“Louis Louis, oh no! Me gotta go!”

Saturday, December 31, 2005 by

Okay, this might not be entirely on-topic (although, you could possibly file the following somewhere in the OTT Book Tower), but I’ve just finished reading Louis Theroux’s The Call of the Weird.

I normally spend ages on one book, but this took me only three days to get through, in part due to the huge font used throughout. That aside, it’s a really readable piece of work, albeit one greatly diminished if you’re not familar with the author’s Weird Weekends series. It got me thinking, though, when did telly go off the boil for Mr Theroux?

It’s got to be with his When Louis Met … series, which turned him into a mainstream TV property (as one of his subjects, Paul Daniels, pointed out at the time) and diminished his oddball appeal. In addition, it’s probably fair to say the whole Weird subject was rather of its time … Millennial angst and all that. Interestingly enough, this hasn’t just been a shift in television trends. As Theroux discovers in his journeys throughout the book (wherein he revisits old contacts he made in Weird Weekends) many of the subcultures he investigated have withered on the vine in the last five years. Jon Ronson, it’s time to look for something new to do.

But, anyway, reading the tome, I was nearly prompted to dig out my old Louis tapes (obviously, I haven’t actually got around to doing that just yet), because despite the slightly passé nature of it all, the book reminded me of Theroux’s genuine talent as a journalist. A kind of Morgan Spurlock, without the grandstanding, crusading – or facial hair. I kind of miss him.

Er, Happy New Year everyone!


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