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Stanley I Presume? Hardcover – 19 Mar 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition, First Printing edition (19 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000729672X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007296729
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 472,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“A hilarious memoir” - THE SUNDAY TIMES

***** (FIVE STARS) "Laugh out loud funny - once you've read it you'll understand a lot more about what makes Boris tick" - NEWS OF THE WORLD

**** (FOUR STARS) "This is a very funny book - Stanley devotes most of his autobiography to telling jokes at his own expense" - THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

“A wonderful jaw-dropping account of a rollercoaster life. Johnson senior does not disappoint… the book is a triumph” - ANNE ROBINSON

"Poet, explorer, irresistibly funny…. This lovely book reflects its author's delightful personality" - ESTHER RANTZEN

“There’s no-one I’d rather go into the jungle with” - JOAN BAKEWELL

“From the early days of running across a mat of spring flowers at the stadium at Olympia, to a standing ovation at the Berlin Film Festival, via the politics and people of his time, Stanley Johnson's life sparkles with a joy of living. He writes with the wit and humour of a true raconteur. Stanley, I Presume, is a fascinating read of a fascinating life” - ZOE WANAMAKER

'a rip-roaring read!' Boris Johnson, Telegraph, Books of the Year

Review

A hilarious memoir

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rassendyll on 2 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you buy only one autobiography this year, make sure it is Stanley I Presume?. Stanley Johnson's zest for life comes through on every page. This book is full of the best kind of self-deprecating humour, in utter contrast to most modern autobiographies which big up the author at the expense of everyone else. Stanley Johnson treats all the people that he has come across in his rich life with courtesy and affection, and his jokes entertain refreshingly at his own expense.

But there is more to the book than just humour. In an easy undidactic way, important beliefs come clear, especially about the urgent need to protect the planet and to conserve the things that are good about life. It is interesting how the autobiography shows that these values are rooted in the Johnson family farm deep in Exmoor, the place that always draws Stanley back from whichever exotic corner of the globe his travels have taken him to.

I felt better for reading this book!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BioDiplomacy on 12 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author had the good luck to be born in a Year of the Dragon - on 18 August 1940. It shows. He has the dragon's typical exuberance, need for a healthy environment (in his case Exmoor) and love of family. Apart from forward glimpses to the careers of his six dragonets, this account mostly covers the period up to 12 November 1980, when Jean-Paul II firmly (if prematurely) gave a papal blessing to Mrs Johnson II.

That is one of many anecdotes made all the better for how they are told. There's a classical grammarian's relish in building to the punch line of an exchange in a "proper" Bombay cobbler's (page 147). But there is also an attractively gentle wit, especially when writing about his father, who (he speculates) might have developed "the technique of the inaudible response" when dealing with questions at school about his own Turkish father and his non-appearance at school sports days. A poem on his father's death is very moving.

The title is cunning. It alludes to a famous anecdote and yet by modifying the phrasing of both that and his own story about an African safari in 1976, he bats away any suggestion of self-importance. By inviting this Stanley home, you will meet the perfect houseguest, who brings everyone into the conversation and never presumes to outstay his welcome.

To the publishers: why no index? The vignettes of public figures, messages on over-population and insights into UN and EU bureaucracies deserve one. To the author: please persuade your wife that in twenty years or so you can provide your readers with a second helping, while still respecting her privacy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. hudson on 13 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Stanley is hopefully the last of the dying breed of overconfident men schooled in the english public school system, how he recalls all the minutiae of life at school is beyond me, he glides through Oxbridge and always seems to know of someone through a relative who can assist him, no real career, but a jolly good chap who gets involved in big causes of the world, carry on up the Amazon Stanley but your book is lite autobiography and not insightful, sorry
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. P. Sarginson on 17 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
After reading excerpts in the Times, I eventually got around to purchasing in 2009. I was disappointed and found it a laboured read, not at all a pageturner. I gave up within 1 hour.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a hugely entertaining biography of a man with enormous energy, intelligence, and guts. you can't help but like him and admire the crazy adventures which landed him in interesting places where he learned a lot and then had the good fortune to apply his learning. Despite being so accomplished, his humility and willingness to ask forgiveness (indeed to realise that he has done things that need to be forgiven) make him quite lovable.
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By Lynda James on 11 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fabulous book. Great read. What a character - mind you I'm glad I'm not married to him! Crazy, clever captivating story
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