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Any Human Heart Paperback – License, January 6, 2004
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“Its pleasures are endless. . . . Supremely entertaining.” –The Washington Post Book World
"Boyd has an exceptional ability to tell a really compelling story, in dense imaginative detail, about characters with complex, and convincing, emotional lives. . . . I've already read this book twice and probably shall again. Of how many novels can that be said?"--Peter Green, Los Angeles Times Book Review
“The sort of rare novel that redeems the essential purpose of prose fiction. . . . A high celebration of the plain fun of a life lived with relentless appetite and reasonable grace.”—The Baltimore Sun
“Entertaining and moving. . . . Can be read with sheer pleasure not only for the delicacy of its emotions but for the truth of its perceptions. Like saying goodbye to a good friend, it’s hard to see this brilliant novel come to an end.” —The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“A wonderful character—and a wonderful book. . . . Boyd persuades you that you’ve read the confidences of a real, flawed, marginal character battered by every malice and caprice of 20th-century history. ” —The Seattle Times
“A pleasure front to back, and a fond tip of the bowler hat to the upper-class fiction spawned by a long-gone world.”— Newsweek
“One of the most skillful and appealing writers at work today.”—The Atlantic Monthly
“A novel of deep humanity and insight.”—Newsday
From the Inside Flap
William Boyd's masterful new novel tells, in a series of intimate journals, the story of Logan Mountstuart--writer, lover, art dealer, spy--as he makes his often precarious way through the twentieth century.
Top customer reviews
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Logan takes a job as a war correspondent and is dispatched to cover the Spanish Civil War where he meets Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gelhorn, and other prominent people. After this war he’s commissioned an officer in the Royal Navy and is detailed to the Bahamas where his mission is to keep close watch on the Duke of Windsor and his wife, Wallace Simpson. He later returns to England and soon has another chance to serve his country as Hitler bombs London and invades various European nations. He parachutes into Switzerland on a complicated spy mission and the operation is a personal disaster. After the war is over, Logan becomes the on-site manager of an art gallery in New York. Logan loves to travel, has romantic adventures with various women whether they are married or not, and meets more luminaries such as Ian Fleming, Pablo Picasso, Evelyn Waugh and Virginia Wolff.
Author William Boyd has constructed the book such that Logan is telling the story through his personal journals, sort of a autobiography. Logan is quite honest in jotting down the details of his various love affairs and his emotions surrounding the one true love of his life. He also spends considerable ink in his later years looking back on his triumphs and failures. A TV series adaptation was made of this book in 2010 and starred Jim Broadbent as Logan in his later years. I saw it and recall that it captured the book’s story very well.
I think this book is one of my all time favorites. Bravo, William Boyd. LOVED this novel.
A comparable author was Noel Barber who had the same knowledgeable background and could weave historical facts in with a good fictitious read.
After having seen the TV series I was very keen to read the book and whilst some of the preambling was taken out of the production I have to say that the book and the series were excellent matches.
I just wish Logan had had a happier life and that he could have met someone that equaled his contentment and happiness with Freya and Stella - but life's not like that.