Author: David Mitchell
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Book Review: 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?
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: This is an extremely ambitious novel, by the great author David Mitchell. Taking place in the late 60’s in London, this is a story of band that is brought together by a manager who has the vision to see each of their individual talents and how they will compliment each other.
Meet Elf, Dean, Jasper and Griff. They each have unique starts to each of their careers you will learn. Mitchell provides you with the backdrop of London and of the British Invasion. You are provided the auspicious story of this band that only made two albums, but even more, this story is intertwined with so much Music History.
The Beatles, Joan Baez, the Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix are just few of the musicians/bands you get to meet in this story. You are given quite an education of this historic time in history.
Mitchell took great care to really capture the time period and the creation of this fictional band. There is so much detail, but the story was just so good. There are many ups and down, but you will come to love each of these characters.
This is a thick book, but don’t let that scare you, it moves super fast. If you are a fan of music from that era, I think you will love this book.
Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.