HOLLYWOOD PARK by Mikel Jollett
HOLLYWOOD PARK (CeledonBooks) by Mickel Jollett is an emotional memoir of a tortured youth ultimately redeemed through music, therapy, and love.
Mikel is born into the cult. Synanon started off as a program to get addicts off their drug of choice, and became a place of mental and physical abuse. Michel is taken away from his mother at 6-months old and only gets to see his parents very rarely. No one was a allowed to leave. As a toddler his mother escapes from the cult with her sons Mikel and Tony. After being released from captivity they find themselves in Oregon.
His mother has numerous boyfriends and she tries to creates a family atmosphere, but all the men end up leaving. “I remember that a ‘Mom’ is supposed to be a special thing….She tells me I’m her son and she wanted kids so she would not be alone anymore and now she has us and it is a son’s job to take care of his mother,” he writes. His mother often falls into “deep-russian.” (depression)
His mom’s distorted view of being a mother leaves the children fending for themselves. At times in the story, Jollett’s mother’s personality disorder becomes redundant. His father, an ex-con and addict is his hero. The scenes between the boys and their father are often tender. Hollywood Park is the horse track he often took his sons to.
In his teens, Mikel gets into alternative music like The Cure, The Smiths, Morrissey and David Bowie ultimately getting a job as an interviewer for a rock on-line magazine. This gives him a purpose and he creates and becomes the frontman of the successful alternative band, Alternative Toxic Event band.
I don’t often read memoirs, but when I do I usually enjoy them. I found most of HOLLYWOOD PARK compelling. Towards the end of the book, Jollett often repeats himself. The editor could have cut down at lease 75-pages. Jollett does a great job at presenting the cards he was handed in life, and the choices he took to move ahead.
Mikel Frans Jollett (born May 21, 1974) is an American musician and author. He is best known as the frontman for American indie rock band the Airborne Toxic Event as well as the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Hollywood Park.
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