Best Fiction/Nonfiction

City Paper

A couple years ago, when we heard that John Waters—Hall of Fame Best Baltimorean— was hitchhiking across the country for a book, we were excited. His nonfiction profiles in “Role Models” were spectacular and we couldn’t wait for more. What we found when the book came out was something far stranger—two fiction novellas that imagined Waters’ best- and worst-possible hitchhiking trips and a third nonfiction novella that detailed his real trip. The nonfiction part was great, but the fictional parts of the book gave us a great look into Waters’ mind—and reminded us what a strange and hideously gorgeous place that is. It was full of carnivals, big-dicked bank robbers, trash-film-hating psycho killers, and kind pot dealers—in other words, this book is the closest thing we’ve had to a John Waters movie since last decade’s “A Dirty Shame.” And the conceit—part fiction, part nonfiction—really worked to show all of the mental preparation—the existential angst—that can come from a 68-year-old uprooting his stable life and hitting the road. 

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