Call of the Weird - Louis Theroux

Book Review by Helen Grey | 16 May 2006
Louis Theroux is best known for that scene with Christine Hamilton where she's hammered and tries ungracefully to flirt with him, but he is also famous for travelling America in his BBC TV series Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, interviewing people on the fringes of US society. In his first book Mr Theroux follows up on many of the strange people he interviewed for his TV programme but this time his aim is to discover what makes them tick. Just what makes weird people… well, weird?

Theroux's journey takes him to the American West on the trail of Thor Templar, the Lord Commander of the Earth Protectorate; to Jackson on the trail of Mello T, a gangster rapper; and to California to catch up with Prussian Blue, a band consisting of twin 12-year-old girls who specialise in White Power music. He also catches up with a porn director, a prostitute, Tina Turner's infamous ex-husband and the aging leader of Aryan Nations.

The journey through America is as much a journey of self-discovery for Theroux as it is a reunion tour. His characteristic dry geekiness is present throughout the book, not least when he meets the gangster rapper Mello T, who says to Theroux: "This shit is boring to me. This life is boring to me. I want your life, man." To which Theroux replies: "I went to bed last night at eleven thirty and did a crossword puzzle."
Published by MacMillan. Out Now. Cover Price £17.99