John Waters Hitchhikes Across America

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.

Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2014, ©2014.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374298630
Branch Call Number: 791. 430233092 WAT W
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

List - Challenged
CalgaryLibrary_Adults Feb 11, 2017

Challenged for being sexually explicit. Complainant found the book in the library’s travel section expecting a general travel narrative and was offended by the author’s references to "X-rated fantasy hitchhiking”. The book was retained.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Oct 04, 2017

What started off as interesting, funny (at times), and having potential, ended abruptly for me with annoyance. After reading chapter 7 and skimming through the other chapters, I lost interest in what feels like a half fictionalized, perverted misadventure. This type of thing is totally up John Waters' alley, no doubt, but I felt turned-off the explicit details of men's private parts. It was not a good read for me.

Jun 13, 2016

I enjoyed this, the man is funny. Read his best-case scenario first though, it is the best.

Feb 20, 2015

This book always left something to be desired, but in a bad way. While reading the first two parts, I was anxious to get to what really happened. Yet when I finally read what really happened, I was under-whelmed and longed for the made up versions.

Sep 03, 2014

To be precise: I cannot say it better than reader Tracy Guza!!

JMFlaherty Aug 27, 2014

Waters wrote 3 sections in this book: what he hoped, what he feared and what really happened. The best section is the last, what really happened. Because, as I've been saying to my writer friends for several decades, the narration of real life is far better than any fiction ever could be. And this revealing (re: Waters and people he encounters), and enjoyable fun book proves it. :)

Aug 10, 2014

The first two-thirds of "Carsick" made me sick. However, the last third of the book which in fact described the actual hitchhiking, rather than the author's fantasy, was interesting and made me glad that I had persevered. Perhaps the most important words the writer wrote were in the "acknowledgement": "My riders were brave and open-minded, and their down-to-earth kindness gave me new faith in how decent Americans can be." That about sums up this journey!

KCLSRecommends Jul 10, 2014

Infamous movie director Waters decides to hitch-hike across the country at age 60 and writes all about it. However, he starts by penning two long fantasies about how the trip COULD go. Actual trip much less interesting -- and he takes advantage of his celebrity-hood since so many who pick him up do so because they recognize him!

Jul 06, 2014

What would you expect a book by John Waters about hitching rides cross country to be like? Sick, twisted, funny, charming and compulsively readable.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Dec 28, 2015

mayormark thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Dec 23, 2014

bradsm1987 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top