Top 6 Fiction Books About Music and Bands
Music is highly influential as it can reach and resonate with us unexpectedly. That is why it is also a significant drive for authors. Different authors employ music in a variety of ways and contexts and can even depict it in fiction. Fiction books about music have music as a paramount theme, and they give tales about the characters' relationship when creating music. They are excellent ways to fuel the inspiration of music lovers and stimulate their creativity.
Books about music provide their audience an excellent way to satisfy their passion for music and literature. Readers can get a glimpse of artists’ minds, creativity, struggles, success, and more.
If you are into music, here are six great fictional works that incorporate music and bands.
This is a book that will have you reflecting on who you really are inside. It tells the story of a C student teenager Drummond, who is tasked with becoming part of his high school’s marching band. He must find himself first for his ultimate success. Drummond is, however, not ready, but his friends help him learn how to play new instruments in an attempt to help him fit in better.
Throughout the book, you will see Drummond struggling and second-guessing himself. What's more, he has to deal with various outside factors that are challenging. He will find some unexpected help along the way as he tries to fit into his role in the band and his personal life. He gets stewardship from other drummers and the instructor, and that is when it dawns on him that he has already fit in well and who he truly is on the inside.
When his family life deteriorates, he is pushed into becoming part of his newly found family, the marching band.
If you are a struggling music creative, you will find a lot of details that you can relate to, which will help you to reflect and see how relationships can play a role in helping you find your purpose.
Utopia Avenue, by David Mitchell
Can artists change the world, or does the world change them?
Utopia Avenue is a fascinating story about the rise of an English rock band which sprung up from London’s psychedelic culture in 1967. The book gives an account of the turbulent times the band had to go through before their success. The band fronted singers Elf Holloway, Dean Moss, Jasper de Zoet and was managed by Levon Frankland. They started their journey from seedy Soho clubs, proceeded to a TV debut, succeeded in musical charts, and became famous in Amsterdam. The band also navigated a damning American sojourn and a Roman prison.
The book shows relatable issues that artists face. It depicts inner truths and lies whispered to artists and also highlights chosen and non-chosen families. It also gives readers a glimpse of the character’s childhoods and private lives. It features dark humor and a moving bereavement story.
The band had to triumph through all the insanity, labels, and idealism that came with their professional musical journey. They had to deal with dodgy deals, drugs, and groupies, but they also got to have many celebrity encounters.
Mitchell tells this band’s story with a series of connected short stories, different plots, and chronologies.
Daisy Jones & The Six, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book details the making of a legend in the form of oral history, and it conjures the 1970s music scene evocatively and brilliantly. The engrossing read talks about an iconic band back then and their lead singer with a revelation of their break up. Everyone knows this band, but no one seems to know why they broke up during their peak popularity point. Well, until now…
Daisy is a beautiful girl who has grown up in L.A and lives unapologetically. She sneaks into Sunset Strip clubs, sleeps with rock stars, and her dream is to sing at the Whisky a Go Go. From drugs to sex, everything thrills her, but her greatest love is rock ‘n' roll. She is a blazing talent, and that is why her voice starts to get noticed when she is getting into her twenties.
Meanwhile, The Six is a band that is getting attention, and it's led by Billy Dunne. The night before their first day of the tour, Billy's girlfriend discovers that she is pregnant. As the pressure of fatherhood and fame catch up with him, he goes wild on tour. Daisy and Billy will cross paths when one of the producers realizes that putting them together will be the key to legendary success.
A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
This is an exhilarating novel with music on every page and a mirror of self-destruction and eventual redemption. Jennifer has excellently put together the characters, and that is why you will feel like you are in it with them. You will be infuriated with some of their doings but also come to deeply care.
This book about music shows different slices of the 1970s and the 2020s. It starts readers off with Bennie, a punk rock record executive, and his young, passionate, but troubled assistant Sasha. The two are the connecting threads of the whole book, and they bind everyone together. The book reveals Bennie and Sasha’s past lives and the inner lives of the other characters who knew them all their lives. It begins in contemporary New York, flashes back to Bennie's glorious days, and then takes readers to Sasha's settled life. By then, there are tertiary characters, including Bennie's bandmate and Alex, eventual witnesses of the future of the music industry.
The way the author tells this narrative is bold, with a character and story connection that does not feel random. Every story is interesting in its own right, with a stimulating prose that will keep you engaged and leave you eager for the next story.
The book depicts rebellion ages, habits turned into addictions, corruption influence, and fluctuating lifelong friendships.
The Music Shop, by Rachel Joyce
The year is 1988, and on one particular suburban dead-end street, there is a music shop. It is small but houses all kinds of musical records. This music shop is more of a beacon and welcomes the lonely, sleep-deprived, and adrift. The owner of the shop is Frank, and he has a way of establishing connections with his customers by providing them with the right kind of music for their needs.
One day, Ilse Brauchman, a beautiful young woman, visits his shop and requests Frank to educate her about music. Frank is afraid of real closeness and mostly feels compelled to run. However, somehow and strangely, he is drawn to this still and yet mysterious lady. Ilse is not who she appears to be, and Frank has past wounds that begin threatening to reopen. He also has a past that seems to have something he might not leave behind.
But how can a man who is usually in tune with everyone else’s needs not be able to connect with the one person capable of saving him? Frank and Ilse will share a musical journey that will play a significant role in helping them overcome their emotional baggage. The power of music will speak into their healing and be transformative in their romance.
Songs in Ursa Major, by Emma Brodie
This is a book about a young gifted singer and songwriter who must eventually find her voice. It is the late 1960s and what Jane Quinn needs is the right mentor for her to break into the music scene. The only name getting all the buzz in the Bayleen Island Folk Fest is Jesse Reid. He has intricate skills for the guitar and is set to headline the show. That is until he gets into a motorcycle accident while heading there.
Jane is a Bayleen local, and her music flows naturally to any listener. It will seem unreal when she and her bandmates are asked to take Jesse's place at the festival. However, she gets to the stage, gives an excellent performance healing the disappointed Jesse fans. At that moment, a star is born.
During recovery, Jesse will strike a friendship with Jane and coach her into producing her first record. Jane will contend through sexism in the industry, and Jesse will become her advocate. This is what will brew a passionate romantic affair. While on tour, Jane will get blind-sided after discovering a dark secret that entangles Jesse’s music.
Having nowhere to turn, she will have to reckon with her past and what will follow is the birth of an iconic album. This story asks the question, “what must female artists face or sacrifice for their dreams?”
Reading about music in novels merges writing and music, which are both highly influential arts. The music world is rarely boring, and there is a wide variety of literature that fans can devote their time into. For those who particularly love fictional music and band works, the books we have listed above will help you explore the music world enjoyably.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.