Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich--and happily horrify--readers everywhere.
"Role Models "is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite personalities--some famous, some unknown, some criminal, some surprisingly middle of the road. From Esther Martin, owner of the scariest bar in Baltimore, to the playwright Tennessee Williams; from the atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair to the insane martyr Saint Catherine of Siena; from the English novelist Denton Welch to the timelessly appealing singer Johnny Mathis--these are the extreme figures who helped the author form his own brand of neurotic happiness.
"Role Models "is a personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time.
Praise for "Role Models"
"Waters is a greater National Treasure than 90 percent of the people who are given 'Kennedy Center Honors' each December. Unlike those gray eminences of the show-business establishment, Waters doesn't kowtow to the received wisdom, he flips it the bird . . . [Waters] has the ability to show humanity at its most ridiculous and make that funny rather than repellent. To quote his linear ancestor W.C. Fields: It's a gift."" --"Jonathan Yardley, "The Washington Post"
"His acolytes won't need a reviewer's say-so to lap up every word of "Role Models," . . . But dilettantes at liberty to skip around will find a lot to charm them. In a way, the best joke is that - Baader-Meinhof gang, outsider porn and all"--"Waters can't help revealing one very page that he's both sentimental and good-hearted. Pass the relish, Uncle John."" --"Tom Carson, "New York"" Times Book Review"
"If Waters began his career by seeking to infuriate, he now has mellowed to a place of gleeful tweaking. 'Role Models' is charming and chatty . . . it also reveals the making of a unique American artist through his influences. When he calls for people to make him a cult leader of filth "--"having left trash behind for becoming too acceptable"--"it's hard for any outsider not to want to follow along." "--"Carolyn Kellogg, "Los Angeles"" Times "
"Waters may not be a gloater, but there is a delightful lunatic glee that pulses through the book. It combusts in the final chapter, titled 'Cult Leader, ' which exhorts readers to rise up against the 'tyranny of good taste, ' wear their belts off center, and infiltrate living creches. Happily, for all the reflective and tender moments, Waters never suppresses his radiant pervert self." --Liz Brown, "Bookforum.com"
"What is exhilarating about Waters is that he's not kidding, that he's the reporter, comedian and poet-in-chief of a fantasy cult which thinks 'there's only one way to die--spontaneous combustion. The unexplained phenomen