Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance

Farrar. May 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780374185725. $26. F
DEBUT This first novel by Waters (the iconic director of Hairspray and Female Trouble) is nothing short of stunningly outrageous—a nonstop smorgasbord of theft, deceit, and rancor fueled by an unrelenting, unabashedly sexualized comic genius. It commences with Marsha Sprinkle and Daryl Hotchkins as partners in a luggage theft scam. Daryl’s incentive is sex with Marsha in exchange for his participation. Their flagrant thievery is discovered, and their photos are posted on local news channels. Chased by security, they become separated, but both accomplished scammers continue to steal on different tangents. Multiple cumulative adventures ensue. Daryl’s penis (named Richard) starts talking. Marsha steals from her movement-obsessed daughter Poppy and then from her estranged mother, Adora. This causes a melee-filled revenge chase across several states. The distributed action converges at an analingus festival in Provincetown, Mass. Here Marsha discovers the turn-on of telling the truth and Richard is detached from Daryl in a dog attack. Marsha then fakes her death and gets away with everything.
VERDICT This eminently farcical and jocular work reads like Planes, Trains and Automobiles meets, oddly enough, a John Waters movie; recommended for intrepid readers cognizant of satire.
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