William Packer

Sex, Too, Is Useful

Creators: From Chaucer to Walt Disney


Weidenfeld & Nicolson 310pp £20 order from our bookshop

This is an odd book. Paul Johnson is, for all his quirks and blusterings, by any measure as distinguished a journalist as any in his generation. In other words, he is seldom not worth reading, and this, his latest offering, is certainly not one to be laid lightly aside. Yet one does find oneself putting it down, frequently in exasperation. For, journalist and gleeful polemicist that Johnson undoubtedly is, he would also see himself as a man of parts – historian, critic, philosopher, artist. And in this respect Creators assumes a sweep and an authority it cannot altogether sustain. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter