Playlist: 12 awsome songs which inspired Our Man In Kuwait

by | Mar 30, 2023 | Our Man In Kuwait

There are many examples of music that inspired famous novels. Here are a few notable ones:

  1. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald was inspired by jazz music. The novel’s protagonist, Jay Gatsby, is a wealthy socialite who throws extravagant parties in the 1920s. The jazz music of the time played a significant role in the novel’s setting and themes.
  2. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was inspired by Latin American folk music. The novel is set in a fictional town in Colombia and incorporates elements of magical realism. Marquez was heavily influenced by the music and culture of his home country.
  3. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger was inspired by popular music of the 1940s and 1950s. The novel’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield, is a rebellious teenager who feels disconnected from the world around him. Salinger used music as a way to convey Holden’s feelings of isolation and disillusionment.
  4. “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami was inspired by The Beatles’ song of the same name. The novel is set in 1960s Tokyo and follows the story of a college student named Toru Watanabe. The Beatles’ music plays a significant role in the novel, and the characters often discuss the band and their music.
  5. “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco was inspired by Gregorian chants. The novel is set in a medieval monastery and follows a Franciscan friar named William of Baskerville as he investigates a series of murders. The Gregorian chants that the monks sing play a significant role in the novel’s atmosphere and themes.
ian fleming

Why music when you’re writing a book? Does silence reign?

When you’re writing a novel, its not bad idea to have a list of music which inspires and excites your imagination.  It’s a quick way to return you to the mode quicker than anything else.

Inspiration for Our Man In Kuwait came much from my childhood. This spotify playlist ranges from from The James Bond them to the Inkspots.

There are several reasons why writers may use music to inspire their novels:

  1. Emotion:  Listening to music that matches the mood or tone of a scene or character can help tap into those emotions and infuse them into the writing.
  2. Creativity: Music can help break through creative blocks. The rhythm and melody of a song can inspire new ideas.
  3. Setting: Music can help writers establish the setting and atmosphere. In Our Man In Kuwait I was trying to capture 1960 in Ahmadi, Kuwait. Listening to music from back then helped me  immerse myself in the past.
  4. Characterisation: The type of music a character listens to can reveal a lot about their personality, values, and background. Some of these songs are actually part of the background of the story of Our Man In Kuwait.



How to make a spotify playlist 

  1. Open the Spotify app on your desktop or mobile device.
  2. Click on “Your Library” in the left-hand menu on desktop or the bottom menu on mobile.
  3. Click on “Create Playlist”.
  4. Give your playlist a name and optionally add a description and cover art.
  5. Begin searching for and adding songs to your playlist by either typing in the search bar or browsing through recommended songs or playlists.
  6. To add a song, simply click on the “+” icon next to the track.
  7. Continue adding songs until you’ve built the playlist you want.
  8. Save the playlist by clicking the “Create” button (on desktop) or “Done” button (on mobile).

Your new playlist will be available in the “Playlists” section of your Spotify library, where you can access it anytime and play it on your device or share it with others.


  1. Finlandia: Sibellius    (the record Ophelia Dickson leant Gordon Carlisle)
  2. The Talk Of The Town: Ray Conniff Singers (Played at Golf Dance)
  3. Quizas, Quizas, Quizas: Nat King Cole
  4. Goldfinger: Shirley Bassey  (Ian Fleming arrives in Kuwait)
  5. Stranger in Paradise: Tony Bennett from Kismet (heard by Sylvie when she runs away)
  6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: The Platters (Popular song. Is Gordon blindly in love)
  7. Alf Leila We Leila: Umm Kulthum (heard over the radio by Brigadier General Mustafa al-Ramiz al-Sabah)
  8. James Bond Theme: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra  (into the desert)
  9. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall: The Ink Spots (Played at Carlisle dinner party)
  10. From Russia With Love: Matt Munro  (Who is Agent Alex?)
  11. As Time Goes By: David Kates
  12. Rockin Around The Christmas Tree: Brenda Lee (Jean Beresford’s Christmas choice)


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