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Any Human Heart Paperback – License, January 6, 2004
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Mountstuart's sorry tale is also the story of a British way of life in inexorable decline, as his journey takes in the Bloomsbury set, the General Strike, the Spanish Civil War, 1930s Americans in Paris, wartime espionage, New York avant garde art, even the Baader-Meinhof gang--all with a stellar supporting cast. The most sustained and best moment comes mid-book, as Mountstuart gets caught up in one of Britain's murkier wartime secrets, in the company of the here truly despicable Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Elsewhere author William Boyd occasionally misplaces his tongue too obviously in his cheek--the Wall Street Crash is trailed with truly crashing inelegance--but overall Any Human Heart is a witty, inventive and ultimately moving novel. Boyd succeeds in conjuring not only a compelling 20th century but also, in the hapless Logan Mountstuart, an anti-hero who achieves something approaching passive greatness. --Alan Stewart, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Through his personal journals, begun in 1923, when he is seventeen, and continuing to the time of his death in 1991, we come to know Mountstuart intimately, both as an individual, growing and changing, and as an Everyman, someone who participates in and is affected by the seminal events of the 20th century, after World War I. Because he is a writer, he is able to travel and to know other writers and artists of the period. When he meets Aldous Huxley, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Cyril Connolly, Evelyn Waugh, and Ian Fleming, the reader has the vicarious fun of being there and meeting them, too, since Mountstuart, as a person, appears to be very much like the rest of us. He buys early paintings by Paul Klee and Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso draws a quick portrait of him and signs it. He engages in intellectual discussions about Braque, Picasso, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the Bloomsbury group and keeps the reader aware of literary and artistic achievements of the era.
It is in his depiction of the historical moment that Boyd shines.Read more ›
If you have the time and you are looking for a summer assignment, go to the book store and purchase William Boyd's library. Read them in any order you like. But if you are looking for one excellent example of this writer's genius, then Any Human Heart is a great place to start. I cannot recommend any book more highly.
Perhaps Boyd's greatest success here is the way he manages to recreate time and place. These "diaries" feel very real and each page comes alive with authenticity.
If you're looking for an introduction to William Boyd, better start with an earlier novel of his "The Ice Cream War." For all its merits, "Any Human Heart" is an acquired taste. It requires patience in long stretches, but overall, the effort does reap some rewards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Logan's journal was beautifully written and really interesting. One of the best books I've read in ages.Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
A very interesting, captivating book. enjoyed it thoroughlyPublished 16 days ago by Ana Isabel Segovia
For some reason, this book resonated with me. Partially this was because some of the locales were personally familiar to me. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Gobi
Very enjoyable. Four and a half stars really. Boyd has that talent that keeps you engaged and turning pages. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dan4d
Beautifully imagined tale of an adventurous and talented but ultimately middling writer named Logan Mountstuart, told via the intermittent entries in a lifelong journal. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Nichols
I'm a huge William Boyd fan and this is my favorite book of his by far. This is a great read that made me examine my own life and those in my circle. Read morePublished 4 months ago by vocalease
This author impressed with 'Restless' so I decided to try
'Any Human Heart'. After about 50 pages I was numbed
Into a stupor. Read more