The long-awaited new novel from the bestselling, prize-winning author of Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks.
Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon, and San Francisco during the autumn of ’68.
David Mitchell’s kaleidoscopic novel tells the unexpurgated story of Utopia Avenue’s turbulent life and times; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of voices in the head, and the truths and lies they whisper; of music, madness, and idealism. Can we really change the world, or does the world change us?
Praise for Utopia Avenue
“Enchanting, boisterous, and thoroughly enjoyable …. Utopia Avenue is the magical, musical escape we desperately need.” —Daily Beast
“For his first novel in five years, the author explores the universal language of music…. it’s Daisy Jones & the Six on acid.”—Entertainment Weekly
“The British pop-folk-rock band Utopia Avenue this novel focuses on seems so true to life, at least one reviewer (who shall not be named) may have Googled them just to confirm that they were a figment of the author’s imagination.”—AARP
“Given how David Mitchell loves sweeping, fantastical and self-mythologizing narratives (as in his previous novels Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks), it’s fitting that he would turn to psychedelic rock for source material. Utopia Avenue stretches nearly 600 pages to tell the rise and fall of a 60’s British rock band of the same name — covering, in Mitchellian fashion, a blend of drugs, truth, ego and schizophrenia.”—Time
“Utopia Avenue’s got all the sex, drugs, and broken dreams you want in a rock novel, plus guest appearances by Jagger, Jerry, Janis, and Jim (Morrison).”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“At the heart of the story, though, is the British band itself, Utopia Avenue…. Mitchell masterfully builds each of the four into top-of-the-marquee characters….. Mitchell continues to use the rhythms of surface reality to dig much deeper, but without ever losing the beat.”
—Booklist, Starred Review
“Mitchell’s magical, much anticipated latest is a rollicking, rapturous tale of 1960s rock ’n’ roll…This is Mitchell at his best.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A gritty, richly detailed fable from rock’s golden age.” —Kirkus, Starred Review