Last week I finished reading Nicholas Royle’s First Novel, which is actually his seventh novel. I enjoyed it of course, but there were times when I became almost bored. I think this has to do with the lengthy passages written in nouveau roman style, and the fact that in places the prose is deliberately substandard so as to mimic the apprentice literary work of creative writing students who exist as characters in the novel. Anyway, in the Acknowledgements at the back of the book, the author says thank you to Stars of the Lid, a drone ambient duo whose albums he listened to repeatedly while writing the novel.
The novel I read before that was Jeff Vandermeer’s Shriek. Here, too, there is a whole page of music acknowledge-ments listing the “unofficial soundtrack” that sustained the author during the creation of the book. Moreover, certain songs or artists – Afghan Whiggs, the Clash, Scott Walker etc - are explicitly linked to specific scenarios or themes or chapters within the novel.