On The Road With John Waters

I’m in the throes of my summer reading preferring favorites like Pride & Prejudice, Stuart Little and Moveable Feast, as though old friends were visiting.

The library, closing weekends for the summer, lets you take all the books you want till after Labor Day, a great boon for me who reads as if her life depends on it.

Have just finished two new books, back to back.

Let’s Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty, by Diane Keaton and Carsick, by John Waters, a man I love.

It’s an account of him hitchhiking from his home in Baltimore to his other home, in San Francisco.  images-5

So excited was I when the librarian handed it to me, I immediately dove in without looking at the book jacket. It took 100 pages before realizing, despite being one kooky character, all this couldn’t possibly have happened to one man.

Did he really meet a pot selling couple who FedExed 5 mill in cash to his office to finance his next film? Or that ex-con who picked him up making him steal clothes from a Laundromat so he could change out of his prison togs before robbing a bank?

Did our John really join the circus for a few days spinning on a wheel while knives were thrown at his head? Yes, my naivete…a nice way of saying stupidity, was in full swing. It was only when he meets Connie Francis in her limo when all the lights finally went on.

The first two parts are novellas…fictional good rides, and bad rides, so it’s no wonder they were more off the wall than usual. Part three is the actual tale of his trip I loved so much only wishing it were longer. images-4

I’ve always been a Waters fan from his early days with Divine right through Hairspray on the big screen, simply because of his honesty. Must be great to know exactly who you are having no need to apologize for it. He doesn’t even take it personally when insulted, my idea of sound mental health.

Candor at its fullest, which brings me to Miss Keaton who could take a tip or two from John in the let it rip department.

If you’re going to write memoir and are not willing to spill your guts, why bother. I know it’s hard, but that’s the point…to air and enlighten, and as a reader I know when you’re holding back, and boy, does it piss me off.

She comes right to the water’s edge, but doesn’t jump in. She’s had relationships with three of the most interesting men in film: Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino. It’s not that they’re not mentioned, they are, but it reads more like a brochure than biography.

Who cares if you and Woody took a walk if you don’t tell us what you talked about. And Warren, the Casanova of our time…what was it like being the muse on his arm? I’ll bet that’s a tale to tell, but you bypass it like a back road. Al was the only one whose lid you remotely come close to popping, but you chickened out there too.

When I finished it was like a cocktail party with skimpy hor d’oeuvres rather than a fine, filling meal.

I know you have kids and are clearly afraid of being judged, so I say, stick to acting Diane because that’s what you’re really good at.

For me the most interesting thing you wrote was naming your adopted daughter Dexter, after Cary Grant’s character (C.K. Dexter Haven) in The Philadelphia Story. Would have loved more images-1 of that...more of you, always being a fan since Annie Hall.

As for John, my horny, hilarious hero, as nutty at three quarters of Carsick is, I give it a 10 and you can dance to it (and have casual sex).

images-3                 images




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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26 Responses to On The Road With John Waters

  1. micklively says:

    I’m with you on the honesty point but isn’t there a libel consideration? No point in writing a popular book for your royalties to end in your lawyer’s pocket.


    • That’s a good point, but aren’t you allowed to discuss your end? How you felt, your experience? That’s not in there either.


      • micklively says:

        Probably. I’m no libel lawyer. And you have very different libel laws to England. Anything that might defame character, even if it’s your side of the story, that cannot be substantiated, could land you with a large bill. I notice you regularly “change names to protect the guilty” in your blog. I thought libel was your motivation?


      • I do change names, this is true…but in Ms Keaton’s case, she mentioned nothing about anything. In memoir you’re entitled to tell the truth…actually it’s expected of you and I highly doubt any of these men would have sued her for her memories.


  2. katecrimmins says:

    Memoirs without the good stuff isn’t worth the read. When you write yours, I’ll be expecting all the good stuff!


  3. Lisa says:

    Glad to hear of your take on Diane Keaton’s book. I was considering reading it but I think I’ll give it a pass now.


    • I feel bad giving it a so-so review but that is what I thought of it. She talks a lot about getting older, how she’s dealing with it. You’re still a young Baby Bride Lisa, doesn’t apply to you. Hope all is well.


      • Lisa says:

        lol Yeah all is well. I just thought it looked like an interesting read but if I don’t really learn much about her from what I already know then I don’t see a point in reading it right now. Besides I already have a never ending list to get to. 🙂


      • I think it’s great you’re such a reader…me too 🙂


  4. great reviews. I agree with your assessment of biographies, yes, please spill your guts, that is what we are looking for…. enjoyed this, as usual, I love your writing! DAF


  5. Elle Knowles says:

    Details, details…It’s all in the details! Of course we want to know it all!


  6. OMG! I am reading Carsick now and all I have to say is John did not disappoint! His descriptions of people kill me.


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