David Mitchell, perhaps best well known for his 2004 novel Cloud Atlas, has announced he has a new book on the way, the first one in five years. Called Utopia Avenue, the book follows the story of “the strangest British band you’ve never heard of” and follows the crazy journey of the short-lived band of the same name.
Set to be released next Summer in June, Mitchell referenced the quote “writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, explaining that his new novel was inspired by that.
“Songs (mostly) use language, but music plugs directly into something below or above language. Can a novel made of words (and not fitted with built-in speakers or Bluetooth) explore the wordless mysteries of music, and music’s impact on people and the world? How?” Mitchell pondered. “Is it possible to dance about architecture after all? Utopia Avenue is my rather hefty stab at an answer.”
As The Guardian reports, the novel is set in the late 60’s and follows the psychedelic band that’s “fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet and blues bassist Dean Moss,” according to publisher Sceptre.
As Sceptre says: “Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief and blazing journey from the clubs of Soho and draughty ballrooms, to Top of the Pops and the cusp of chart success, to glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968,” adding that the book features “riots in the streets and revolutions in the head; of drugs, thugs, madness, love, sex, death, art; of the families we choose and the ones we don’t; of fame’s Faustian pact and stardom’s wobbly ladder.”
Utopia Avenue is Mitchell’s latest publication following 2015’s Slade House. He did write a short story called From Me Flows What You Call Time for The Future Library Project, meaning it won’t be published until the year 2114.