Ticket to Hollywood by Gary Reilly

Ticket to Hollywood was released on December 4th and between moving and Christmas…I just got to it. And by “just got to it” I mean “literally just finished it.”


Ticket to Hollywood is the second of Gary Reilly’s comic novels about Brendan Murphy, a Denver cab driver. The first book, The Asphalt Warrior, gave us an introduction to Murph and his inability to follow his own rules and he’s up to it again in Ticket to Hollywood-no matter how hard he tries he just can’t help being a good person.

I won’t go into the plot because I think you should read it for yourself. I will talk about my favorite things about the novel though.

First, Reilly’s writing style is brilliant. You forget you’re reading and feel like you’ve just joined Reilly at a coffee shop to listen to stories about his life as a cab driver. He blends seamlessly from describing the action to wandering off on a tangent.  He makes random references that make us chuckle when we catch them but sometimes leaves us thinking things like, “Who the hell is that?” before we turn quickly to Google.

My sister and I always wanted to (and plan to) take the American Gods road trip where you track down all the places in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods and go see them. When Reilly’s next novel, The Heart of Darkness Club, releases in May I am making it my personal goal to find out just how many of the places he mentions in Denver are real. My guess is most of them.

And for some reason I have the need to find Reilly’s copy of Finnegans Wake…