor Faustus, by Thomas Mann, whose hero is partly molded on Schšnberg and the development of the 12-tone scale. Mann won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1939, but not for that book.


A


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: open mike
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 06:49 PM

BTW - just my personal opinion, but Annie Proulx' "Accordion Crimes" was a little too bleak a view of humanity for my tastes. regarding this book-
i am reading it. fascinating info on accordion building details.

also i believe cormac mccarthy is both a musician and author.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: open mike
Date: 04 Apr 08 - 09:15 PM

In April 2003, Bruce Forman's first published fiction novel, Trust Me, was released by Lost Coast Press. The story is a Faustian frolic, a guitarist's personal odyssey through jazz, mysticism, and human folly. It has received rave reviews for its portrayal of playing music and the jazz life. his site is here: http://www.bruceforman.com/about.html

His other writings are non-fiction: Bruce Forman's music publications exemplify his passion for music and educating. The Jazz Guitarists Handbook, (GSP Publications), is a critically acclaimed method book that clarifies the concepts of jazz from a performance-based point of view. Jazz Band Guitar, (Mel Bay Publications), is a no-nonsense approach to the big band for guitarists of all levels. His video, Jazz Guitar Soloing, (GSP), encompasses the important musical aspects that make up an expressive and swinging solo.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: meself
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 01:30 AM

Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje. A poetic novel - or a novelistic collection of poems - based on the richly-imagined life of early jazz cornetist Buddy Bolden.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 06:26 PM

Halldor Laxness, "The Fish can Sing" (mysterious celebrity singer where it isn't clear for most of the book whether he can in fact sing or not) and "The Atom Station" (subplot involving a sorta-Tolstoyan-anarchist organist with an up-to-the-minute knowledge of contemporary European art music).

W.S. Merwin, "The Mays of Ventadorn" (troubadour music).

Gunter Grass, "The Tin Drum".

Alan Spence, "The Magic Flute".

David Lindsay, "The Haunted Woman" (mysterious viol music as the key to another world) and passing mentions of music (mostly Scriabin or in the Scriabin ethos) in "A Voyage to Arcturus".

Alan Warner, "The Sopranos" (gritty story about a school choir).

Iain Banks, "Espedair Street" (rise and fall of a major-league rock band).

John Wain, "Strike the Father Dead" (hero is a 1950s British jazz trumpeter).

Isn't Ishmael Reed's "The Freelance Pallbearers" about New Orleans musicians? I've read some of his books but not that one.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 06:33 PM

Also:

Samuel Butler, "The Way of All Flesh" (obsessed with Handel).

Malcolm Lowry, "Hear Us O Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place" (long story with the hymn of that name printed in full score at the start).

Samuel Beckett, "Watt" (the voices in his head sing in polyphony and Beckett includes a score for what they sing).

I am trying to remember if James Dickey's "Deliverance" included banjos. I think they might have been added in the film.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:18 PM

And four more:

Elfriede Jelinek, "The Piano Teacher".

Daniel Mason, "The Piano Tuner".

Paolo Maurensig, "Canone Inverso".

William Kotzwinkle, "The Fan Man".


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Joe_F
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:35 PM

Trilby, by George du Maurier. Wicked hypnotist makes tone-deaf girl into star singer.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: ClaireBear
Date: 05 Apr 08 - 07:48 PM

Back in the sci-fi/fantasy world, Terry Pratchett's Soul Music was very amusing. I read it when my best friend was in Celtic rock band Tempest, so "music with rocks in" really spoke to me. Gael Baudino's Gossamer Axe (at least I think it was hers) was amusing for similar but not identical reasons.

One of my favorites in the genre is Greg Bear's The Infinity Concerto, which is entirely dependent on a piece of music. And come to think of it, my all-time favorite novel Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees, has many ongoing musical themes and a phemonenon called "the Note" that, when the protagonist hears it, sends him into a near-dissociative state that shakes his faith in the solidity of his middle-class, burgher-like existence as mayor of Lud, and has him suspecting the reality of perilous--and consistently denied--faerie.   

I'm sitting in a house that R.A. MacAvoy (who is a friend) and her husband built. We bought it from them when they left our intentional community so he could work for "the dark side" in Redmond, Washington. One of the characters in her Twisting the Rope (which I read before I knew her) was closely based on another dear old friend, which completely surprised me when I read it.

And speaking of friends, one of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books -- sorry, I forget which one; it's been years -- has a scene that features a trio directly based on Dave Swan's Oak, Ash and Thorn in (as I recall) its pre-Swan iteration. You can tell because they are singing "Aldones Bless the Human Elbow" -- also because the physical descriptions are picture-perfect.

