Hooks and Books 8

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(Note: This is a new edition of “Hooks and Books”, a series that once appeared on a now-defunct website.)

In this series, we explore the inspiration behind specific songs. To wit, we examine the connection between certain songs and literature. Without any further adieu, here is the latest group of hooks and books:


This number is by the Brit band Coldplay. It’s from their fourth release, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. In Douglas Adams’ sci-fi book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is reportedly “the answer to life, the universe, and everything.” Frontman Chris Martin said that the song “is and isn’t” related and added it’s also his “favorite number.”

“Among the Living”

The American heavy metal band known as Anthrax included this titular audio offering on their March 1987 album Among the Living. Drummer and principal writer Charlie Benante considers this platter to be their “signature album.” The band likes Stephen King’s books. This track was inspired by King’s work.

“Lord Of The Flies”

This one is by the English heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. It’s off the group’s tenth studio LP, The X Factor which was released in 1995. The song, composed by Steve Harris and Janick Gers, was written from the viewpoint of Jack Merridew. Merridew is a character in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

“Shadows And Tall Trees”

This is a tune recorded by the Irish rock band U2 for their 1980 release Boy. It was written by Bono and the band and also inspired by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. The title of this track is actually the name of the seventh chapter of the award-winning novel.

“Blood and Thunder”

If the legendary Moby-Dick was a heavy metal band, it would undoubtedly be Mastodon. The Atlanta-based group apparently has a love of Herman Melville’s writing.
Witness their Moby-Dick-focused concept album Leviathan. Released in 2004, this is their first concept album. It’s loosely based on the classic 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. “Blood and Thunder” was released as a single.

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W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has also appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including AXS, Add To Bucket List, Examiner, Vacation Travel Deals, American Live Wire, Leisure, MAAFBox, Today's Recipe Pro, Passport Stamps, and other websites. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such print publications as the ​Daily Collegian, ElectriCITY and the ​Los Angeles Times