Mini Reviews: books by John Waters and José Saramago

Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across AmericaCarsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded this book on a whim, as part of a goodreads challenge. I needed a travel book and I didn’t really pay attention to the details.

It’s by freaking John Waters! Director of Hairspray! And he reads the audiobook version!

John Waters at the Edinburgh International Fil...
Photo credit: Wikipedia

He decides to try to get a book deal about hitchhiking across America, from Baltimore to SanFrancisco. He takes a small travel bag (including La Mer face cream, but forgetting the wee scissors to keep his signature ‘stache trimmed.) He has a sign. He had an orange rain poncho.

The book is really in three main parts: the first two are fantasy. Great RIdes and Bad Rides. Fun-ny. The last third contains the deets on the actual rides.

It’s actually a kind of heartwarming book. He finds out that most people in flyover country are really nice. He meets a young republican in khakis. Sex fantasies, food fantasies, boredom, how to find the best places to grab a ride. It’s all here.

Highly recommended for the not-easily-shocked.

CainCain by José Saramago
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quite a thrilling piece of writing. Despite being only about 160 pages, it was a long read. I know the early creation stories/myths reasonably well, and Saramago retells them from the point of view of Cain, Adam and Eve’s first son and the one who kills his brother. It feels long because there is so much to think about as you read. Not overly serious, there are bits that sound like they’re from Old Jews Telling Jokes.

Saramago asks a lot of tough questions of God, some of which don’t have very compelling answers (at least in this book.)

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