* Prices may differ from that shown
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Author - Will Self (1961 - )
This is a book that brings to the fore Will Self's 'mind' gallivants - on equal par to reality. Under the eye of the traditionalists a genre of 'fictional memoirs,' fits the bill, so they say.
Fictional memoirs turn literature upside down when it comes to the critic. Not one stance is the same, the plots are plausibly non existent, and in the end they hang their heads in a ritual style consensus that just maybe the world of the mind conquerors the commentator's pen. Instead they bow to wordage such as: 'irritatingly clever.' Admitting defeat, in unravelling the thought process of Will Self's book; 'Walking to Hollywood.'
Structurally the approach is of a triptych, a three story analysis of Will Self's scouts, exercising his perverse grey-matter more-so than the walking poles; blurring fiction with reality. Self is a formidable 'culture commentator' embroidering a stylistic account to what we know of as the 'capitalism' 'ego-maniacs' and the inevitability of 'death.' All of which is imposed on us unwillingly due to social convention and mistakes. How we view Self's 'internal adaptation;' which is more reminiscent of a 'recreational master-class' of self exploration and how it fits in the scheme of our culture; Self, swoops on realism at its most rawness; as if a vulture devouring a carcass. There is no time to feeling squeamish, just bare in mind that time and capitalism hasn't any compassion for anybody; so Self, inhales it, deliberates it, makes a self prognosis, and relays his truth in 'Walking to Hollywood.'
No plots or pot - allegedly
Plots are only the author's instruction from convention - Inventive forms of script that blurs the edges of tradition in this medium; it surely has to be rewarded. Yet Walking to Hollywood is misconstrued by traditionalists, delivers an opportunity of pretentiousness to commentators who smooch up to the anecdotal scripts by adding their blasé trough of wordage, and the philosophers are still locked in thought 'buffering the details.' I suppose the beauty of being a famous, intensive, satirical, culture entity (Will Self) does allow him to intravenously write directly from his think-tank; it's part of the Self patter. Bloomsbury Publishing would systematically throw their arms and legs around the likes of literature giants such as Will Self, whose head absurdly disfigured on the front-cover, looking as if it has been passed through his own rectum. Obviously a 'Self portrait', - painted by Salvador Dali's moustache.
Sporadically a time-frame Self introduces a 'date' that stimulates a snippet of chronological structural clarity; used as if a spoonful of high fibred All Bran to keep the script diet together, through the long verses of conscious dialogue - changing in content, albeit depending on the location of the rambling. Instead of the observational arbitrary anecdotes you get while exploring the East Yorkshire coastline. Usually, fighting with a very bitter Yorkshire breeze and skipping through the minefields of coastal erosion, dicing with death by evading banana skinned boulders. Self, in the past tense - embarks on his central character Sherman Oaks, an egomaniacal sculptor; not unlike Self, except for the main problem, Sherman is a really 'short-ass.' Gruff in vocal tones, and forthright in actions, evidently had a disturbing fascination for his 3ft 3 frame, by which he meticulously sculpts life-size, in the knowledge of documenting his height - Sherman avidly acts on impulse, he does, he thinks, and he then asks questions later; in that order. Abandoning maps is part of the plan while walking - it isn't about where you are walking from but where you end up and no-one knows that.
Creating the third person entity via a fictional character makes 'Walking to Hollywood' experimental to a point of no return. 'Walking to Hollywood' feels pretty final for an author who has so much more in the locker, seven novels as far. Notably there's tenderness, an intimate dimension introduced when W G Sebald the late German grandeur master of literature floats by all opaque and passes on some 'observational' advice whilst hovering over the manuscripts, obviously in a soft cloudy German accent (if that's possible) - a misty mentor guiding the author and book to a rightful prose; erasing traces of plot-lines. The venture into Self's mind depicts analogies of setting fire to things, flashes of Will's childhood in the late 1960's; inter galactic travels all done in cardboard. Action-hero bravado that would make Bruce Lee's martial art antics appear geriatric. Self even went green - and as anger enraged him he morphed into the Incredible Hulk. I also half expected a Saturday morning custard pie fight to emerge from the script. 'Tarrant lobs custard pies like a girl.'
The Computer game 'Grand Theft Auto,' transcends to the fore along with a vibrant purple horizon, a brazenly surreal entrapment. 'Walking to Hollywood' is reminiscent of 'The Generation Games conveyor-belt,' so much to fit in, for so little time. Material wise cartoons are not deemed as a wealth of nourishment for a memoir based on a voyage of mind therapy. Self, in an interview, acclaims he was self-medicating with 'Walking to Hollywood' and suggested he gets his agent to pay Will Self for aiding his once ailing welfare. An umbilical cord filled with, strains of perversion and satire, filtering right to the core of the read.
There are oceans of pessimistic slants and sarcastic tones; this is what Self is paid to produce. Each character portrayal is intrinsically elaborated. Many of which becomes a who's who of famousness. Shafting their characters, 'Self moulded;' just for this fictional memoir. The fact that the majority of the famous are dead would save on phone-calls and red-tape to their agents, a cunning plan. I had an exciting warming sensation when I depicted a familiar link to Bret Easton Ellis, (played by Orson Welles) author of American Psycho. The Chapter is called: 'My Dinner with Brett' -- the parallels with Brett's film American Psycho are uncanny. Both depict entrapped dimensions between fiction and reality. American Psycho explores a successful banker morally eaten up by capitalism and gets an insane taste for murder. Self, abandons maps for embracing walks, murder is done by others to others, the documented south London stabbings a couple of years ago, now death is a completely different matter via the metaphysical state.
Movie World lays motionless - tributes pour in
In LA, the sheer vastness and humidity stirs vivid hallucinations for an English novelist who left the plane in a trance, sunset drenched, everything looked elongated. Watching re-runs of Kojak really sucking on long lollypops, was unnerving, the hallucinations re-defined Self's (now played by David Thewlis and Pete Postlethwaite) pro-active aim to solve who or what killed the movies? - All equipped and attached fully to a twenty-four hour - three man film crew; Katie Price style. Self's height triples, as he searches for the killer. Is this the real Hollywood? Or is it all part of CGI's evil pixel plan, it's obvious who runs this town? A visit to the scientology centre is a must. Scooby Doo is not as stupid as he looks. Self, marches on with certainty for his quest in finding the murderer, the three man TV crew now a rap band beat-boxing and in shades; well it is LA! Self's word-play, detailing vibrant hallucinations at a pace only Scooby Doo could spin his legs at, without actually moving forwards or backwards for at least five seconds. Getting answers deemed practically impossible for a plotline destined for the shredder. Another endearing point with Walking to Hollywood is the saintly accolade Self pays 'Howard Hughesian.' It is satirically enchanting; a fitting piece of banter to a dead scholar of film.
Will Self's own interpretation of Walking to Hollywood as a 'man-machine matrix;' implies you have to plug yourself up to a computer - stick your hand into a load of static light and become Keano Reeves - surely a long brisk gallivant would suffice, all I need is a cartoon dog, and Scooby snacks, and afterwards embark on a conversation with a psychiatrist.
A genius piece of fictional literature.
Thank you for reading.
copyright - 1st2thebar 2010