I knew by glimpsing two things—the word Rushdie and the seductive image of a woman’s eyes—that I had finally sighted The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Rushdie’s 2000 novel uses the Orpheus and Eurydice myth to tell the story of a couple-fronted rock ‘n’ roll band in a Sixties-esque universe in which "both Kennedy brothers are killed by the same magic bullet," to quote Edward B. St. John’s review. Confession: I have never read Rushdie, but when I do (he’s been on my list for years), I will most likely opt for Ground over the oft-cited Midnight’s Children simply because the former is about music and U2 recorded a song written by the band in the novel ("The Ground Beneath Her Feet").
It’s not a heartbreaking work of musical genius (click here to view the video, featuring Rushdie wielding a pen!), but it’s still pretty effin’ cool to see this interplay in culture. Books give rise to movies all the time, but it’s rarer for a book to inspire a band. I can think of only two other examples at the moment: Garbage’s "The Trick Is To Keep Breathing" sprang from Janice Galloway’s first novel of the same name, and The Clash’s "The Right Profile" from a 1978 Montgomery Clift biography, reportedly by Patricia Bosworth.