Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
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.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.
*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
Kirkus Book Review
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 (Role Models, 2011, etc.), the ever-flamboyant auteur-(Pink Flamingos, Hairspray et al) turned-writer, takes his sweet time getting going. For more than half of this account of his 2012 cross-country journey hitchhiking from Baltimore to San Francisco, the author imagines what lies in store, with dueling full-length novellas that spin best and worst case scenarios. Best: a never-ending thrill ride full of rich potheads, happy freaks and horny hunks, all of whom know and love his work. Worst: The trip west is seething with small-town homophobes, stage moms, crazed environmentalists and serial killers. The real story, once it arrives, is a welcome relief, as the truth is more hilarious and interesting than Waters' nuttiest fantasies. He dealt with troubles he didn't expect, like tedium or the art of making a marketable cardboard sign. (He eventually ditched his original sign, "I'm Not Psycho," wisely realizing that "hitchhiking is not the time to be a comedian.") Waters hitched rides with a preacher's wife, a hay farmer and an indie band, and he struck up a budding bromance with a straight, young Maryland Republican city councilman. The author was grateful that, even in the hinterlands, C-list celebrity status could be a real asset and was even more touched by the kindness of people who didn't know him at all. Somewho apparently didn't notice his BlackBerry, tracking device or designer sports jacketeven offered money, which he gently refused ("Yeah sure, I see her thinking, here's a homeless person off his meds").The book idles way too long, but once it takes off, it's a sweet and funny ride. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.