Synopses & Reviews
No, it doesn't get much weirder than this: Thor Templar, Lord Commander of the Earth Protectorate, who claims to have killed ten aliens. Or April, the Neo-Nazi bringing up her twin daughters Lamb and Lynx (who have just formed a white-power folk group for kids called Prussian Blue), and her youngest daughter, Dresden.
For a decade now, Louis Theroux has been making programs about offbeat characters on the fringes of U.S. society. Now he revisits the people who have most intrigued him to try to discover what motivates them, and why they believe the things they believe. From his Las Vegas base (where else?), Theroux calls on these assorted dreamers, schemers, and outlaws and in the process finds out a little about the workings of his own mind. What does it mean, after all, to be weird, or "to be yourself"? Do we choose our beliefs or do our beliefs choose us?
And is there something particularly weird about Americans?
America, prepare yourself for a hilarious look in the mirror that has already taken the rest of the English-speaking world by storm
"Ten years after hosting a BBC series on weird American subcultures, Theroux decided to make a 'Reunion Tour' and write a book about how his interviewees' lives had changed. Theroux's weird Americans were UFO enthusiasts, porn stars, Aryan Nation white supremacists, brothel prostitutes, gangsta rappers, become-a-millionaire scammers, Heaven's Gate survivors and, strangely, Ike Turner. Theroux (son of writer Paul Theroux) likes them because he believes they use weirdness to feel 'alive,' and that's 'more important than telling the truth.' Apart from that, what they have in common, 10 years later, is their unavailability the porn star had become a computer programmer, the UFOer was inhabiting a different reality, and the prostitute was either born-again or doing drugs, hard to say. So Theroux settled for talking to others in their communities. Although he sometimes criticizes himself for botching things (trying unsuccessfully to attend the Millionaires seminar as the guest of a blacklisted former adherent), Theroux never criticizes his subjects, confining himself to what he hopes will be inoffensive questions like, have you 'ever thought of trying to be less racist?' As their rants become repetitious, these 'weird' subjects become surprisingly boring. By the end, readers may wonder why Theroux still finds these people so 'alive,' so interesting." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Paul Theroux's son writes with just as clear an eye for character and place as his father.... And he's funny.... Theroux's final analysis of American weirdness is true and new." Literary Review (England)
"The king of offbeat documentaries sets off across America in search of the weird and wacky. Cool." Mail on Sunday
"Alternately fascinating and sad." Kirkus Reviews
No, it doesnt get any weirder than this: Thor Templar, Lord Commander of the Earth Protectorate, who claims to have killed ten aliens. Or April, the Neo-Nazi bringing up her twin daughters Lamb and Lynx (A.K.A. Prussian Blue, a white-power folk group for kids) and her youngest daughter, Dresden. For a decade, Louis Theroux has been making acclaimed television programs about offbeat characters on the fringes of U.S. society. Now he revisits the people who have intrigued him the most to try to discover what motivates them-and why they hold their bizarre beliefs. Reflecting on these assorted dreamers, schemers, and outlaws, Theroux entertainingly and unforgettably creates a moving, funny, and frightening exposé of America and its often elusive dream” (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC).
About the Author
Louis Theroux graduated from Oxford University, where he wrote for the satirical magazine Spy. After working on Michael Moore's Emmy-winning "TV Nation," he hosted his own BAFTA-winning shows in the United Kingdom, "Weird Weekends" and "When Louis Met...." This is his first book.