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Role Models Hardcover – 2 Dec 2010

8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Beautiful Books; 1st edition (2 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190761608X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907616082
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A delirious descent into Waters World, Role Models is a true-life confessional from one of America's greatest ironists. John Waters is a man always ready and willing to say the unsayable. He is the dark mirror of contemporary culture. From haute couture to low culture, from literary outsiders to lapsed actors, he delivers razor-sharp pen portraits of the women and men who have perverted and inspired him by turns. And yet Waters's warped imagination is always humane, his judgments insightful. Role Models is as much a philosophical manifesto as it is an utterly hilarious and shamelessly entertaining read. --Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan, or The Whale

John Waters has a great gift for appreciation - whether for toothless lesbian strippers in Baltimore or the most rarefied painters and writers of our day. He is a dandy who has done away with everyone else's hierarchies and created a new world that conforms only to his own taste for trash and the sublime. He is frank, funny, and (strangely enough) both sensible and outrageous. --Edmund White, author of City Boy

Disarmingly unfiltered confessions that capture Waters' singular blend of weirdness and guileless honesty. --San Francisco Chronicle

Book Description

A personal invitation into one of the most unique, perverse, and hilarious artistic minds of our time. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bobbygw on 19 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an entertaining, insightful and often thought-provoking series of journalistic essays by John Waters on his role models.

Waters is arguably America's most wonderful, funny, quirky and cult film director (who can forget, once seen, the marvels of 'Pink Flamingos' and 'Female Trouble') and, for those who aren't already fans of his journalism as well, John Waters is a natural writer. You can hear his voice as he reflects, shares, meditates and wryly comments on an eclectic range of topics. He's also widely read and his cultural interests are equally diverse and, unsurprisingly, reflective of his quirky, distinctive - and, I hasten to add, utterly charming - personality.

While this latest collection is accomplished and well worth the price - the UK edition, this review refers to, by the way, is by Beautiful Books, and is truly beautiful in format, dust jacket and design - and this review will highlight a bunch of evidence to justify such claims - it doesn't have the many hysterically funny, laugh-out-loud moments that run through two of his previous collections of journalism (I'm thinking here of 'Crackpot' and 'Shock Value', both of which I adore).

But there's no harm or foul in this fact, as there's a greater maturity and depth to be found in these essays. (Still, if you want incredibly funny, there is one article in particular, 'Baltimore Heroes', in which he tells you stories about some of his beloved local heroes, and, one especially had me laughing out loud time and time again: Esther Martin, who ran a bar whose only clients were bums and misfits, alcoholics and troubled, with Esther as 'keeper of the asylum', but all of whom were welcome in The Wigwam, or Club Charles as it was later renamed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fink Pajamas on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're already a John Waters fan then what are you waiting for, get this already! This does not disappoint me at all, it is the first book i have read by cult film director John Waters, his writing style is open and comic as well as insightful and sincere. Although this book describes John's obsessive love affair with quirky characters, places and things it is littered with anecdotes of his past and experiences he's had with the people of Baltimore. I probably won't be able to articulate anything more than the other reviewers have here but i just wanted to give John Waters Role Models a 5 star rating!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deloris VanCartier on 23 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i love this book, of course. waters is a brilliant story teller and his anecdotes are very amusing. he doesn't talk about his movies or the people that features in them, which makes this book very different from most of his previous books. great read. couldn't put it down and finished it in one afternoon in the garden.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This frank and honest autobiography by underground film director and writer, John Waters, is an account of the people whom he admires and that influenced and inspired him from early childhood into making movies. Many of which sparked his various subversive obsessions.

As a fan of John's early work (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living) and Divine, I've seen many interviews with John relating to the late Divine. I'm always interested in hearing his humorous liberal views and distaste for buttoned downed middle class America. He's a minority that doesn't fit in with his minority group and proud of it. A true misfit.

When I came across Role Models I purchased it without a second thought. Before starting it I expected there to be previously untold anecdotes of outrageous shenanigans that he and his 'followers' (Divine, Mink Stole, Cookie, David Lochary) committed. If your hoping for this, you'll be disappointed.
John pretty much focuses on his idols. The reasons for his adoration and some interesting stories regarding the ones he's met. His icons range from Johnny Mathis, his favourite contemporary artists to his friendship with one of the Charles Manson girls, currently serving a life sentence.

His writing is shot with humour but I feel this book is definitely one for the fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it give me an insight into what moulded John into what he's become today but if you know little about him there may not be enough here to sustain your interest.
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