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Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  3,377 ratings  ·  268 reviews
In 1994 fledgling journalist Louis Theroux was given a one-off gig on Michael Moore's TV Nation, presenting a segment on apocalyptic religious sects. Gawky, socially awkward and totally unqualified, his first reaction to this exciting opportunity was panic. But he'd always been drawn to off-beat characters, so maybe his enthusiasm would carry the day. Or, you know, maybe ...more
Audiobook, 14 pages
Published September 19th 2019 by Macmillan
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Clara Hill
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inject Louis Theroux in my veins
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this, not my usual kind of read but I've been a big fan of a lot of his documentaries so I was keen to see more of the person behind them.

Very honest and provides a huge amount of interesting background to most of his most famous documentaries.

I'd recommend the audiobook version which Louis reads himself, makes it feel very conversational.

I think where it lost me was a little bit was the amount of time dedicated to Jimmy Saville. I can understand the need for people that knew
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

Gotta Get Theroux This: My Life and Strange Times in Television by Louis Theroux. (2019).

Louis takes the reader on a journey from his anxiety-prone childhood to his unexpectedly successful career. He has created his own documentary style that has seen him immersed in the worlds of paranoid US militias and secretive pro-wrestlers, get under the skin of celebrities like Max Clifford and Chris Eubank and tackle gang culture in a San
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, 2020

This book would not have come on to my radar if it wasn’t for a friend in my book club. She’s from the UK and she really enjoyed watching his BBC documentaries back in the day.

I didn’t know much about Louis Theroux before this book but I now know much more. This was part memoir and mesh mash on all things that happened on his shows and in life. He does seem like an interesting guy.

To me, Gotta Get Theroux This was just okay for me. I think it could be rated higher and have a more
Alice Lippart
Very interesting!
Alison Vicary
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy watching Louis on the tv you will absolutely love this book. He goes into some detail on some of the main tv programmes, the fantastic Scientology film as well as elements of his private life, but by far is the indepth goings on and his personal feelings on the Jimmy Savile affair and how for some ridiculous reason he still appears to carry some guilt. I adore watching Louis's programmes and am happy to say I have watched them all and this book just adds to the understanding of the ...more
Natalie M
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admissions: 1) I’m a Louis Theroux fan (so perceptions may be biased). 2) I’ve watched/listened/read most of his work (hmm...May skew the bias). 3) Listened to the audio version narrated by Louis (I always seem to enjoy the author/narrator presentations a little more).

Review: interesting, in-depth and interspersed with lashings of misgivings and personal fear of failure. Not entirely chronological but delving into the issues which occur during filming, the sheer length of time it takes and the
Heidi Gardner
Before reading this book I was a massive Louis Theroux fan. I love his documentaries and I enjoyed his previous book too. This book is well written, and interesting, but it’s made me dislike Louis which isn’t great. He comes across as really, really privileged - and worse, unaware of that privilege. The chapters about his wife Nancy made me feel really sorry for her, and I felt uncomfortable with how much he talked about his first wife, Sarah, as she was clearly someone who appreciated privacy.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Louis Theroux’s memoir is about as odd as some of the subjects he makes documentaries about. Part memoir, part Jimmy Savile book, part behind-the-scenes of his documentaries. It had a meandering quality to it that inevitably made me not wish it to end. Louis is to be admired for looking inward and using his investigative skills on himself here.

Oxford-educated and with a famous author father, the writing here is high standard. It’s incredibly articulate (as expected from any award-winning
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had high expectations going into this but I was defintely let down.

While this was interesting, I found that it lacked much humour or wit. I think Louis is really funny so I was expecting some humour in this book. Unfortunately I felt that it wasn't very funny, which is a shame.

I don't read a lot of memoirs, but I choose to pick this one up because I really like Louis and the documentaries he has done but I ended up not really enjoying this much.

It felt very formal, fact after fact after fact
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I enjoyed this but I preferred his first book, " The Call of the Weird: Travels in American Subcultures "
A lot of this book recounts scenes from his documentaries, some of which I've seen many times already.. I was interested in behind-the-scenes moments or details about abandoned projects.

He describes a lot of his doubts about his work and the extent of his imposter syndrome, he's also very critical of himself, particularly for not uncovering Jimmy Savile's sexual abuse somehow.

The most
Leo Robertson
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If people are extremely British, it's like nowhere they go or nothing they see in the world can convince them out of their Britishness! They're all, "Ooh, sorry", "How did I get here?" and "Did I do anything worthy of an award?"

It's like "No, Mr de Botton, not all things end inevitably in disappointment—you're just very British" :P
Thomas Barrett
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The spectre of Jimmy Savile looms throughout this book. During a first date with his future wife he remembers it was somewhere he went with Jimmy. During his wedding reception he gets the word that ITV is releasing their documentary on Savile's crimes. Perhaps, a book just on Savile probably would have been great. However, it means everything else feels slightly secondary. Louis wrestling with what his friendship with Savile meant often feels like the most honest and insightful parts of the ...more
Sam (she_who_reads_)
I’m not even a little surprised that I loved this- I have been watching and enjoying Louis Theroux’s documentaries for years and years, so it was great to get some insights into the making of them. I felt this was very open and honest look back at this life- often brutally so. He definitely doesn’t shy away from talking about things he thinks he did wrong, or exploring painful moments in his past. If you’re a fan of his, or of his documentaries, then I can’t imagine you won’t also enjoy this ...more
Matt Whittingham
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, and almost more of a companion piece to the TV shows, than an out and out autobiography. You do get a sense of his career progression, his first big break (from fellow documentarian Michael Moore), and some of his home life (parents, early marriage, children). But mainly this is a behind the scenes commentrary to some of the more famous TV episodes.

