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Utopia Avenue: A Novel por David Mitchell
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Utopia Avenue: A Novel (edição 2020)

por David Mitchell (Autor)

Séries: Horologists (4)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
5434633,062 (4.08)92
"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:Agnesium
Título:Utopia Avenue: A Novel
Autores:David Mitchell (Autor)
Informação:Random House (2020), Edition: Signed, 592 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

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Utopia Avenue por David Mitchell

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Utopia Avenue has a lot of the ingredients of a great book, but somehow it misses the mark. We follow 4 musicians in a band in the 1960’s London on their rags to riches odyssey. Everything you would expect is there: the drugs, the love affairs, the bar fights, mixed in with personal conflicts and – maybe – mental health issues. And, let’s not forget, the musical skills of the virtuosi.

Let’s not forget either the rubbing shoulders with other, real characters, that would be had been around the same places that they were hanging, be it London or NY or LA. At first it felt fresh to encounter the likes of David Bowie on some narrow stairs, or be at a party that John Lennon might be somewhere within the grounds, but after a while it becomes a bit contrived: meeting Leonard Cohen in an elevator and being invited to join a roof party hosted by Janis Joplin, or yet take some LSD with Jerry Garcia? I know that fiction requires one to hold disbelief, and my problem is not that those characters make an appearance. My problem is that their caricatures make an appearance.

A bigger yet problem, I never fully engage with any of the 4 main characters. The book is structured in a way that each chapter follows the songs written by each one of the members of the band, and the story line jumps from one to the other. It gets points for being a creative narrative, but I feel that some of the characters are never as fully resolved as the others, and certainly it is not because the lack of pages; it is a long book that could had used a bit of editing down.

As part of the gimmick, David Mitchell brings back some of the metaphysical characters from his previous books, linking Utopia Avenue to what, I am sure, will one day be a supernatural series on Netflix.

I am still giving it 3 stars because it held my attention. I have not finished a lot of books lately, and it was an antidote to my pandemic induced boredom, even if I am picking holes on it. Think of it as a B movie, and realize that some times we do crave a B movie after all. ( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
De opkomst en ondergang van popgroep Utopia Avenue, begonnen in 1968. Het lijkt een dikke pil vol amusement, maar het is geweldig geschreven. Veel 'oude' popmusici komen langs, zoals Janis Joplin, Frank Zappa en Leonard Cohen. Aangrijpende stukken, zoals het overlijden van het neefje van Elf en de dood van de broer van Griff. Jacob de Zoet (uit 'De niet verhoorde gebeden van Jacob de Zoet') speelt ook nog een rol. Bijzonder en fijn om te lezen. ( )
  elsmvst | Apr 15, 2021 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
David Mitchell somehow manages to combine masterful writing and great storytelling. Such a gift! Set primarily in London, and for a short period in New York City and Los Angeles, in the 1960s, this is the story of the life of a band, named "Utopia Avenue". The reader gets to know each band member's past and present via the trajectory of the band. Additionally, Mitchell is able to convey a solid picture of the music, politics, and cultural ambience of the era. I was fascinated by the functioning of the band throughout each member's life struggles, which include, drug use, mental illness, loss, sexuality, love, and above all, unconditional acceptance of one another over time. The band members become family. I also really enjoyed the namedropping as the band's popularity grows and their paths cross many icons of 60s music, in a way that feels completely possible. I have deep respect for David Mitchell's ability to tell a story which is fast-paced, seems totally plausible, and is populated with characters in whom the reader becomes deeply invested. Excellent book! ( )
  hemlokgang | Mar 25, 2021 |
David Mitchell is een grote meneer. Ik denk dat we intussen elke officieel gepubliceerde letter van hem lazen en nooit werden we ontgoocheld.
Toch kregen we moeilijk grip op Utopia Avenue. Misschien wegens onzer eigenste geestesgesteldheid bij aanvang, misschien omwille van de context (de muziekwereld eind jaren '60, waar we al een eigen emotionele band mee opbouwden), maar lezenswaardig en amusant vonden we het altijd. Toen we enkele dagen geleden in grote happen konden beginnen (en blijven) lezen, wist het boek ons alsnog emotioneel in de greep te krijgen.
Mitchell verhaalt de opkomst van Utopia Avenue, een kersverse Londense band die zich een weg naar succes baant met haar unieke psychedelische folk rock en vooruitstrevende bezetting. Nog meer dan in zijn andere werken, laat Mitchel personages weerkeren of legt hij linken met vroeger werk. Hoofdpersonage en begenadigd gitarist Jasper is bijvoorbeeld de achter-achterkleinzoon van Jacob De Zoet.
Mitchell weet naar het einde toe de plot toch andere kanten op te draaien dan je zou verwachten en de slotpagina's wisten ons effectief aan te grijpen. Een verdiende 4 sterren dus.
Dat er geen 5de volgt is omdat het boek toch een beetje aanvoelt als een speelse vingeroefening van een vakman. Erg goed gedaan, prachtig geschreven, vlot uitgewerkt en origineel qua opzet, maar een beetje zielloos. En laat die ziel nu net de essentie zijn van Mitchell's werk.
Graag gelezen. ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
This wasn't quite as much fun as I thought it was going to be.
The author has tried to fit too much into the brief existence of this fictional late-1960s British band. In fact, so much goes into the story that for this reader it became cliched: a spell in a foreign gaol, a queried paternity, illicit affairs, tripping in San Francisco (and that's just one member of Utopia avenue!)
And the people they happen to bump into along the way. It's as if the author got out a "Who's Who?" of 1960s pop music and worked his way through it.
All in all, quite a well-told, if not unpredictable, tale of a pop band coming together, working hard for their little bit of fame, and an ending they didn't expect or want.
One last thing: I've never heard a band work into their music with "a one, and a two, and a one two three..." Never heard it.
'Utopia Avenue' will, however, make a very watchable movie. ( )
  buttsy1 | Feb 28, 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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