Pete Townshend has announced the November 5th publication of his first novel, titled The Age Of Anxiety, which will be released via Coronet. Townshend, who has written extensively throughout the his career, released a series of semi-autobiographical short stories, titled Horse's Neck in 1985; an online novella The Boy Who Heard Music — which went on to partially form the basis of the Who's last album, 2006's Endless Wire; and most recently his memoir, Who I Am, from 2012.
TheWho.com posted: “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.”
Townshend went on to write, “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.”
Back in 2017 Townshend spoke about his still-unfinished multimedia project — originally known as Floss, but since renamed, The Age Of Anxiety — telling Musicweek.com: “I have been working on a song cycle, but I can’t say much about it because I don’t know what the time frame is going to be. I’ve been working on something since 2008, which is a massive project involving an art installation.”
With the initial success of the Who's Tommy in 1969, Pete Townshend was dubbed rock's latest genius. He told us that he feels that the term is often thrown around too loosely: “I think that the music business and the press that surrounds the music business thinks that rock is a black art, magicians weaving this magic — and to some extent I suppose, I agree with them. Y'know. . . but I don't think that genius is a part of rock n' roll. I think it's an instinctive process, a bit like sport. If you can do it, you can do it. You don't often know why you can do it, but you can do it.”
Source: Pulse of Radio