Coronet has scooped the "magnum opus" debut novel by rock star Pete Townshend, which he is also developing into an opera.
Publisher Mark Booth acquired English language rights for The Age of Anxiety from Georgie Mellor at the Blair Partnership. It will be published globally on 5th November.
Townshend is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter of The Who, a band that has sold over 100 million records worldwide. He also composed the group's rock operas “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”.
He explained: “Ten years ago I decided to create a magnum opus that would combine opera, art installation and novel. Suddenly here I am with a completed novel ready to publish. I am an avid reader and have really enjoyed writing it. I am also happy to say the majority of the music is composed, ready to be polished up for release and performance. It’s tremendously exciting.”
Booth said: “The Age of Anxiety is a great rock novel, but that is one of the less important things about it. The narrator is a brilliant creation – cultured, witty and unreliable. The novel captures the craziness of the music business and displays Pete Townshend’s sly sense of humour and sharp ear for dialogue. First conceived as an opera, The Age of Anxiety deals with mythic and operatic themes including a maze, divine madness and long-lost children. Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity.”
The opera version is in development, with an album and art installation to follow.
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