It does focus too much on Jimmy Saville, an event so huge it seems to still bug him now. Perhaps more than the fact he didn't get anyway
Mark Farley
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freaks, weirdos and the evil of society. The misunderstood and eccentrics of this world. Something right up my alley. I secretly wish I was Louis Theroux. But that will never happen. So I live vicariously through his documentaries of anything fucked up in this world. And this book has been long overdue. It's packed full of porn stars, the KKK, Scientologists, Christian hate groups, hippy communes and lots and lots of Jimmy Savile.

Oh yes, buckle yourselves in, folks. Jimmy Savile is all through
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The bad type of celebrity memoir that just recounts the different pieces of work the person has done. Since Theroux works on documentaries, with himself as a presenter and subject, this is more annoying than usual. The book recounts most of his documentaries and how he reacted to certain subjects. Since I've already seen the documentaries, and knew how he reacted through watching them, this made the book somewhat redundant.

Theroux does get deeper on two subjects, his relationship with Jimmy
Laura McConnell
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a through and Theroux (not sorry! ) fan, I was excited to finally read this book and I was not let down. From seeing all his shows from over the years, the book provides a good timeline and explanation of his work and his personal life behind the scenes. Louis is honest and open about his life becoming and working as a journalist to becoming a father, almost punishing himself with how much he was away making the shows he is famous for.
He goes on to discuss the famous, controversial shows
Michelle Ewen
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louis Theroux is as weirdly wonderful on the page as he is on screen. This thoughtful and funny revisitation of his more memorable celebrity and cultist encounters feels intimate and revealing - offering a unique insight into Louis’ creative process.

It’s also a surprisingly candid reflection on his own foibles; after much soul-searching, he identifies as being as complicated, flawed and ultimately human as his documentary subjects.

A commendable attempt at self-examination, this is a great read
Sid Nuncius
I thought this was very good, in spite of the dreadful title. (It’s a reference to other people’s “humorous” use of his name, but even so…).

Louis Theroux is a very intelligent, amusing, thoughtful and humane man. His TV work speaks for itself and, like many others, I have enjoyed it and learned a great deal from it. There is a good deal of interesting insight here into how Louis got into making documentaries, the process of making them and some of the consequences of the programmes for him and
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Phenomenal piece of reading, primarily for fans of Theroux and his work. Details his earlier life in more detail than I'd expected, working through his body of work chronologically and reminiscing about his accomplishments. He often understates the merits of his work, there's a humbling and awkward tone from Theroux's accounts which makes it all the more enjoyable to read and easier to engage with.
my bookworm life
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm such a fan of Louis, have really enjoyed all of this tv programmes and just love his style of interviewing. When i learnt this book was coming out i pre ordered myself a signed copy straight away!.

If you are a fan of him like me then i highly recommend this book!, his writing style mirroring his style when on the tv, he has a blunt style yet relaxed at the same time, he is calming and always in my opinion un biased too. Always tackling hard hitting controversial subject matter as well as the
Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long time fan of Louis and his thoutful, non judgemental interviews but I have to admit, I struggled with this. Title aside (God it's awful, who okayed that?) Louis does himself no favours with this book. You've got to admire his honesty of course.

Where this book really does find its feet is when Louis is talking about the programmes he is particularly proud off (my Scientology movie for example) but other times it felt clunky.

I'm glad I read it but overall disappointing.
Ryan Webster
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Louise Driscoll
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think because I love Louis Theroux, this was always gonna be 5 stars. But honestly, I loved this book- I found it fascinating to read how all the documentaries I’ve loved over the years have been put together.
3.5 stars. If you enjoy Louis Theroux’s docos, you’ll like this. Louis takes us behind the scenes on some of his most well-known documentaries and TV specials, but doesn’t go into as much depth or detail as I would have liked. This is a really pleasant and enjoyable read, but not particularly groundbreaking or insightful.
3.5 enjoyable, insightful and interesting read for fans of Louis Theroux and his documentaries. It was particularly fascinating to hear about his time and docus on Jimmy Saville and Scientology. ...more
I did enjoy this book, but it has made me like Louis a little bit less...

Quite a few times he came across as very privileged and entitled - particularly when (SPOILERS AHEAD) he was only in his 20s and the BBC took a huge chance on him to put his name to the Weird Weekends show and his reaction was... unsure, did he really want to do this? Was this really him? Oh no, why don't I put it on pause for 2 years to pursue becoming a sitcom writer instead... I mean, WHAT?! He also doesn't seem to have
Steven Carswell
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but spends too much time and focus on Saville.
Claire Burley
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Louis (Sebastian) Theroux was born in Singapore in 1970. His father, the American novelist and travel writer, Paul Theroux, met his mother, who worked for the V.S.O., in Uganda. Louis’ older brother Marcel Theroux was born in Kampala, "so as children we sort of globe trotted." But his father decided to buy a family home in England, and they settled down in a big, rambling, dilapidated house in ...more
“liable to quote lyrics about the death of the campaigner Blair Peach during an anti-Nazi rally in London in the seventies and rant about oligarchic corruption in the US body politic.” 0 likes
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