I read the new David Mitchell, Utopia Avenue, about an up-and-coming band in the late 1960s.
It's mostly a much more traditional novel than his last few, with the exception of one segment which goes fully into The Bone Clocks territory while also being a direct follow-up to The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. That whole bit feel like it would be impenetrable to anyone who hasn't read The Bone Clocks.
Outside of that, the book has a bit too much of the thing that happens in novels like this where the characters keep interacting with real-world musicians of the time. It mostly makes sense in context, but it feels a bit self-indulgent to have real musicians keep talking about how much they like and admire these fake musicians. It just happens too often, and it starts to lose its impact fairly quickly.
Being a David Mitchell book, there's also a lot of interactions and appearances by characters from his other books. Some of these are obvious, like
Like the real world celebrity stuff, it sometimes gets a bit too self-indulgent and unnecessary, where it occasionally feels like a character shows up just to say their name for recognition's sake without impacting the story at all, but it mostly worked for me.
It's not my favourite of his books, but I was extremely happy to have another David Mitchell novel to read, and look forward to re-reading it already.