Reaching into the vault for a throwback review. I wanted to share a favorite on my shelf: “The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures” by Louis Theroux (2007) @dacapopressbooks @hachettebooks
If you’re looking for a new obsession, I suggest the entire work of Louis Theroux — this majorly includes media, as his best work is in documentaries. Not into stuffy documentaries? Good. He’s not into that either. Theroux is an awarded journalist/filmmaker whose best work (imo) is a successful combination of 1) intelligent, 2) insightful, and 3) comedic. At the same time, he has very serious and hard-hitting docu-series in which he grapples with topics such as drug abuse, prison systems, assisted suicide, etc.
“Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends” is a series where Louis immersed himself in “weird” or extreme subcultures such as hardcore UFO/alien chasers, fundamentalist Christian groups, right-wing “survivalist” groups, black nationalists and Neo-Nazis, and swingers or sex workers.
Review — In this book pictured, the “dreamers, schemers, and outlaws” explored during Theroux’s travels across America reveal his thoughts and experiences with these subcultures. It is a mix of memoir, humor, and travel nonfiction. I would suggest this book ALONGSIDE the actual documentaries/television series, it serves as a good companion but you definitely need the fuller picture provided by the human interaction. Even funnier (sometimes) is the cultural differences of US-Brit convos. He is an awkward dude, but lighthearted and charismatic in a uniquely charming way. A bulk of the media was produced in the early 2000s, so it may look outdated to a new watcher now, but nonetheless it retains some entertainment + educational value.
If you’re in the US, you can watch on YouTube, HBO Max, BBC Select, and used to be on Netflix. UK has the bulk of the options, but I hardly need to tell anyone watching UK television about his work 😂
PS — He’s the son of Paul Theroux, the author. Fun trivia!