Saturday, 3 June 2017


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 eighty-one-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.

MY VERDICT: I am a big fan of John Waters, but I am afraid I was a little disappointed by this book.  I heard about it when he was interviewed for a radio show. He promoted it well and it instantly went on my ‘to read list’. The concept of a modern hitchhiking trip fascinated me. Unfortunately it wasn’t as interesting as it could have been and John knew it – which is why he filled a third of the book with a fictional account of the trip (twice). He wrote a short novella of the best possible thing that could happen on his trip and a novella of the worst. The concept is an interesting one and as a former art student I can say it has been blagged in the best possible way but from reading it you can clearly see he panicked that the book would not be long enough and added filler. The filler is well written and entertaining but it’s not what I signed up for and from reading other reviews I can tell other readers felt a little cheated too.

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