Cheers,
Claire


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Subject: 'Musical' Novels
From: keberoxu
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 04:50 PM

Fantasy writer Janny Wurts is not to every taste. "The Wars of Light and Shadow" is a yet-to-be-completed series of world-building fantasy books, all of them long. One of the, for want of a better word, Warriors (adversaries?) is a musician so gifted that he has been trained by the MasterBard of his nation, and at his master's death has succeeded him as the MasterBard. There is a great deal going on in these books besides music. However, when the MasterBard, also known as the Master of Shadow, pulls out his fantastical stringed instrument (name: "lyranthe"), something transformational usually happens. There is a lot of emphasis on music as a multi-dimensional force of life and healing. In the most recent of the books, "Initiate's Trial," a dying man is literally musicked back to life with the lyranthe. If Janny Wurts is not to your taste, you will know it within a paragraph or two. If she's not too much for you, her reverence for music is edifying.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 07:46 PM

A tape measure and a set of bathroom scales tell me everything I want to know about Janny Wurts's books.

Joseph Skvorecky wrote a series of books set in the Czech jazz scene; I haven't read any of them yet.

(A lot of posters in this thread that I haven't read any posts from in a long time).

Is Barbara Trapido's "The Travelling Hornplayer" actually about a hornplayer? I've never looked inside it.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Joe_F
Date: 16 Feb 16 - 08:39 PM

Thomas Mann, _Dr Faustus_. Wicked composer sells his soul for the devil's help in escaping the decadence of music.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 09:38 AM

Has anyone mentioned "Under The Greenwood Tree " by Thomas Hardy. Great book!


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 10:35 AM

The fifth chapter of E M Forster's Howard's End (1910) takes place at a Mendelssohn - Beethoven - Brahms concert at which the characters become confused, lose things; & as a consequence form significant acquaintances, which end in tears and death, imprisonment and ruin, deception and deceit -- a sort of prolepsis of the 'purposes mistook' with which the novel abounds. Too complicated to rehearse in detail here, but clear in context and well worth reading.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 11:25 AM

There are a couple of very funny music scenes in Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat".

Alex Benzie's "The Year's Midnight" is built around the story of "Macpherson's Farewell".

Hint: use your browser's text search facility to check what's been mentioned before.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,HIlo
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 12:06 PM

I HAD FORGOTTEN "Howard's End. One of my all time favourite Novels and a great scene at the concert.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 02:25 PM

H.C. Robbbins-Landon's, 1789, Mozart's Last Year, is heartbreaking, but beautifully written.

Only a 16-year wait for a correction, but it isn't a novel and the year was 1791.

http://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2009/nov/25/hc-robbins-landon-mozart

It's astonishing that we can know so much about somebody who died more than 200 years ago. Robbins Landon even includes a floorplan of Mozart's flat.

There are so many musicians whose lives could form the basis for a novel. For a challenge: Ravel, who seems to have been asexual. I can't think of an asexual character in fiction.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Feb 16 - 03:17 PM

One composer who would be a challenge is Franz Josef Haydn. Not because he had no relationships -- he enjoyed wine, women, and song as much as most men. But Haydn was an uncommonly GOOD human being, not a saint, simply good. They left Haydn out of "Amadeus," I would guess, partly for that reason. It's easy to demonize Salieri; it's convenient to play up the scatological humor in Mozart's letters. It's quite another matter to make a case for a really good man.

The Haydn/Mozart mentor/friend relationship was a remarkable one, and I despair of ever seeing it fictionalized or dramatized, unless I have missed something and this has already been done.

There are three dramatic incidents in the Haydn/Mozart connection that I would love to see acted out, but it will only happen in my dreams:

the moment when Haydn addresses Mozart's father Leopold in public to tell him what an exceptional composer his son is.

Haydn leaving Austria for England, and a tearful Mozart bidding him goodbye, and saying in unconscious prophecy that he fears that they will never see each other again.

Old Haydn, enjoying the fulfillment of his life with success in London, receiving the news that young Mozart is dead -- and watching Haydn's heart break, as though he had literally lost a son.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,silver
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 05:07 AM

Someone mentioned Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" - long time since I read it, but I recall a chapter where the migrant workers had a dance, and a number of well-known tunes were mentioned. Also, earlier in the novel, the first time the Preacher appears, he is singing to himself.
Laurie Lee's "Cider with Rosie", "I walked out one Midsummer morning", and "A Rose for Winter" - like Woody Guthrie's books, somewhere between autobiography and fiction - deal a lot with music.

And, of course, there is the fairly recent "Revival", by Scott Alarik.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: CupOfTea
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 01:04 PM

I second an endorsement for Revival. I had the pleasure of being introduced to the man and his own performance at the same time as learning he'd written a novel. I'd enjoyed his nonfiction writing and the novel was even better. It gave me the same depth of "YES! That's how it is!" recognition as I'd had from Elizabeth Scarborough's Songkiller trilogy.

