Author(s): Pete Townshend
In his debut novel, rock legend Pete Townshend explores the anxiety of modern life and madness in a story that stretches across two generations of a London family, their lovers, collaborators, and friends. A former rock star disappears on the Cumberland moors. When his wife finds him, she discovers he has become a hermit and a painter of apocalyptic visions. An art dealer has drug-induced visions of demonic faces swirling in a bedstead and soon his wife disappears, nowhere to be found. A beautiful Irish girl, who has stabbed her father to death is determined to seduce her best friend's husband. A young composer begins to experience aural hallucinations, expressions of the fear and anxiety of the people of London. He constructs a maze in his back garden. Driven by passion and musical ambition, events spiral out of control-good drugs and bad drugs, loves lost and found, families broken apart and reunited. Conceived jointly as an opera, The Age of Anxiety deals with mythic and operatic themes. Hallucinations and soundscapes haunt this novel, which on one level is an extended meditation on manic genius and the dark art of creativity.