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Utopia Avenue de David Mitchell
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Utopia Avenue (edição: 2020)

de David Mitchell (Autor)

Séries: Horologists (4)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6905025,574 (4.06)105
"Soho, London, 1967. Folk-rock-psychedelic quartet Utopia Avenue is formed. Guitarist Jasper de Zoet, a shy, half-Dutch public-school musical prodigy, was hearing voices long before he dropped acid. Keyboardist Elf Holloway must defy the prejudices of her bank manager father, her housewife mother, and her age to forge her own career. Bassist Dean Moss cannot, will not, spend his life on the factory floor like everyone else in Gravesend. Band manager Levon Frankland--gay, Jewish, and Canadian--is not unduly burdened by conscience. The drummer is a drummer. Over two years and two albums, Utopia Avenue navigates the dark end of the Sixties: its parties, drugs and egos, political change and personal tragedy; and the trials of life as a working band in London, the provinces, European capitals and, finally, the promised land of America. What is art? What is fame? What is music? How can the whole be more than the sum of its parts? Can idealism change the world? How does your youth shape your life? This is the story of Utopia Avenue. Not everyone lives to the end"--… (mais)
Membro:MakamuFW
Título:Utopia Avenue
Autores:David Mitchell (Autor)
Informação:Sceptre (2020), 576 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

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Utopia Avenue de David Mitchell

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Very early on, this had Iain Banks 'Espedair Street' vibes. A band full of people with big baggage, make it big, big mistakes. But then, like Salt Bae, Mitchell's mythology is weaved into this trippy adventure. I expected nothing less and got more. Loved it. ( )
  jaydenmccomiskie | Sep 27, 2021 |
This story revolves around the band Utopia Avenue and follows the story of the members of the band as they try to break into the main stream music business during the hey days of rock and roll in late 1967 and early 1968. The author also has them interacting with real musicians from that time period. Mitchell doesn’t disappoint in his latest novel. ( )
  JulieLill | Jul 30, 2021 |
“A band is a band because it is greater than the sum of its parts.” This observation is noted in the final, wrap up chapter of “Utopia Avenue” and I think it pretty much defines the arc of this entertaining and intriguing book. There is a tradition of the rock band origin to finish stories in print and video, think “That Thing You Do” for the nearly perfect version of the story and “Spinal Tap” for the satirical parody of the same, and this book absolutely nails the trope. I has a wonderful first section that is the origin story for our four band members and the manager who brings them together where we meet and get to know all of them as individuals. It seems like an unlikely fit but Mitchell uses the 500 pages to develop each of them alone and as a band. It is marvelous to see them grow and become a family. Family is a huge theme running throughout the book, especially some difficult father/son relationships (this is rock after all, that is Rock 101 as Bruce Springsteen would say). All is handled with nuance and care. I’m amazed at how well Mitchell is able to move his characters along slowly but steadily. There are no moments where suddenly a petulant child is immediately a wise nurturing adult. I was also touched by his touch with a character with some mental issues and watching that play out is both harrowing and touching. The story takes place in 1967 to 1968 but being a David Mitchell book there are lots of flashbacks and move arounds. The invented characters in the band encounter many real life people like Leonard Cohen, Janis Joplin, Cass Elliott, Jackson Browne, Jerry Garcia, and Joni Mitchell, and these all feel accurate but that is a dangerous place to go in my mind. I think Mitchell does just enough of it to work but not be annoying. In fine “Rock Band Journey Trope” tradition there are a couple of TV shows they appear on that are illustrate and, in the case of an appearance on an American show, hilarious. He is able to write both individual scenes that feel entirely real and that flow at a wonderfully patient pace and to weave them together into an epic story arc. A lot happens in their year of existence! I won’t say too much about the ending except to say that as I was reading it I was initially saddened and surprised but by the time I finished the book, including the final coda chapter titled “Last Words,” it made much more sense to me. In the end I think “Utopia Avenue” reminds us that the now, the present, is really all we have and all we should have. Obsessing about the past is futile and self-destructive, you can’t change it. Worrying about the future is debilitating and you can’t actually do anything about it right now. And trying to escape it all by living in a dream world won’t work as noted in the book, “But reality creeps in wherever you live, however pretty the flowers are, however blue the sky, however great the parties. The only people who actually live in dreams are people in comas.” So find your best band mates, live in the now, live it truly and follow your path. Maybe then your life can feel like a ride on Utopia Avenue. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
Review based on ARC.

