Mikel Jollett is the frontman of the indie band The Airborne Toxic Event. Prior to forming the band, Jollett graduated with honors from Stanford University. He was an on-air columnist for NPR's All Things Considered, an editor-at-large for Men's Health and an editor at Filter magazine. His fiction has been published in McSweeney's.
A memoir that is dangerous, immediate and lyrical from the jump. - Wall Street JournalA Gen-X This Boy's Life...Music and his fierce brilliance boost Jollett; a visceral urge to leave his background behind propels him to excel... In the end, Jollett shakes off the past to become the captain of his own soul. Hollywood Park is a triumph. - O, The Oprah MagazineJollett has an innate sensitivity and eye for detail. You sense that any novel he'd write would be a good one, a Denis Johnson-esque tale rife with drifters and drugs . . . He recognizes literature as what the critic Kenneth Burke called equipment for living. - Washington PostAmazing. Mikel Jollett takes the shards of a broken childhood - imagine a life where escaping from a violent cult is somehow not a path to safety - and makes it a universal story of the struggle to find connection in a brutally beautiful world. His story zigs where you think it's going to zag, and even the most irredeemable characters somehow surprise us with their tenacity. It's a complicated story with a simple payoff: this is how the light gets in, this is how an artist gets made. - GLEN DAVID GOLD, author of Carter Beats the DevilEngaging and heartbreaking. A good choice for fans of memoirs about overcoming dysfunctional childhoods like Educated and The Glass Castle. - BooklistThe frontman of rock band Airborne Toxic Event chronicles, in gorgeous and exacting lyricism, his harrowing coming-of-age within (and eventual escape from) the Church of Synanon, a violent religious cult. - O, The Oprah Magazine, The 30 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 (so Far)A painstaking emotional accounting of a tortured youth ultimately redeemed through music, therapy, and love. - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEWJollett's story serves as a potent reminder that while we cannot change the hand we're dealt, our freedom lies in what we choose to do with those cards. - Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game, THE MILLIONS