Walking to Hollywood – some more reviews

The Guardian: “You see suddenly that, beneath the apocalyptic humour and fizzing contempt of Walking to Hollywood lies the iron will and cold, self-inspecting intelligence of its author. All along the book has been about death.”

The Spectator: “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 and perverse … Walking to Hollywood is certainly an engaging enough breakdown on the part of its author. Just make sure to approach it with all the professional detachment of a psychiatrist.”

Scotland on Sunday: “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.”

The Herald: “Walking To Hollywood is Self’s most interesting book in years, though the intensity of his imagination can at times be as exhausting as the epic walks he embarks upon … Who killed the movies? Self never collars the culprit. Perhaps because it was an assisted suicide, cinema helped towards the light by its apprentice, TV, the American long-form series, with its Sopranos effortlessly out-braining any recent multiplex movie. And out-braining, you fear, the majority of the current crop of social-realist novels. Outflanked by never-stronger TV on the one hand, and on the other, headlines you couldn’t make up, the novel has to find new routes – and Will Self is a pathfinder.”