01 March, 2016

Shock value : a tasteful book about bad taste by John Waters

“The Pope of Trash”, “The King of Bad Taste”, or just plain old “Scum of the Earth”, John Waters has been called a lot of things over the years. After reading his memoir Shock value I’ve come to the conclusion that most of these are probably well deserved.

In recent years John Waters has somehow wormed his way into the establishment (and I think Waters is as surprised about this as the rest of us), but Shock value is a reminder that before he was the well regarded film maker, writer and critic that he is today, he was wildly controversial. Written in 1981 ten years after he made the infamous Pink Flamingos but before he made his break into the mainstream with films like Hairspray and Cry Baby, Shock value is Waters in his outsider element.

Waters has a talent for creating films that shock and horrify his audiences, and he is famous for pushing boundaries and taking things way too far. His book answers many of the questions his fans and detractors are desperate to ask (no, he’s not on drugs, yes he does have parents, and yes Divine really did eat dog droppings in that notorious scene…).

Waters is proud of his seedy past and his early life as a self described “juvenile delinquent” and his book is filled with hilarious anecdotes about his younger years messing around in Baltimore with his posse “the Dreamlanders”. Surprisingly, he’s actually a clever and warm-hearted writer, whose disgust for the mainstream and commonplace is only matched by his enthusiasm and love for those individuals who choose to live life on their own terms.

John Waters is one of those people that you can't help but feel strongly about. Whether you love him or you hate him there's no denying John Waters is an icon!

Title:  Shock value: a tasteful book about bad taste

Author: John Waters

Recommended by Ella J, Central Library

Ella J is a library assistant who has equal amounts of time for literary masterpieces as she does for pop culture icons and is always looking out for something new and exciting to get her teeth into.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kia ora! Please feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below.