Hollywood Park: A Memoir
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About the Author
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
--Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW 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.
--Booklist 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