Fresh off writing the script for the upcoming Matrix revival, author David Mitchell has announced his next project. David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue will be his first full length novel work since The Bone Clocks, published in 2014.
David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue Focuses On How Music Changes The World
Mitchell’s publisher – Curtis Brown & Co. – describe Utopia Avenue as “the strangest British band you’ve never heard of.” The fictional titular band is found “emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967… Fronted by folksinger Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet, and blues bassist Dean Moss. 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.”
The idea of Mitchell writing about a fictional pop band sounds like it could be pretty straightforward. But Mitchell is rarely straightforward. I believe the key word in the above synopsis is ‘psychedelic.’ Honestly it sounds like Utopia Avenue is going to be one long acid trip. And I’m kind of here for it.
“Writing About Music Is Like Dancing About Architecture.”
According to Mitchell, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Which is exactly the kind of paradox you would expect the author of Cloud Atlas to draw inspiration from.
Cloud Atlas | Warner Bros. Pictures
Mitchell is an ambitious author. His strange, surreal writing style has earned him many fans and critics. His non-linear narratives can often be confusing. However, they can be brilliant if executed properly. For instance, the criss-crossing timelines of Cloud Atlas work better on page than they did onscreen in the 2012 adaptation. Mitchell often weaves into his work the idea of eternal recurrence (a trope that seems to be popping up everywhere these days). This is literally evident in the film adaptation of Cloud Atlas, where the same actors played different incarnations of various characters across a millenia.
His grandiose themes can sometimes overwhelm his characters and plot, but they are certainly ambitious and can be wildly entertaining. The close readers over at Lithub also speculate that all of Mitchell’s works are connected. Not necessarily sharing the same universe (like Stephen King or Brandon Sanderson), but instead working together as one large story. It will be interesting to see how Utopia Avenue fits into this larger universe. And what characters from other Mitchell novels might pop up. David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue will publish in the summer of 2020.
(Featured image via IMDB. Photo by Jay Maidment – © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.