Dwight Garner of the New York Times chimed in yesterday with a rather long review of “Carsick.” He was lukewarm about it, saying that if you’re a Waters fan, you’ll appreciate it, but since only about half the book addresses the actual hitch-hiking experience, he felt mislead.
The first part of the book consists of Waters’ potty-brained fantasies that mimic the plots of all his movies. They’re the kinds of stories John must write in his 3-hr, summer morning writing-time on the beach at Provincetown.
Stories of sexual oddities, the beauty of crime, the attraction of deformed bodies, bodily wastes, and nightmarish animal attacks have been some of Waters’ favorite topics since he was a lost teen in the Baltimore suburbs. Garner doesn’t think much of it, but I doubt his dismissive review of this “porny-pulpy volume of short stories” will discourage Waters’ core fans.
I think Garner (and many others) were hoping for a detailed, philosophical, life-changing travel book, like authors William Least-Heat Moon, Paul Theroux, or Jack Kerouac, that Waters’ with his great sense of irony and insight, and twisted comedy could deliver.
Consider this a pre-review. Somehow I was left off the comp reviewer list, so I bought my own, and it’s in the mail. I’ll provide my own review later.
(I still maintain that Waters was closely attended to by a comfy motor home stocked with Perrier, potato chips and pickles, and furnished with a waterbed with 300 count Egyptian cotton sheets. Probably even a stunt double out in the rain sticking his thumb out, while John thumbed through a stack of 500 fashion magazines to kill the time.)