Hollywood Park

Hollywood Park

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 more erratic.

In 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.

Title:Hollywood Park
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781250621566
Format Type:

    Hollywood Park Reviews

  • Emily May

    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 grou...

  • Will Byrnes

    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 r...

  • Julie ( On semi-hiatus until September)

    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 blin...

  • Barbara

    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 Syna...

  • Katie B

    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 year...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Terrific, engaging, intimate....Audiobook Memoir...read by the author! Meet Mikel Jollett.....He’s a pretty likable guy.... with a story to share!! He intimately shares his traumatic childhood.I fel...

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    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...

  • Brandice

    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, whic...

  • Norma

    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 wa...

  • Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    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 t...