Johnson's Life of London by Boris Johnson

89%

7 Critic Reviews

In this amusing, rah-rah pep rally for the imminent crush of summer tourists, the author shows that there is much more to London than Big Ben, London Bridge and William Shakespeare.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The exhilarating story of how London came to be one of the most exciting and influential places on earth—from the city’s colorful, witty, and well-known mayor.

Once a swampland that the Romans could hardly be bothered to conquer, over the centuries London became an incomparably vibrant metropolis that has produced a steady stream of ingenious, original, and outsized figures who have shaped the world we know.

Boris Johnson, the internationally beloved mayor of London, is the best possible guide to these colorful characters and the history in which they played such lively roles. Erudite and entertaining, he narrates the story of London as a kind of relay race. Beginning with the days when “a bunch of pushy Italian immigrants” created Londinium, he passes the torch on down through the famous and the infamous, the brilliant and the bizarre—from Hadrian to Samuel Johnson to Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones—illuminating with unforgettable clarity the era each inhabited. He also pauses to shine a light on innovations that have contributed to the city’s incomparable vibrancy, from the King James Bible to the flush toilet.

As wildly entertaining as it is informative, this is an irresistible account of the city and people that in large part shaped the world we know.
 

About Boris Johnson

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BORIS JOHNSON is the popular and internationally known mayor of London and the author of several previous books. He began his career as a journalist, working his way up to editor of The Spectator. He was then elected to the House of Commons and served there until he was elected mayor in 2008.
 
Published May 31, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 400 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Johnson's Life of London
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 15 2012

In this amusing, rah-rah pep rally for the imminent crush of summer tourists, the author shows that there is much more to London than Big Ben, London Bridge and William Shakespeare.

Read Full Review of Johnson's Life of London | See more reviews from Kirkus

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Ian Pindar on Jul 17 2012

There is no doubting Johnson's affection for the city that made him its mayor or the charm of his writing

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Apr 02 2012

His political agenda (he faces a new election in 2012) is hard to miss, but not intrusive enough to dampen the pleasures of his lively, informal prose

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Ashley Prime on Jul 20 2012

It is stuffed with amusing stories, anecdotes and little-known facts about the city and those who lived there, all of it delivered in Johnson’s unique style.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Nick Romeo on Jul 16 2012

As a journalist, Johnson has a wonderful instinct for vivid scenes and engrossing details.

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Salt Lake Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Beech on Jul 25 2012

He’s as funny as Bill Bryson and much less politically correct.

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British Aisles

Below average
Jun 12 2012

I had to look up, on average 3-4 words per chapter... I was flummoxed by coelenterate, impecunious, and contumacious. Have a dictionary or web-searching device handy.

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Reader Rating for Johnson's Life of London
86%

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