Would you believe The Great Sixties Novel?

Talk about resolutely unfashionable. Imagine a writer born in 1969 setting out to produce a 571-page novel set almost exclusively in the Psychedelic Sixties, in the years immediately preceding  his birth. Britain’s David Mitchell is the anti-fashionista in question. And the only thing that can be said in his defense is that Utopia Avenue is brilliant — a wild and daring tour de force. Focusing on an obscure band that emerges from “the seedy clubs of Soho,” as the dustjacket tells us, and ranging through Amsterdam, Rome, New York’s Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon and San Francisco, this character-driven work is more surging river than flashy waterfall. But it sweeps you along . . . wow! I won’t attempt a review. This post is just a heads-up. If you’ve been waiting unconsciously for The Great Sixties Novel, or if you’re seeking a master class in writerly craft, check it out. 

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