I have read a few books by David Mitchell, including Cloud Atlas, which I really enjoyed. This book was harder for me to get into. Mitchell is clearly a talented writer, but I feel that, in this book, his story-telling was left a little behind. The book is about a band that forms in the 60s through the machinations of their manager. It delves into the past and present of each of the band members and their manager, as it simultaneously tells the story of their struggles as a band, its rise, and its future. For all of that, I suppose I can understand why it was such a hefty tome, but I felt that the story lost its way in its over-ambition.

The story of the band itself is nothing particularly surprising or novel, though there is a serious amount of name-dropping throughout the book, and I can see why it was told through the individual experiences of its members. That said, I really loved certain characters stories / experiences. Elf's story as the only female is interesting and has some timeless aspects to it. Griff's is sort of nothing -- not that nothing happens to him, I just didn't find his story well told. I liked Dean quite a bit, but I expected a lot more to come of his story. The manager's story is rather interesting and I think well-told, but it also just seems to fall flat in the end.

My favorite, by FAR, is Jasper -- both precisely because of who he is and because of how his story was told. There, I find intrigue and a narrative arc and a conflict and a resolution. I would read a whole novel of just Jasper. Every time the story returned to him, I breathed a sigh of relief. Quite literally.

Because the overall story is well written, because various characters have redeeming story lines, and because of Jasper, I give this book 3 stars of 5. If not for that, though, I think the story would have just been too difficult a slog to get through. And I note that I listened to a portion of it on audio. While I though the narrator did a good job, even he couldn't save the sloggy portions of the book.

I add that - if you think you would enjoy a good, long dive into the making of a band in the 60s -- including the interactions with such famous people as Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and Janis Joplin -- and their struggles, parties, and successes, as a band and as individuals, then this is PRECISELY the book for you. It is well written, so it will be very satisfying for the right reader. ( )
  avanders | Jun 30, 2021 |
Esta resenha foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Resenhistas do LibraryThing.
An episodic novel that follows the 60's band Utopia Avenue from its creation to its potential demise. This is a hefty tome where Mitchell's habit of playing with reality and history gets a free leash and we, the readers, are gifted a tall tale about sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. Although there are some irritants, like the resolution to Jasper's issue and the endless cameos of wise real-life celebrities, I am enamored of Mitchell's way of giving me characters that I truly care about, regardless if they're good, bad, or somewhere on a spectrum. This was one of those novels that I truly enjoyed sitting down to read and savor, not only for story or characters, but for its winding lusciousness. ( )
  -Eva- | Jun 20, 2021 |
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"Soho, London, 1967. Folk-rock-psychedelic quartet Utopia Avenue is formed. Guitarist Jasper de Zoet, a shy, half-Dutch public-school musical prodigy, was hearing voices long before he dropped acid. Keyboardist Elf Holloway must defy the prejudices of her bank manager father, her housewife mother, and her age to forge her own career. Bassist Dean Moss cannot, will not, spend his life on the factory floor like everyone else in Gravesend. Band manager Levon Frankland--gay, Jewish, and Canadian--is not unduly burdened by conscience. The drummer is a drummer. Over two years and two albums, Utopia Avenue navigates the dark end of the Sixties: its parties, drugs and egos, political change and personal tragedy; and the trials of life as a working band in London, the provinces, European capitals and, finally, the promised land of America. What is art? What is fame? What is music? How can the whole be more than the sum of its parts? Can idealism change the world? How does your youth shape your life? This is the story of Utopia Avenue. Not everyone lives to the end"--

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