Read Hollywood ParkAuthor Mikel Jollett –

An Instant New York Times Bestseller Hollywood Park is a remarkable memoir of a tumultuous life Mikel Jollett was born into one of the country s most infamous cults, and subjected to a childhood filled with poverty, addiction, and emotional abuse Yet, ultimately, his is a story of fierce love and family loyalty told in a raw, poetic voice that signals the emergence of a uniquely gifted writer We were never young We were just too afraid of ourselves No one told us who we were or what we were or where all our parents went They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us in the air while we screamed Then they d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusion So begins Hollywood Park, Mikel Jollett s remarkable memoir His story opens in an experimental commune in California, which later morphed into the Church of Synanon, one of the country s most infamous and dangerous cults Per the leader s mandate, all children, including Jollett and his older brother, were separated from their parents when they were six months old, and handed over to the cult s School After spending years in what was essentially an orphanage, Mikel escaped the cult one morning with his mother and older brother But in many ways, life outside Synanon was even harder and erraticIn his raw, poetic and powerful voice, Jollett portrays a childhood filled with abject poverty, trauma, emotional abuse, delinquency and the lure of drugs and alcohol Raised by a clinically depressed mother, tormented by his angry older brother, subjected to the unpredictability of troubled step fathers and longing for contact with his father, a former heroin addict and ex con, Jollett slowly, often painfully, builds a life that leads him to Stanford University and, eventually, to finding his voice as a writer and musician Hollywood Park is told at first through the limited perspective of a child, and then broadens as Jollett begins to understand the world around him Although Mikel Jollett s story is filled with heartbreak, it is ultimately an unforgettable portrayal of love at its fiercest and most loyal Hollywood Park

About the Author: Mikel Jollett

Mikel Jollett is the frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event Prior to forming the band, Jollett graduated with honors from Stanford University He was an on air columnist for NPR s All Things Considered, an editor at large for Men s Health and an editor at Filter magazine His fiction has been published in McSweeney s.

10 thoughts on “Hollywood Park

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    We were never young No one told us who we were or where all our parents went They would arrive like ghosts, visiting us for a morning, an afternoon They would sit with us or walk around the grounds, to laugh or cry or toss us up in the air while we screamed Then they d disappear again, for weeks, for months, for years, leaving us alone with our memories and dreams, our questions and confusionWeeel

  2. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    What do you do when you re a scared shitless kid that s been faking it for so long You bury it You polish your smile and study until you can t even focus your eyes You buy yourself a big red sweater with an S across the chest, just like the superchild you once were You try to prove them all wrong You attempt to outrun it But then you get injured and your mom goes insane and a kind man in a blue shirt

  3. Julie Julie says:

    Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett is a 2020 Celadon Books publication An unconventional journey fraught with adversity, but ultimately an inspirational memoirTo be honest, I went into this memoir blind I think I added it mainly due to the mention of a cult, a topic I am often drawn to However, before starting the book, I Googled Jollett, and listened to his music, wondering why I had not stumbled across hi

  4. Barbara Barbara says:

    Author Mikel JollettMikel Jollett, frontman for the indie rock band Airborne Toxic Event, had a tumultuous childhood Airborne Toxic EventMikel Jollett performingJollett s parents were members of Synanon, a California cult that began as a drug rehab organization Synanon was founded in 1958, and aspired to be a place where people lived, all together, being honest and free and not taking drugs SynanonSynanon s

  5. Katie B Katie B says:

    This was a well written memoir and once again proves my point you don t necessarily have to be familiar with the person ahead of time in order to appreciate their story Mikel spent the first few years of his life in the Church of Synanon which was a cult Thankfully he and his family escaped but obviously the experience is something that stays with you and the long term effects is just one of the subjects Mikel

  6. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    One of my favorite ways to consume a memoir is through an audiobook narrated by the author, and that was the case with Hollywood Park Also something I want to mention is there is music included at transitions, and Mikel Jollett is a musician, so this was another addition that added to the character of this book.Mikel and his brother were born into a famous cult where they were separated from their parents at only

  7. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Terrific, engaging, intimate.Audiobook Memoirread by the author Meet Mikel Jollett..He s a pretty likable guy with a story to share He intimately shares his traumatic childhood.I felt like I was eavesdropping on Mikel s personal private mutterings during some of the most wretched years of his life He doesn t shy away from sharing about the overpowering mentally ill adults who raised him in the cult environment, with

  8. Brandice Brandice says:

    I m the first to admit I can be critical of memoirs, understanding they are often deeply personal That said, I really enjoyed reading Mikel Jollett s Hollywood Park, detailing his childhood, which first began in a cult and then beyond, moving back and forth between Oregon, living with his mother, and California, living with his dad There was a lot going on including addiction issues and substantial emotional abuse I ha

  9. Norma Norma says:

    Candid, revealing, and remarkable HOLLYWOOD PARK is a fascinating, raw, interesting, engaging, heartfelt, and well written memoir that has us following Mikel Jollett through his childhood where he was raised in a commune which turned into the cult Synanon in the 1970 s to present day Now the thing is I rarely ever read memoirs but there was something about this one that totally intrigued me and caught my eye The title gra

  10. Chelsey (a_novel_idea11) Chelsey (a_novel_idea11) says:

    Mikel is a child of the universe Born into the Synanon cult, he was given to The School at six months old to be raised by the community, rather than his biological parents The children were taught to fend for themselves, to self soothe, and to be independent Some parents, including Mikel s, visited the school occasionally He described them as ghosts, drifting in and out unexpectedly Mikel lived this way until five years old

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