Walking to Hollywood

Memories of Before the Fall

By Will Self
(Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802119728, 432pp.)

Publication Date: May 2011

List Price: $24.00*
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Description
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 charactersbig and small, human and delusionas 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. Returning home briefly, Self entangles himself in a mystery and departs for Los Angeles to discover who murdered the movies. Convinced everyone he meets is played by a famous actor, he goes undercover into the dangerous world of celebrity with hilarious consequences. Eventually leaving the deceptive lights of Hollywood, he arrives in Spurn Head, a town on the English shore. When his memory starts to slip away, Self follows clues and notes left behind at more lucid moments leading him through encounters with a madman, a game of checkers with Death, and a meeting with one of Swift's immortal Struldbruggs.



About the Author
Henry Miller (1891-1980) was an American writer and painter infamous for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, and Black Spring. His books were banned in the United States for their lewd content until 1964 when a court ruling overturned this order, acknowledging Miller's work as literature in what became one of the most celebrated victories of the sexual revolution.
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