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Utopia Avenue cover art

Utopia Avenue

Written by: David Mitchell
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
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Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The hotly anticipated new novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Bone Clocks and Cloud Atlas.

Utopia Avenue may be the most extraordinary British band you've never heard of. Emerging from London's psychedelic scene in 1967 and fronted by folksinger Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief blazing journey from the clubs of Soho and draughty ballrooms to Top of the Pops and the Top 10; to Amsterdam, Rome and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968. David Mitchell's new novel is the story of Utopia Avenue and its age; of riots in the street and revolutions in the head; of drugs and thugs, schizophrenia, love, sex, grief, art; of the families we choose and the ones we don't; of fame's Faustian pact and stardom's wobbly ladder. Do we change the world or does the world change us? Utopia means 'nowhere' but might it be somewhere, if only we knew how to look?

©2020 David Mitchell (P)2020 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

2022, DUBLIN Literary Award, Long-listed

“Mitchell’s rich imaginative stews bubble with history and drama, and this time the flavour is a blend of Carnaby Street and Chateau Marmont.” (The Washington Post)

“Mitchell superbly conveys the energy and spirit of the age. . . . [Utopia Avenue] is a supremely readable novel . . . The book is most alive and most compelling when Mitchell slips the surly bonds of the realist premise and lands in his own extraordinary imagined worlds.” (The Guardian)

What listeners say about Utopia Avenue

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Great entertainment.

loved it, another David Mitchell home run. good narrator too. really captured the sixties period.

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A long story

Set in an interesting time with interesting characters. There was a lot of time spent about mental illness and that seemed to drag the story. I was disappointed that the betrayal that Elf experienced was not fleshed out more. I wish she would have got some revenge! The end was disappointing.

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Bloody Brilliant!

What a trip! Nourishment for the musical soul on a psychedelic journey. Only thing missing was the soundtrack.

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Stereotypes and gimmicks but enjoyable

The characters at first were stereotypes and the actions gimmicky which was disappointing and even frustrating, giving what we know Mitchell can do. Although this did not entirely go away over the 25 hours, the roles of the band members were enriched by the relationships they built and the eminent musicians of the era that they met. In my mind, I replaced UA with early Fleetwood Mac which made sense with Peter Green’s magnificent guitar work but mental instability and Christine McVie’s keyboards and haunting folk style. As far as narration goes it would have been smart for the narrator to practice a Canadian accent because Levon sounded like from the Bronx. I also disliked the goofy sound filter they used for microphone dialogue. Make the words harder to hear rather than clearer. (Note to sound engineer, an easy fix.)

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thanks David

As I said, thank David, that was a beautiful ride through a turbulent time in the characters lives. I'll miss them all.

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