Celebrate National Novel Writing Month with Five Musician/Novelists

Categories: Lists

Thumbnail image for nick_cave_02.jpg
Nick Cave, author of And the Ass Saw the Angel and The Death of Bunny Munro
People like to dedicate the month of November to specific tasks. Say, growing a mustache (Movember) or writing a novel (National Novel Writing Month). One dude who clearly knows how to do both is Nick Cave. His books, And the Ass Saw the Angel (1989) and The Death of Bunny Munro (2009), prove that his twisted lyrical sensibility is hardly limited to songcraft.

A lot of musicians write books, but usually of the memoir variety, like Keef and Space Ace's recent offerings. Rarer is the instance where a musician decides to do a piece of fiction.

In celebration of National Novel Writing Month, here are five musicians who took the plunge and wrote a book (if you're on the fence, today's the day to do the same).

Nick Cave, And the Ass Saw the Angel and The Death of Bunny Munro

"Then he wolf-whistles at a completely naked chick with a full Brazilian wax-job." Cave is a twisted, wonderful dude, and his books are full of the same perverse insanity as his classic records.

Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), A Series of Unfortunate Events
(1999-2006)

The frazzled voice behind the Series of Unfortunate Events stories is also that of the guy behind the steady accordion on The Magnetic Fields' excellent 69 Love Songs.

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Black Sabbath's Masters of Reality (2008)

Darnielle has a singular voice, whether using it to sing songs with The Mountain Goats, writing about metal for Decibel Magazine, or voicing the frustrations of Roger Painter, Black Sabbath fan, in his 33 1/3 installment, Masters of Reality. Whereas some books in the series are historical accounts, Darnielle explores more personal terrain.

Joe Pernice, It Feels So Good When I Stop (2010)

Joe Pernice has been in a handful of masterful pop bands, like The Scud Mountain Boys, Chappaquiddick Skyline, and The Pernice Brothers, all awesome and mostly unheard of. His debut novel (which follows a novella based on The Smith's Meat is Murder for 33 1/3), It Feels So Good When I Stop, features the same busted-up humor of his music, with slacker characters angling for Sub Pop Record deals and cruising on children's bikes.

Kinky Friedman, author of the "Kinky Friedman mysteries" since 1986, when Greenwich Killing Time was published.

"Kinky is the best whodunit writer to come along since Dashiell what's-his-name." -- Willie Nelson

Texas outlaw Friedman, "The Last of the Jewish Cowboys," has been pumping out mystery novels since the '80s, when his music career stalled. He's known as a columnist, politician, and humorist, but his writing and music remain prime reasons his contrarian style has remained in the limelight.

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6 comments
Eugenia Williamson
Eugenia Williamson

None of the musicians you mentioned have participated in NaNoWriMo or are participating this year, as the headline would lead one to believe. Just sayin'.

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