“Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America” By John Waters

18594483Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America
By John Waters
Narrated by: John Waters
Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
Release date: 06-03-14
Publisher: Macmillan Audio

We’ll start this out by me confessing that I’m a fan of John Waters.  Now when I say that I mean the films he’s directed and/or written.  I was first introduced to his work through 3 of his movies.  A friend told me I would love these films, since they knew I was an indie-film fan.  Those 3 movies were: “Cry Baby,” “Serial Mom,” (my favorite) and “Hairspray” (the original 1988 version).  They were off the beaten path and were dark and fun.  I later tried to watch some of his 70s films with Devine (i.e. “Pink Flamingos,” “Female Troubles”) but they were a bit out there for me (and that’s saying alot).  So when I got wind of this book, I just had to give it a listen.

Narrated by the author makes this book priceless, only John Waters can do John Waters, but what makes it extremely interesting is that it is basically 2 novellas and a memoir in one audiobook.  Waters goes across country and experiences America in a way only John Waters can.   What is funny is that I was not aware for some reason that it was 3 separate parts.  The first section is his journey written as if only the best things happen as he hitchhikes across the USA.  The second section is if only the worst things would happen and finally the last section is the actual events on his trek across the country.

Not being aware of the 3 sections, I was listening to his story unfold in section one and thinking, “Wow, how cool is that?”  Basically, he gets picked up by a drug dealer on his first ride and the drug dealer gives him a million dollars to fund his latest film.  I thought this has got to be the luckiest guy in the world.  Yeah there were times I was doubting the reality of his tale, but he told it with such feeling that I bought it.  Then when section two starts and we are starting over and he says that was the best case here’s the worst, I felt ripped off.  That feeling soon passed because I realized  he’s a master story teller and that’s exactly what I want.

When I recommend this to friends and family and they listen to it or read it, I’m quick to ask what their favorite part was.  It is all good, but the bad part get’s really bad and dark.  The real life experience is not boring by any means, but it was nice to have the best and worst as comparisons.

Have fun with this book,  but before you start make sure you are familiar with John Waters so you don’t get too surprised.

Publisher’s Summary

A cross-country hitchhiking journey with America’s most beloved weirdo.

John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads “I’m Not Psycho”, he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?

Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: A friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle 81-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker’s unexpected hero: A young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette.

Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion – and a celebration of America’s weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

©2014 John Waters (P)2014 Macmillan Audio