For 10 years, Louis Theroux has been making programmes about off-beat characters on the fringes of US society. Now he revisits America and the people who have most fascinated him to try to discover what motivates them, why they believe the things they believe, and to find out what has happened to them since he last saw them. Along the way, Louis thinks about what drives him to spend so much time among weird people and considers whether he's learned anything about himself in the course of ten years working with them. Has he manipulated the people he's interviewed, or have they manipulated him?
From his Las Vegas base, Louis revisits the assorted dreamers and outlaws who have been his TV feeding ground. Attempting to understand a little about himself and the workings of his own mind, Louis considers questions such as: what is the difference between pathology and "normal" weirdness? Is there something particularly weird about Americans? What does it mean to be weird, or "to be yourself"? And do we choose our beliefs or do our beliefs choose us?
©2005 Louis Theroux; (P)2005 Macmillan Publishers Ltd
"Alternately fascinating and sad." (Kirkus Reviews)
If you have seen a lot of Louis work (and I have) you have to sit through him setting up every anecdote through a re-telling of the stories in his documentaries. In these sections, it seems like he is retelling it based on what details ended up on screen, and adding little in the way of new information or insights. As such, its a bit light on 'new' details for the avid fan.
There were a few updates on past characters that changed my views on the original tv documentaries. The least interesting part was (again) the amount of pages dedicated to explaining the TV series original material, which felt redundant.
He is a likeable guy, but this telling lacked a little of the humour that he is known for in his interviews - i think he is at his best when he is reacting to scenarios, rather than just writing alone for a reader.
This book is only for big fans, and even then its a tad lackluster. I dont say this easily - I'm a tragic fan of Louis work, but I struggled to keep paying attention through this one.
The variety of people that Louis can get to open up about their lives and beliefs. The way he questions while remaining respectful
Them by Jon Ronson. Both attempt to show peoples unusual behaviours and beliefs through their own eyes
His own voice
The young white supremacist singers
"Short but good"
I'm disappointed this book was a bit short. However, Louis is an excellent author and reader. He expertly gives each character a unique voice. The stories are facinating, but for adults only. I highly recommend.
"An absolutely fascinating listen"
I'm a big fan of Louis' work and have watched the majority of his documentaries.
This was probably the reason I found myself so captivated by this title; Louis revisits a select number of memorable characters in a sort of "Where are they now?" type of quest.
He gives a succinct review of each character before describing the re-visitation, so you're not completely lost if you haven't watched his shows (though you really should).
Louis also provides very interesting insights in regard to the individuals and cultures he encounters and the occasional character imitations he performs are super adorable, too.
"Like his BBC shows? This is a must-listen!"
Louis brutal honesty: The fact a camera forced him and I am sure still does be entertaining. The concern and love he shows those he has met,.
When he said "We are all weird" so true and comforting
Hmmm. Harold camping or Haley.
Yes! It is fantastic!
Like travel books? Want to know how right-wingers can appear? Need a good book for a few saved up bucks? This is the perfect one to buy with cash, not credits because it is priced fairly according to length. As an anthropologist this book reminded me about the field without being academic. Louis is a great reader. Well worth your hard earned bucks.
I got this after a recommendation from the TWIT podcast. In short it was an interesting look at some very fringe segments of society. At times it was entertaining and just plain odd. However, the book failed to give me any special insight into the minds of the people that Mr. Theroux interviewed. Perhaps it is a statement of the people in the book, or the emotional shields that people on the fringe exude. But above all, I felt as if I was at the local country fair, just trying to find the oddest person ... and not being able to make up my mind which one was indeed, the weirdest.
"Interesting, but one annoying flaw..."
I really enjoyed this audio book, and found it mostly interesting and amusing. However, Theroux's insistence on attempting American accents is a huge mistake. The various accents are laughably bad at times; unbearable otherwise. All in all, worth a listen, but only if you're able to withstand Idaho Neo Nazis sounding like southern drag queens.
"One of my favourite downloads so far"
If you love Louis, then what are you waiting for. I have his DVD box set of Weird Weekends at home and have always been fascinated and appalled with some of the excesses of humanity he's interviewed. Yet, I've always wanted to know...'What happened next?' Well, Call of the Weird will tell all...
This download, superbly and personally narrated by Louis, is HIGHLY recommended.
"Louis listing "weird" Americans he once spoke to"
no real content at all, seems like a quick money maker and not up to his usual standards
"Fan of the show"
I would listen to this book again as it's very short and I love the documentary series that the book proceeds
The book rounds up and more or less concludes the random 'weird' people Louis has met whilst recording his documentary with additional side stories throughout!
Louis accents are performed well and are not cheesey, luckily as I had doubts.
It's not a book you need to sit and listen to in one go as the stories are seperate and each to their own. Like the episodes. They are not related other than Louis is documenting their activists and asking them about what they do and why.
If you're a fan of the shows then the book is worth while. If you've never seen the shows, either go watch them, or don't but this as you will have absolutely no idea who he is referring to. Even if you had heard of a few of the characters you'd need to have seen the show to fully appreciate the follow on, which is, this book.
"This book does not disappoint!!"
It's everything you could possibly want from a Louis Theroux book. PLUS, it's read by the wonderful man himself!!
"Kept me interested on a 4 hour drive"
Weird is someone's normal. Maybe if we all accept that the world might be better
"Interesting and fun just wish it was longer"
would have liked Louis to go into more depth with his subjects sometimes but it's a great listen and Louis' delivery is really good. if you love Louis then you must listen.
Loved it , Louis has such a unique way of describing situations ! It's his usual fast paced , dry witted look on what is deemed normal for some folk .
"Seriously concerned but really interesting"
Louis approaches this with his usual naivety and he does the voices brilliantly. It's certainly a story of a collection of weird worlds.
Enjoyable in a weird and worrying way
fascinating catch up with the characters from weird weekends slightly let down by louis' acting
"Very enjoyable listening"
Very enjoyable listening to some fascinating insights. The chapters are perhaps a little long so you will need to make some time for it.
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