With ""lush, scrupulously exact prose [that] can vault from the poignant to the grotesque to the ridiculous with vertiginous ease"" (The New York Times), author Will Self has established himself as one of the most remarkably inventive voices of his generation. In Walking to Hollywood, he leaps beyond reality into worlds inhabited by an array of characters-big and small, human and delusion-as he transverses LA freeways, eroding cliffs and Canadian fields, his disintegrating mind a constant companion. In a series of quests exploring his obsessions, Self first reconnects with his childhood friend Sherman Oaks, a man scarcely three-feet-tall. Thirty-five years after parting ways, Sherman has gained attention in the art world for his sculptures: replicas of his body in various proportions, some as tall as buildings and others tiny as a fingernail. With Will's obsessive-compulsive collection of items and Sherman's biting temper, they make an oddly endearing and increasingly bizarre pair as they walk in spurts through Canada, New York, and the west coast of the United States.
Set in England and Hollywood, Self's latest (after The Butt) is a rollicking and clever ramble through contemporary culture filtered through a twisted imagination. The protagonist, much like the author, is a neurotic British writer named Will Self who has a penchant for walking everywhere. These outings give him an idea for a project: a walking tour from LAX to Hollywood, during which he will investigate the forces that have diminished film as a relevant art form. Drawing on cinematic tropes and cultural riffs with frequent nods toward the bizarre and the perverse, Self's reveries and encounters include an Incredible Hulk-style street rampage, a rap group laying down Aurelian beats in Latin, and an abduction by Scientologists. Through his mind's camera, Self is alternately played by two lesser-known British actors, and his circumambulation of the L.A. area features an all-star Hollywood cast, with Ellen DeGeneres, Orson Welles, and Robert De Niro all having screen/page time. This gonzo dash through the obstacle course of the mind-encountering paranoia, obsession, and amnesia-paired with a whacky high/low cultural treasure hunt won't be to every reader's taste, but it is assuredly a wild ride punctuated by razor wit and brazen erudition. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
May 03, 2011
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.