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Hollywood Park: A Memoir by [Mikel Jollett]
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Hollywood Park: A Memoir Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 491 ratings

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Length: 369 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Publisher

So I wrote the book from that perspective, at least at the beginning: that of a child trying to piece together the reality of the changing world around him; because that’s how I experienced it. There were mysteries. What is a restaurant? (We’d never been in one). What is a car? A city? And, most devastatingly, what is a family? Because we simply didn’t know.

In the book, I just present it whole, the way it came to me in my life: like a mystery I couldn’t quite fathom that I had to piece together over a lifetime.

Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of May 2020: The best memoirs expand the reader’s worldview of how people live, what drives them, or how their childhood, education, friends, and landscape shape their identities and actions. In this reviewer’s mind, good memoirs do not need to be wild or shocking to be good. What matters is the voice and the writer’s ability to convey their experience. Well, Mikel Jollett’s memoir certainly fits the bill for wild and shocking, but it is also beautifully articulated and rationally shared. The short of it is that he Jollett spent the first five years of his life in a cult that was one of the most infamous and dangerous in the country; under the cover of night, he and his brother fled Synanon with a person they were told to call “mom,” but life on the outside wasn’t much better. He grew up living on the margins of society—where alcoholism, drug addiction, and poverty reigned, sadness permeated, abuse was a given, and the notion of a traditional parent was as foreign as regular food on the table. Recollects Jollett, “Is that a mom? Someone who you can’t ever remember not loving you? I know Mom doesn’t think that’s what it is…” Like the best memoirists, Jollett conveys his journey—the hurt, strangeness, and yearning of his youth (especially for a father figure) and falling in love with music—with delicate care, unabashed honesty, and without hyperbole and judgment. Despite the hardships of his childhood, he found a path where lyrics, compassion, and familial love set him free and on the road with his band the Airborne Toxic Event. This rewarding memoir will fascinate you with its abnormality but will also remind you of the power of loyalty and empathy.—Al Woodworth, Amazon Book Review --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


"A memoir that is dangerous, immediate and lyrical from the jump"
―The Wall Street Journal

“A Gen-X This Boy’s Life...Music and his fierce brilliance boost Jollett; a visceral urge to leave his background behind propels him to excel... In the end, Jollett shakes off the past to become the captain of his own soul. Hollywood Park is a triumph."
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Mikel Jollett Changes the Memoir Form”
Maris Kreizman , LIT HUB’s SHELTERING Podcast

“Jollett’s story serves as a potent reminder that while we cannot change the hand we’re dealt, our freedom lies in what we choose to do with those cards.”
Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game, THE MILLIONS

"Mikel Jollett, the front man of indie band Airborne Toxic Event, chronicles his tumultuous life. Jollett was born into one of the country’s most infamous cults and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction and emotional abuse. What comes through the pages is a story of fierce love and family loyalty."
―Good Morning America, 20 Books We're Excited for in 2020

"A painstaking emotional accounting of a tortured youth ultimately redeemed through music, therapy, and love."

"The frontman of rock band Airborne Toxic Event chronicles, in gorgeous and exacting lyricism, his harrowing coming-of-age within (and eventual escape from) the Church of Synanon, a violent religious cult."
O, The Oprah Magazine, The 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (so Far)

“Jollett engagingly narrates his story...result[ing] in a shocking but contemplative memoir about the aftermath of an unhealthy upbringing.”
―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"...Engaging and heartbreaking. A good choice for fans of memoirs about overcoming dysfunctional childhoods like Educated and The Glass Castle."

"Mikel Jollett’s gripping memoir starts with a harrowing escape from a cult where he was raised without parents, only to be thrown into a more chaotic world where he’s raised by them. With a childhood defined by neglect, poverty and uncertainty, Jollett’s story serves as a potent reminder that while we cannot change the hand we're dealt, our freedom lies in what we choose to do with those cards. Hollywood Park is an illuminating and redemptive account of one man’s search for meaning, family, and love."
ADRIENNE BRODEUR, author of Wild Game

"Violent and tender and incandescent, Hollywood Park is as touching as it is shocking. Jollett deftly dissects his struggle to unburden himself of the damage he inherited from his broken family, with insights that are brutally honest and psychologically astute. It tore me apart."
JANELLE BROWN, New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear and Pretty Things

Hollywood Park is amazing. Mikel Jollett takes the shards of a broken childhood – imagine a life where escaping from a violent cult is somehow not a path to safety – and makes it a universal story of the struggle to find connection in a brutally beautiful world. His story zigs where you think it’s going to zag, and even the most irredeemable characters somehow surprise us with their tenacity. It’s a complicated story with a simple payoff: this is how the light gets in, this is how an artist gets made.”
― GLEN DAVID GOLD, author of Carter Beats the Devil

Hollywood Park is the often heartbreaking, always honest story of a confused boy struggling to make sense of a crazy world. It’s filled with pain, poverty, and violence but also with surprising love, rock and roll, and unexpected triumphs.”
― DARIN STRAUSS, NBCC-winning author of Half a Life

“This is a memoir, but it’s also a song―a lyrical labyrinth that weaves and mesmerizes, all the while proving there’s nothing more dangerous or powerful than a parent’s love. Hollywood Park is a magical debut. Loved it.”
― BRAD MELTZER, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Escape Artist

Hollywood Park is full of moving portraits of Jollett’s brother, his father, and his band of contemporaries. To read these pages is to love them right along with him.”
― SEAN WILSEY, author of Oh the Glory of It All

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • Print Length : 369 pages
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Publication Date : May 26, 2020
  • File Size : 3186 KB
  • Publisher : Celadon Books (May 26, 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 491 ratings