Book review: Crazy Rich: Power, Scandal, and Tragedy Inside the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty – Jerry Oppenheimer (non-fiction, ***)

A couple of weeks ago, while running a completely unrelated Google search, I ended up on the Wikipedia page of Casey Johnson, the latest in a long list of Johnson & Johnson heirs and heiresses to meet an early demise. It was only after I started reading the article that I connected Casey Johnson (tabloid trainwreck; friend of Paris Hilton) to the book I was part-way through reading.

It just goes to show how firmly ingrained in pop culture consciousness the J&J family is. Author Jerry Oppenheimer describes them as a kind of American Royal Family. And, indeed, the Johnsons’ dysfunction – and grotesque wealth – makes this an apt analogy.

Lovers of schadenfreude, this is a book for you! And, really, who doesn’t enjoy reading about bad things happening to awful rich people?

Crazy Rich traces the Johnson & Johnson line back to the folks who actually built the company we still recognise for its baby shampoo in the early 20th century, right through to the present-day trust fund babies who occasionally find themselves as tabloid fodder.

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