I’m now reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson and it has made me realize: I love a book with a soundtrack. I have created soundtracks for several of my novels – those are more or less my writing soundtracks or songs that make me think of my story. Occasionally I find an author who also does this, but I just love it when they talk about music in books.
My all-time favorite book with a soundtrack is one of my all-time favorite books: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In the story, Charlie creates a mix tape for his friend Patrick which includes these songs:
- Asleep by The Smiths
- Vapour Trail by Ride
- Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkel
- A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum
- Time of No Reply – Nick Drake
- Dear Prudence – The Beatles
- Gypsy – Suzanne Vega
- Night in White Satin – Moody Blues
- Daydream – Smashing Pumpkins
- Dusk – Genesis
- MLK – U2
- Blackbird – The Beatles
- Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
- Asleep – The Smiths (again!)
This is the one book soundtrack that I have downloaded all the songs, burned to CD, and listened to in my car over and over again. I’ve also burned copies of the CD and given it to my friends along with a copy of the book telling them, “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.”
I got really into The Smiths after first hearing “Asleep.” Ditto Nick Drake. I already liked the oldies on the list: “Scarborough Fair,” “Nights in White Satin,” “Landslide,” “Blackbird” – and was at the point where they were sort of ho-hum if not downright cheesy, but in this mix they fit perfectly. I’d only ever heard “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega – and now I love “Gypsy” more.
The mix is a little melancholy and mellow, which totally fits the story.
The movie soundtrack, on the other hand, is much more upbeat and only uses “Asleep” from the book soundtrack:
- It Could Be Another Change – The Samples
- Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
- Tugboat – Galaxy 500
- Temptation – New Order
- Evensong – The Innocence Mission
- Asleep – The Smiths
- Low – Cracker
- Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth
- Dear God – XTC
- Pearly Dewdrops’ Drops – Cocteau Twins
- Charlie’s Last Letter – Michael Brook
- Heroes – David Bowie
I absolutely love the Samples song. Never heard it before but just loved it and how it had that retro feel the book had. I also like “Heroes” and I’ll stick in how I came to love Imagine Dragons (whose song was featured in the trailer). “Come on Eileen” is a good song, although it didn’t really fit the feel of the book to me. I never really liked the song “Low” and just didn’t fit for me either. The rest were sort of meh. Except, of course, “Asleep.” Which I just couldn’t believe was the ONLY song they’d used from the book in the movie. I mean, none of the other songs were used even in the background?
The soundtrack was just one of the things I loved about the book. There’s also a great reading list, and the story is one of those that can be read and re-read (and I don’t usually re-read books!) and it never seems to lose its potency or relevance.