Role Models (Audio Read by Author) – John Waters

What can I say? I’m a fan and John Waters lets us into his brain here, describing his favorite people and sometimes the things his favorite people created (art, literature, pornography, music). I’m very happy I chose the audio CD. Prior to hearing Waters present at one of his spoken word events, I read a few of his books and I watched a few of his movies. In 1973 or so, I was grossed out and turned off by Pink Flamingoes, but over time, well I couldn’t FORGET Pink Flamingoes. And that’s the point here: John Waters is interesting –in such a fundamentally idiosyncratic, perverse, intellectual, down-to-earth yet totally into his wealth and stuff– that he is unforgettable. I was reading other stuff before I listened to this and lent the CD to a friend who listens to books a lot. “How can you STAND him”, she asked? “He’s SO full of himself and he goes on and on about things I don’t want to hear about.” Well, yes. Yes, he does. And I am mesmerized! I’m even reading one of the authors who wrote in the early 20th century, Ida Compton-Burnett on the Internet Archive. She’s as hard to read as he promised as her novels are 99% dialogue and I personally find her entertaining as promised. I suspect others might not UNLESS they read Role Models and think about her the way Waters does. (HINT: Internet Archive is a treasure trove of all things past copyright! Give them $$$$) I’m looking up his favorite artists because he explains why they bring him joy and, while I’ve gone to many a contemporary/modern art installation, I’m not so sure I’ll get his taste. We’ll see. So, if you’re a fan of more than Hairspray and Serial Mom– or if you just like getting into other people’s weirdo minds — read this book.

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