Extended Audio Sample

Download Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America Audiobook, by John Waters Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Waters Narrator: John Waters Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2014 ISBN: 9781427244031
Regular Price: $19.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s rare to find a book that resembles no other book you’ve ever read. It’s rare to find a book that’s both funny and profound. John Waters’ Carsick is a doubly rare book.”

    Michael Cunningham, New York Times bestselling author of The Hours

  • Who better than quirky film director John Waters himself to narrate his hitchhiking odyssey? Listeners will feel like they've been along for the whole ride as Waters joyfully reaches his destination. AudioFile Magazine
  • “Fantastical and plush…Carsick becomes a portrait not just of America’s desolate freeway nodes—though they’re brilliantly evoked—but of American fame itself.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Waters reads with a joie de vivre that is infectious. He is spirited and funny and fast, which quite matches the often-outrageous material.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Underlying it all is a highly developed sense of fun, a desire to amuse more than to shock…Waters has made a funny, engaging, and—of course—occasionally outrageous book…All in all a cool trip and a delightful book.”

    Washington Post       

  • “This is all good, dirty, subversive fun…a good helping of unbridled lewdness is surely to be expected…However, once [Waters] gets on the road and begins his “real life” adventure, he comes across as a very different, and much more benign and vulnerable, figure…He also has to rely on the kindness of strangers, and he finds it everywhere. Quite a few people mistake him for a homeless man and try to give him a handout. Some of this is deeply moving…As he says in the book’s acknowledgments, “If I ever hear another elitist jerk use the term flyover people, I’ll punch him in the mouth.’ I do believe he will.”

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “Pretty constantly hilarious…The real trip, hardly as ludicrous as the preceding fictions, takes longer, involves more drivers, and has Waters growing in admiration for the regular—but far from colorless!—people who pick him up, especially the married guys who praise their wives to the skies. Travel—uh, hitchhiking—book of the year?”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Waters idiosyncratically cuts to the core of American diversity, finding the good (and bad) in any situation with biting wit. The unlikely friendship Waters forms with a young Republican politician is an unexpected twist…For Waters aficionadoes, the best parts of this enchanting narrative aren’t the ones that actually happened. Fans will delight in the two novellas, with Waters at his campiest and most ludicrous, that precede the nonfiction third act…Waters devotees take note: this is required reading.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A rollicking, raunchy romp that delivers big-time laughs.”

    Library Journal

  • “Face it: wouldn’t you rather strike out on the road with John Waters than Jack Kerouac?…Once [Carsick] takes off, it’s a sweet and funny ride.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Who better than quirky film director John Waters himself to narrate his hitchhiking odyssey? His book is divided into two fictional sections and the story of his actual journey. Waters, as author and narrator, outdoes himself on the fictional parts and is his best—and real self—with the diary of the trip. The fiction comprises Waters’ fantasies about meeting fans—most of whom do not know him—and even his own movie characters. In the real-life passages, his delivery conveys his fear, bravado, or admiration for the strangers he encounters, most of whom are kind and generous to him. A range of people from a minister’s wife to a young Republican are fascinatingly portrayed. Listeners will feel they’ve been along for the whole ride as Waters joyfully reaches his destination.”


  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • A Washington Post bestseller
  • An NPR bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A 2014 Library Journal Editor’s Pick
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of Summer 2014
  • A New York Magazine Top 10 Books of Summer 2014
  • Nominated for GRAMMY Nominee: Best Spoken Word Album for Children, 2014
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author John Waters

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented. He is also the author of a memoir, Role Models. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.