August 14, 2013
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
Peter Straub wrote that the stories in Nick Antosca's new collection The Girlfriend Game come "from a long, dark alley-way where Franz Kafka and Bruno Schultz are mugging Ray Bradbury," and I wholeheartedly concur. These stories delightfully unsettle and always amaze.
Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:
"A minimalist style blurs lines between victim and victimizer, challenging readers’ moral compasses while tempting them to enjoy the carnage. This literate, thoughtful horror will inspire long-lasting unease."
Some of the stories in The Girlfriend Game were written very recently and a few were written almost ten years ago. My tastes in music have evolved (or devolved) quite a bit over the last decade or so, and I can't really remember what I was listening to when I wrote the stories.
So instead of listing what was playing during the writing process, I made a playlist for the story collection, with one song for each story.
"Thirteen" by Big Star for the story "Rat Beast." Adolescence is poignant and difficult.
"I Can't Quit You Baby" by Otis Rush for the story "The Girlfriend Game." A girlfriend can be an addiction.
"The Last Day of Summer" by The Cure for the story "Mammals." Feels like everything is ending.
"Where Did You Sleep Last Night" by Nirvana for the story "Winter Was Hard." Seems to take place in the same woods.
"What's a Girl to Do?" by Bat for Lashes for the story "Predator Bait." What is a girl to do?
"Always On My Mind" by Elvis Presley for the story "Soon You Will Be Gone and Possibly Eaten." Longing makes good songs. The song would be better if it had some aliens.
"Oblivion" by Grimes for the story "Sofianne." Sometimes you just want to wander dark streets and meet a stranger.
"Weightless Again" by the Handsome Family for the story "The Early Years, Before His Great Adventures." Feels like it takes place in the land of fables and tall tales.
"Hey Mama" by Kanye West for the story "Amphibian." Mothers have a big influence.
"Teenage Kicks" by The Undertones for the story "Carnal Quartet." This song is now my alarm and it wakes me up every morning--several times.
"Time of the Season" by The Zombies for the story "Migrations." There's a time for everything, including the end of the world.
"Scary Children" by The Lounge Lizards for the story "The Thickness of Clown Blood." Children are scary--especially teenage girls. Also, I could picture a scary clown dancing to this song.
Nick Antosca and The Girlfriend Game links:
Identity Theory interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for Fires by the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for Midnight Picnic by the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for The Obese by the author
Other People interview with the author
The Short Form interview with the author
also at Largehearted Boy:
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists