Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374298630, 322pp.
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
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 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.
Praise for Carsick"It’s rare to find a book that resembles no other book you’ve ever read. It’s rare to find a book that’s both funny and profound. John Waters’ Carsick is a doubly rare book." —Michael Cunningham, author of The Snow Queen
"Face it: Wouldn’t you rather strike out on the road with John Waters than Jack Kerouac? . . . once [Carsick] takes off, it’s a sweet and funny ride." —Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Role Models "Waters is a greater National Treasure than 90 percent of the people who are given ‘Kennedy Center Honors’ . . . [Waters] has the ability to show humanity at its most ridiculous and make that funny rather than repellent. To quote his linear ancestor W. C. Fields: It’s a gift." —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post"John Waters has a great gift for appreciation—whether for toothless lesbian strippers in Baltimore or the most rarefied painters and writers of our day. He is a dandy who has done away with everyone else’s hierarchies and created a new world that conforms only to his own taste for trash and the sublime. He is frank, funny, and (strangely enough) both sensible and outrageous." —Edmund White, author of Inside a PearlPraise for Crackpot"John Waters, amoral filmmaker and moralist wit. Why do his collected essays make me chortle uncontrollably, thrilled to be alive? Wilde thing, you make my heart sing." —Carrie Rickey, LA WeeklyPraise for Shock Value"Shock Value is shocking. Any honest account of human experience must be shocking. For it is the function of art to make the reader or viewer aware of what he knows and in most cases doesn’t know that he knows and doesn’t want to know." —William S. Burroughs
The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever." Originally broadcast June 10. More at NPR.org
The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him. More at NPR.org
The man behind Pink Flamingos and Cry-Baby hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco and chronicles the experience in a new book, Carsick. He says as a hitchhiker, "Your job is to talk. Or have sex." More at NPR.org