Reviews for Carsick

by John Waters

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The illustrious director of Hairspray, Cry Baby, and Pink Flamingoes embarked on a cross-country hitchhiking journey in 2012. This, Waters's seventh book, is a travelogue of his experiences bumming rides all the way from his home in Baltimore to his apartment in San Francisco. Waters idiosyncratically cuts to the core of American diversity, finding the good (and bad) in any situation with biting wit. The unlikely friendship Waters forms with a young Republican politician is an unexpected twist, and a timely tale of bromance in the midst of hardship. If a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and the pope of Trash can have an adventure in Reno together, aren't all things still possible in this world? But for Waters aficionados, the best parts of this enchanting narrative aren't the ones that actually happened. Fans will delight in the two novellas, with Waters at his campiest and most ludicrous, that precede the nonfiction third act. Presenting the best- and worst-case scenarios for modern hitchhiking as only Waters can, the narratives range from encounters with a pleasant group of marijuana smugglers and Edith Massey, to a harrowing imprisonment in Kansas and traumatic fan meeting. Waters devotees take note: this is required reading. Agent: Bill Clegg, William Morris Endeavor. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The elder statesman of trash cinema, director/writer Waters (Shock Value; Pink Flamingos and Other Filth) brings us his take on the Great American Road Novel, recounting his nine-day solo hitchhiking odyssey from Baltimore to San Francisco. Before setting out in real life, he imagines best- and worst-case scenarios for the trip. In the former, he stumbles into funding for a new film, explores chaotic music festivals and pirate truck stops, and finds true love, while the latter sees him losing, in short order, everything but the clothes on his back (don't worry, the clothes experience their own share of suffering), and culminates in his brutal murder. After these manic musings, the retelling of the actual trip can't help but seem just a tad mundane, but Waters's inimitable blend of compassion, curiosity, and camp will be sure to hold readers' interest until journey's end. VERDICT A rollicking, raunchy romp that delivers big-time laughs. For open-minded travel-journal fans and pop/trash culture addicts.-Neil Derksen, Pierce Cty. Lib. Syst., Tacoma (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The cult filmmaker embarks on a madcap, solo cross-country hitchhiking trip, carrying a backup cardboard sign that reassuringly states, "I'M NOT A PSYCHO." En route to San Francisco, he meets a diverse cast of characters including a pot dealer who's willing to finance his next project, a cop who mistakes him for Steve Buscemi, and a lusty demolition car driver. Waters's brief encounters are colorful and campy, and his road reports-lascivious fantasies and all-are highly entertaining. (LJ 5/15/14) (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* There's nothing cheaper, ungenerous about Waters, the Pope of Trash (or Filth, or both). His new book is actually three (clap!), three (clap!), three books in one! All are based on the pitch he sold his publisher about hitchhiking from his home in Baltimore to his home in San Francisco. Oh, he knew it was insane I'm sixty-six years old, for chrissake and so wrote it up in advance, just in case, once imagining The Best That Could Happen, then again envisioning The Worst That Could Happen. Because he is, after all, John Pink Flamingos Waters, both fictional trips are rather similar in terms of weirdness and even scabrousness, at least in the eyes of those who aren't J PF W. Fortunately, except for a handful of incidents (well, maybe more) that body-slam the boundaries of scatological toleration, both are pretty constantly hilarious and, when he somehow encounters such figures from his past as Edith Massey (the Egg Lady in PF) and 1980s gay porn star Johnny Davenport (whom Waters never knew, casually or biblically alas!), sentimental. The real trip, hardly as ludicrous as the preceding fictions, takes longer, involves more drivers, and has Waters growing in admiration for the regular but far from colorless! people who pick him up, especially the married guys who praise their wives to the skies. Travel uh, hitchhiking book of the year?--Olson, Ray Copyright 2014 Booklist

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