I cherish authors who incorporate traditional music as an integral part of the world they create, particularly when they get that spark of recognition from my own experience and knowledge. That validation of veracity in the details surely gives fiction more of an ability to carry us deeper. What comes to mind is the section in Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun where a traveling Scottish trad musician stumbles upon a filk sing at a science fiction convention, with initial bewilderment. The novel would be familiar to SF fans, mystery fans, (as well as those intrigued by the title), yes, but the intersection of those worlds with an acknowledgement of trad music is what endears it to me most.

Charles DeLint is the author who uses musicians and their world most powerfully and extensively over many novels and short stories. As musician in his own world he " gets it" completely - as he does with visual art as well.

Another peek into the Folk world book I marginally remember is one I think may have been a memoire rather than fiction is Last Night's Fun by Cirian Carson (and may have botched the name), with vivid tales from Scottish folk band adventures. Wish I could locate this book again for a retread, but our library has the horrid habit of getting rid of interesting books to make room for multiple copies of the latest best seller.

Thinking about this has now kept me from getting ANY work done today. Merry Mudcat time sink to you all.

Joanne in thawing Cleveland


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 18 Feb 16 - 01:58 PM

Ciaran Carson.

It's a factual book, written as a Kerouac-like road trip. I thought it was rather overdone and hypey.

Nobody's yet mentioned Lovecraft's "The Music of Erich Zann" - only a short story but rather good. I don't know if Lovecraft ever used music as a topic elsewhere.

There is a three-volume fictionalized biography of Beethoven by John Suchet. Somehow I expect it to be an unrewarding slog, but others may think differently.

Given the success of "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", there has to be an opportunity for a similar mashup. I once suggested Dave Bulmer as Yog-Sothoth the Eater of Souls; Paganini as Dracula is a natural. And perhaps a combo of Keith Richards and Dorian Gray.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Henry Hill
Date: 19 Feb 16 - 12:31 AM

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is the best! :D

_______
Sandsaver


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Thompson
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 01:35 PM

For those who speak Irish, Rún an Bhonnáin, http://www.siopa.ie/en/i-41-run_an_bhonnain/i.aspx?ID=41 about a killer who targets sean-nós singers, all linked to the writer of An Bonnán Buí.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Felipa
Date: 14 Jan 17 - 05:26 PM

There is a genre of Irish language songs in which a spoken story is allied with the sung piece. Some of these old song-stories have in the past century inspired plays, story books, longer books. Dúbhglas de hIde based his play "Casadh an tSugáin" on the song of that name (known in English as Twisting the Hayrope, but I havent heard or read any English language lyrics), Cliodhna Cussen wrote a children's book of the story of "An Bhean úd Thall" (Irish version of An Bhean Eudach), and there's a couple of books based on the story of Úna Bhán. Lyrics and info about those 3 songs are already on Mudcat.

I see via internet that there is a book by Patrick Devanney titled "Una Bhan: Flaxen Haired Rebel" http://www.independent.ie/regionals/sligochampion/news/former-summerhill-students-novel-tells-na-bhn-story-27563979.html "

Many will have heard the legendary tale of Úna's ill-fated love affair with Tomás Láidir Costello: her father refused to allow them to marry and Úna died of a broken heart; Tomás used to swim to Trinity Island in Lough Key to keep vigil at her grave, resulting in his death from pneumonia; he was buried beside Úna and two trees grew over their graves, which intertwined to form a lovers' knot.

"Using a novelist's license in his latest book, 'Úna Bhán, Flaxen-Haired Rebel', Patrick Devaney paints a very different picture of Úna. Far from being a "garden rose" or a "gold candle on the queen's table", as portrayed by her poet-lover Costello, Devaney depicts Úna as a courageous but troubled young woman who demands to be treated as an equal in the maledominated world of the 17th Century. She becomes a rebel committed to driving the foreigners out of Ireland"


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 15 Jan 17 - 05:27 AM

It's been a long time since I read it but I suppose Dermot Bolger's 'Father's music' should b added. And Kate Thompson's 'The New Policeman', is a nice read, albeit aimed at a younger audience.


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Subject: RE: 'Musical' Novels
From: Jack Campin
Date: 15 Jan 17 - 05:54 AM

Donna Leon's books often feature music from Venice - she also wrote the booklet for a CD of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" where she retells a bunch of lurid stories from Venetian history. "The Jewels of Paradise" has Baroque musicology as its background.

Have we covered Ellis Peters' series of crime stories based on English and Slovak folksong?


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