Carsick by John Waters
John Waters hitchhikes across America

66%

15 Critic Reviews

In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.
-AV Club

Synopsis

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.

 

About John Waters

See more books from this Author
John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Published June 3, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 337 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Education & Reference, Humor & Entertainment, Cooking. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jun 29 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Carsick
All: 15 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 7

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 08 2014

Face it: Wouldn’t you rather strike out on the road with John Waters than Jack Kerouac? If the answer is yes, then this book is for you, even if Waters...the ever-flamboyant auteur-(Pink Flamingos, Hairspray et al) turned-writer, takes his sweet time getting going.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 28 2014

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.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Jun 05 2014

“Carsick” functions partly as a close examination of modest fame at work in immodest America. Mr. Waters has far better experiences when he’s recognized than when he is not.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Norman Powers on Jul 12 2014

Carsick isn’t a straightforward On the Road clone, however. Waters impishly provides us with not only a day-by-day description of his actual hitchhike, but two novellas...

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AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Josh Modell on Jun 09 2014

In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.

Read Full Review of Carsick: John Waters hitchhik... | See more reviews from AV Club

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Good on Jul 02 2014

Like its author, Carsick is funny, entertaining, and odd in a genial sort of way...Carsick is a reality-TV vision of the simple life with Waters cast as Paris Hilton...

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The Washington Post

Above average
Reviewed by Jonathan Yardley on Jun 06 2014

...treated Waters kindly and generously, those who knew who he was and those who did not. He had “not one scary ride, not one bad driver, not one car accident, not one incident of police harassment.” All in all a cool trip and a delightful book.

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Andor Brodeur on Jun 04 2014

It’s a ride that may have you reaching for Dramamine, but this panoramic view of Waters’s uniquely twisted American landscape is also a reminder that in taking him for a ride, we’re only just barely beginning to return the favor.

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Newsday

Above average
Reviewed by Marion Winik on Jun 26 2014

Probably the third part of "Carsick'' couldn't have been published as a book on its own, but it turns out to be worth the price of admission.

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Chicago Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by SAM WORLEY on May 30 2014

A couple more weeks of hitchhiking may have reminded him of the fallacy of "normal," but "Carsick" finds him, at least, on the road to that realization.

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Journal Sentinel

Below average
Reviewed by Jon M. Gilbertson on May 30 2014

Unfortunately, Waters insulates himself from the hardier elements of the hitchhiker lifestyle. He carries his Blackberry...and, via phone and e-mail, arranges for pickups more than once. With that protection and distance, Waters can't offer many profound or even amusing observations...

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'Bout Books

Above average
Reviewed by Elizabeth Gunto on Jul 24 2014

Waters eats at chain restaurants and imagines interactions with porn stars. He doesn’t have much to say about travel either. He stays in Days Inn motels and reads in bed. However, the real and fabricated tales delight in a way only a John Waters publication could do.

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Full Stop

Above average
Reviewed by Rachel Luban on Jun 10 2014

Ten years since his last movie, the cult film director seems to want to remind us in his latest book, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, of his capacity for filth, but he is not exactly bad. The Pope of Trash himself comes off as wholesome and almost staid.

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Alibi

Above average
Reviewed by Constance Moss on Aug 06 2014

Carsick is a light and silly page turner. With no plot lines or character arcs to follow, it's the perfect companion to bring along to the dentist's office or the airport.

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The IE Mommy

Good
Reviewed by Lindsey on Jun 04 2014

Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America is certainly entertaining, wildly amusing and there is never a dull moment whether it be real or imagined.

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Reader Rating for Carsick
63%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 472 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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