John Waters is, of course, best known for his films and appearance on The Simpsons, but he's also an author, and I have a few books by him and about him. He's one of those guys who is fascinating in almost every aspect, and little of it has to do with his films.
I have mixed feelings on his movies. Some I like quite a bit, and others kind of leave me flat. I don't even own any of his movies, but I do own his books. That alone is strange for me, as I usually try to keep a DVD library of anyone in my print library, too.
I don't have every book by or about Waters, though it is a goal of mine. Most are pretty easily obtainable, and every single one I've read has been entertaining. Whether he's covering his underground filmmaking in the early days, going to see the Care Bears movie solo, or yelling at abortion demonstrators, Waters has this way of saying things that cuts right to the heart of matters. He understands this ridiculous culture we are knee-deep in, and he can dissect it like a drunk surgeon.
In the future, Waters' name will be remembered as one of American culture's greats. Many may hate him because of his films (or his open homosexuality), but few can deny his observations. Even the mainstream has grown to like him (a move that I think helped to dumb down his films).
Even if don't appreciate the man's cinematic works, you should at least give his books a try. Not every essay will appeal to you, and some may righteously piss you off, but you will laugh, and you will think, and I'm sure one or two of you may actually check out the works that made him famous. (If you do, I personally like Pecker and Female Trouble, but that's just me.)
-Doug Brunell (America's Favorite Son)