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Walking to Hollywood: Memories of Before the Fall Hardcover – 6 Sep 2010

2.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st edition (6 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747598444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747598442
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 3.5 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 763,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for THE BUTT 'The Butt is Self's most gripping and disturbing novel in years' Harper's Bazaar 'Self writes here with an adroit impersonation of coarse exuberance that makes The Butt as readable as a blokeish airport novel ... Ingenious' Sunday Telegraph 'With a flick of a cigarette Will Self performs literary acrobatics few other writers can even dream of' Scotland on Sunday

Book Description

A remarkable mixture of fact, fancy, memoir and invention.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover
I must admit that I find the idea of Will Self - the cantankerous man with the deadpan voice, enormous vocabulary and uncompromising left-wing politics - preferable to the literary reality. I'm giving this book just two stars because I found the 215-page central section, "Walking to Hollywood", almost unreadable, and it was a struggle to stick with it to reach the third section.

The first section, "Very Little", about a dwarf friend from childhood who becomes a successful YBA-style visual artist in later life, I found highly entertaining, especially the "divide by ten, multiply by ten" meme. The third section, "Spurn Head", based on a walk along that rapidly eroding stretch of Yorkshire coastline, I also found highly readable, although the weirdly and inconsistently spelled rendition of the local accent was annoying. Both of these sections could be reasonably described as "Sebaldesque", after the mysterious literary style of W. G. Sebald, mixing fact, fiction, geography, fantasy and photographs, although with far more humour than Sebald.

But the middle section, "Walking to Hollywood", rapidly became for me totally confusing, boring, messy and unreadable. It is founded on a false premise, for starters, that cinema is dead, and that Hollywood has killed it - completely untrue, judging by today's cinema audiences and the huge breadth and depth of films being produced, but an interesting "factoid" on which to hang a chunk of novel. Then we find the narrator character, constantly being played by one of two well-known actors, doing a seemingly pointless walk around Los Angeles over the space of a few days, meeting other film folk, themselves being played by other actors, while all kinds of ridiculous things happen and one scene kind of morphs into another.
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Format: Hardcover
Melancholic musings on the dissatisfactions of modern life. Parts read like the narrative of a Patrick Keiller or Chris Marker film. Wonderfully written and frequently very funny. A very modern satire that gives new perspective and awareness to everyday things. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not being funny with the title of my review. Reading this book is just like mountaineering.

It is a journey into Will Self, and a mind that is both highly articulate yet steeped in problems.

After you spend ages reading material, which feels like an uphill struggle, you are rewarded by views otherwise impossible to reach.

If I'm honest, I nearly gave up a few times and I'm still not sure what I was reading!

The likeness of the cover image to Edvard Munch's "Scream" should indicate where you're heading on this particular read!
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I gave up on this book after a couple of chapters just when he inserted a dream sequence quoting `insert a dream lose a reader' lol it probably would have been good if I could have stuck with it...just too clever by half for me. I hate to give up on a book!
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