Its very, very difficult to write about music and/or musicians and David Mitchell makes a very poor job of it. Set in 1967/68 when DM was a child on a Cyclops tricycle the novel goes through an embarrassing litany of 60's icons most of whom seem to speak in stilted Home County diction. Most are safely dead or so rich they wouldn't bother contacting their lawyers but I found it reminiscent of the sort of stories children tell themselves as they fall asleep.
Key points of the narrative focus on descriptions of concerts by the eponymous band which strike this reviewer as conned from recent music lessons. Not informative just showing off some very basic musical terms. Overall the concert descriptions are reminiscent of the interminable quidditch matches of JK Rowling.
Songwriting is also an art form and it's one which DM has not mastered. I would challenge anyone to set some of the samples to music or to sing them.
It's a shame - Black Swan Green was excellent and Cloud Atlas imaginative but in Utopia Avenue I think we're looking at where a man's ability to write has out run his ability to have anything to say.
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