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David Mitchell
Credit: Paul Stuart

David Mitchell is moving to Utopia Avenue.

The best-selling author of novels including Cloud Atlas (adapted into the star-studded 2012 film) and The Bone Clocks returns this year with his long-awaited new book, a genre-bending period piece centered on “the strangest British band you’ve never heard of.” Slated for a summer release, Utopia Avenue runs nearly 600 pages and promises the kind of epic puzzle-box narrative that the author’s ardent fans have come to expect and love.

Here’s the official synopsis: “Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967 and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, guitar demigod Jasper de Zoet, and blues bassist Dean Moss, Utopia Avenue released only two LPs during its brief, blazing journey from the clubs of Soho and drafty ballrooms to Top of the Pops and the cusp of chart success, and on to glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American fortnight in the autumn of 1968.”

Details on the book remain scant, but explore a dense exploration of everything from drugs, thugs, madness, love, and sex to death, art, fame, and more.

EW can exclusively debut the cover for Utopia Avenue for a first-look, and reveal that Mitchell will be doing a multi-city U.S. tour this summer, in conjunction with the book’s release, with markets and dates to be announced soon.

“’Writing about music is like dancing about architecture’: one famous maxim, attributed to dozens from Miles Davis to Laurie Anderson to Frank Zappa. My new novel Utopia Avenue grew out of the aphorism, too,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Songs (mostly) use language, but music plugs directly into something below or above language. Can a novel made of words (and not fitted with built-in speakers or Bluetooth) explore the word-less mysteries of music, and music’s impact on people and the world? How? Is it possible to dance about architecture after all? Utopia Avenue is my rather hefty stab at an answer. Thank you in advance if you read it. I hope you enjoy the ride.”

See the cover below. Utopia Avenue publishes June 2 and is available for pre-order.

Credit: Random House

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