I am always a little wary of books bearing the title “The Wit and Wisdom of (insert celebrity of choice here)”. The majority of the time the person in question has very little wit and even less wisdom. The book is usually little more than an excruciatingly painful (for the reader) way to cash in on the pseudo-celebrity’s current popularity.
“The Wit and Wisdom of Boris Johnson” is pretty much the exception.
For those that don’t know, Boris was an English journalist and politician who is now Mayor of London. He hadn’t blipped on my radar until he visited Melbourne, Australia last year. Suddenly this man was in our televisions and in our newspapers. He came across as someone with immense personality and character.
As this book by Harry Mount shows, Boris certainly has both by the bucket loads.
Boris has a very polarizing personality. You are either going to like him or hate him, so this book may not be for you. He is no respecter of that hirsute behemoth ‘political correctness’.
Some examples of his quotations to help you make up your mind:
“All politicians in the end are like crazed wasps in a jam jar, each individually convinced that they are going to make it.”
“As Henry VIII discovered with at least two of his wives, this is the perfect place to bring an old flame.” – on the arrival of the Olympic flame at the Tower of London.
“More than anything I can remember, the Games have moved us and brought us together. Total strangers have been talking to each other on the Tube. It is as though the city has been crop-dusted with serotonin.” – on the 2012 Olympics.
“In the words of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, my life is like the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.” – on the subject of a biography of himself.
Love him or hate him, Boris certainly has a lot of interesting things to say.