Walking to Hollywood

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Walking to Hollywood
Walking to Hollywood cover
AuthorWill Self
Cover artistRalph Steadman
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date
September 2010
Pages448 pp

Walking to Hollywood is a 2010 novel by writer and media personality Will Self. Self describes the novel as 'a cross between a comical farce and an intense misery memoir'. The novel is published by Bloomsbury in the U.K. and Grove Press in the U.S. It was mainly conceived whilst Self himself walked to Hollywood from Los Angeles Airport.


The sections of the book form a triptych. Each part of the book details a relation between the artist and his art, whether this be Sherman Oaks, a dwarf sculptor who makes gigantic statues, or Self's own voyage to discover the filmmakers responsible for tainting the form with CGI. The blurring between the factual elements of Self's life and opinions, Gonzo-esque embellishments, and the use of an unreliable narrator, makes a clear distinction between fact and falsity virtually impossible.


Reviews were generally positive. The Spectator commented in their review...

The conversations with Scooby-Doo, the made-up characters, the sex, lies and videotape – this is a landscape contoured, almost in whole, by Self’s imagination… It is, as always, a place crammed with a Devil’s Dictionary’s worth of wordplay, and with an unerring tendency towards the absurd.[1]

Scotland on Sunday went further, commenting that Self had finally found his place as an author...

The most successful book he has written, and it establishes, perhaps, what kind of writer Self actually is: a modern-day Jonathan Swift. He has the satirist’s interest in exaggeration, distortion, snarling anger and linguistic verve, but more seriously, he is serious. There is a deeply moral core to Walking To Hollywood, and a raw emotional quality his previous fictions may have repressed or sublimated.[2]


  1. ^ Hoskin, Peter (2010-10-02). "Self-awareness". The Spectator. Retrieved 2011-04-06.
  2. ^ Kelly, Stuart (2010-09-14). "Book Review: Walking to Hollywood, Will Self". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 2011-04-06.

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