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Boris Johnson memoir teased: Why is it already being mocked?

Boris Johnson memoir teased: Why is it terrifying and already being mocked?
Boris Johnson memoir teased: Why is it terrifying and already being mocked? Copyright William Collins
Copyright William Collins
By David Mouriquand
Published on
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Publishing house HarperCollins is to “unleash” former UK PM Boris Johnson’s memoir later this year. And the promotional image looks like a teaser for a (particularly naff) horror film...

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It's the book that no one asked for, and it’s coming your way in October.  

Publishing house HarperCollins is to “unleash” former UK PM Boris Johnson’s memoir later this year, on 10 October, and it’s titled “Unleased”. 

HarperCollins described the memoir, which will cover Johnson’s time as mayor of London and as prime minister, as an “honest, unrestrained and deeply revealing book, written in his inimitable style and shattering the mould of the modern prime ministerial memoir". 

“This is the reality as he saw it: unvarnished, uncensored, unleashed.” 

Johnson received a £510,000 (approx. €603,000) advance for the memoir - well above the £7,674 (€9,000) advance his successor Liz Truss received for her memoir “10 Years To Save The West”, which was published in April and chronicled her infamously short-lived tenure in Number 10.

Of the upcoming publication, Johnson said: "I am honoured that HarperCollins is publishing my personal account of the huge realignment that took place in UK politics in the last 15 years - and what may lie ahead. So stand by for my thoughts on Britain’s future to explode over the publishing world like a much-shaken bottle of champagne." 

Excited yet? Us neither.  

Boris Johnson
Boris JohnsonAP Photo

Johnson served as prime minister from 24 July 2019 to 6 September 2022, and his tenure was marred with multiple controversies, damning scandal, and a tenuous relationship to the concept of truth.

There are too many incidents to mention, but a "Best Of" would include: proroguing parliament to avoid scrutiny of his Brexit plans; the investigation by the police watchdog over his relationship with the American businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri, who claimed she had an affair with him while he was London mayor; multiple Covid lockdown breaches leading to the Partygate scandal and fines for breaking the law; the resignation of multiple ethics advisers; his handling of the groping allegations against former Tory whip Chris Pincher, which directly led to his resignation as PM... And that’s just scratching the surface. 

Plus, if you reread his statement for the release of the memoir, that “what may lie ahead” line sounds deeply ominous, like no lessons have been learned and that a possible return to frontline politics is on the agenda for Johnson.  

The less said about the use of the word “honest” and that champagne bottle image, the better, as it sounds like the delusional ramblings of an upper-class toff who has already contributed more than enough to Britain’s explosion over the last few years.  

Since quitting Parliament last year after being found to have misled the Commons over Partygate, Johnson has continued to tour the speaking circuit and write a column for British tabloid Daily Mail.

The cover
The coverWilliam Collins

It’s not just us here at Euronews Culture that aren’t excited about “Unleashed” - people were quick to mock Johnson.

The main promotional image for the book, pictured above, is a frankly terrifying cover which features a spooky black and white photo of Johnson with his face in the shadows, like a comic book villain.  

It genuinely looks like a teaser for horror film.

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Take a look at some of the reactions on social media:  

One wrote on X: "Brace yourselves for a self-serving tale of deception and broken promises!"  

Another said: "And then begins the debate for booksellers- do they display it under Biographies or under Fiction."  

Another user responded: "Fantasy would be my choice." 

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Our choice too.

"Unleashed" is unleashed on 10 October. 

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