- File Size: 3186 KB
- Print Length: 369 pages
- Publisher: Celadon Books (May 26, 2020)
- Publication Date: May 26, 2020
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07YLJZVYD
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,964 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Hollywood Park: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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|Length: 369 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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From the Publisher
How clear are your memories from childhood?
Mikel Jollett: I mostly grew up in the wreckage of Synanon, since we left when I was so young. It came to me like a puzzle I had to put together, almost like separate realities with different rules: Here are the Rules According to Synanon (you have no parents, you are a new type of human who doesn’t need them, nothing is yours), here are the Rules in the Great Big World (no one talks to each other, you’re very poor, your mother is very sad). It took my brother and me a long, long time to piece together the reality that a functional adult might have about the situation, that we’d escaped a cult that had once done good things for addicts (including our father), that our mother was severely depressed, and that these experiences were unique in some ways and quite common in others.
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.
Hollywood Park, The Album
In conjunction with Mikel Jollett's memoir, The Airborne Toxic Event has released an album by the same name. Hollywood Park is a 12-song concept record that acts as a soundtrack to the book. Available from Amazon Music.
About the Author
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I’m a mystery/suspense/thriller fiend and I bought this book on a whim. I had just finished a new book by one of my favorite mystery writers when I decided to dig into Hollywood Park. I expected to have a tough time reading it, simply because it wasn’t my favorite type of book and because I’d just finished such an incredible mystery.
And wham. I became immersed in the story immediately when I started the book yesterday afternoon and got up at 4 a.m. this morning to finish it.
First of all, Mr. Jollett can flat write. I was amazed by his fluency, his descriptions, and most of all, by his raw honesty. It takes guts to lay it on the line as he does. To say his upbringing was brutal doesn’t begin to describe it. Yet I couldn’t look away, I think because he related small pockets of love that kept him going.
I also kept going because Mr. Jollett writes with such compassion, love, and generosity. His mother, who harmed him grievously, is treated with understanding and gentleness. He forgave and forgives her for the disorders compelling her to neglect and abuse him, for making his trauma all about her. He has risen above who did what to whom and has claimed as his own the life he had which in turn empowered him to do the hard work to heal, to change. He is no one’s victim and he got there, it seems to me, by refusing to blame anyone for what happened. He simply comes to understand what makes him tick and he sets about to remodel his interior so it is habitable.
This memoir is well worth buying and reading. I wish I could say something more profound because the book certainly deserves it, but I’m not the writer Mr. Jollett is. All I can say is don’t miss his story.
The author is definitely a writer. He told his story with much emotion and empathy regarding his unusual upbringing but his soul came through perfectly.
He reached out to us damaged people living under similar circumstances but he did so with much love for those who entered his life in one way or another.
I found this to be a moving read and am grateful that he has found the capacity to relate his experience through such powerful writing. I hope he plans on writing more in the future. His voice needs to be heard.
It's safe to say that this book does not disappoint. It is written just as beautifully as the lyrics to ATE songs. Mikel is able to tell his story in such a way that you can't help but feel his pain with him while reading. And the positive and triumphant outcome of a difficult childhood make the book so much better.