Walking to Hollywood: Book summary and reviews of Walking to Hollywood by Will Self

Walking to Hollywood

Memories of Before the Fall

by Will Self

Walking to Hollywood by Will Self X
Walking to Hollywood by Will Self
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  • Published May 2011
    464 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

One of the most remarkably inventive voices of his generation, author Will Self delivers a new and stunning work of fiction. In Walking to Hollywood, a British writer named Will Self goes on a quest through L.A. freeways and eroding English cliffs, skewering celebrity as he attempts to solve a crime: who killed the movies.

When Will reconnects with his childhood friend, the world suddenly seems disproportionate. Sherman Oaks, scarcely three feet tall at forty-five, and his ironically sized sculptures - replicas of his body varying from the gargantuan to the miniscule - spark in Will a flurry of obsessive-compulsive thoughts and a nagging desire to experience the world by foot. Ignoring his therapist and nemesis Zack Busner, Self travels to Hollywood on a mission to discover who - or what - killed the movies. Convinced that everyone from his agent, friends, and bums on the street are portrayed by famous actors, Self goes undercover into the dangerous world of celebrity culture. He circumambulates the metropolitan area in hallucinating and wild episodes, eventually arriving on the English cliffs of East Yorkshire where he comes face to face with one of Jonathan Swift's immortal Struldbruggs. A satirical novel of otherworldly proportion and literary brilliance, Walking to Hollywood is a fantastical and unforgettable trip through the unreality of our culture.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This gonzo dash through the obstacle course of the mind... won't be to every reader's taste, but it is assuredly a wild ride punctuated by razor wit and brazen erudition." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Self uses mental disorders as literary devices, and readers may feel their own minds a bit altered after reading [Walking to Hollywood], but assuredly for the better." - BookList

"Without plot or a fully realised inner life, the pleasures of Walking to Hollywood should reside in satire. But Self is leaning hard on the obsession with celebrity that he sets out to satirise." - The Independent (UK)

"Mixing moments of brilliant lucidity and wit with vast tranches of wayward verbiage, Self's gonzo autobiography demonstrates everything that is best and worst about this most uninhibited of authors." - The Times (UK)

"[F]unny, irritatingly clever, teetering along the edge of readability, often all three at once." - The Guardian (UK)

This information about Walking to Hollywood was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Will Self Author Biography

Will Self is the author of five short-story collections including The Quantity Theory of Insanity (winner of the 1992 Geoffrey Faber award), Grey Area and Tough Tough Toys for Tough Tough Boys; three novellas, including Cock and The Sweet Smell of Psychosis; and several novels, including My Idea of Fun, Great Apes, How the Dead Live (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year 2000) and The Book of Dave.

Together with the photographer David Gamble, he produced Perfidious Mana sideways look at contemporary masculinity. He has also published three collections of journalism, Junk Mail, Sore Sites and Feeding Frenzy. He is a regular broadcaster on UK television and radio and as a journalist a contributor to a plethora of publications. He lives in London with his wife, Deborah Orr, and ...

... Full Biography
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