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Any Human Heart by William Boyd
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Any Human Heart (original 2002; edition 2011)

by William Boyd, Simon Vance (Narrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,562664,687 (4.12)114
Member:Bookmarque
Title:Any Human Heart
Authors:William Boyd (Author)
Other authors:Simon Vance (Narrator)
Info:2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc., audible.com
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:audio, literary fiction, 2012, epistolary

Work details

Any Human Heart by William Boyd (2002)

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» See also 114 mentions

English (63)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I come to this review belatedly, and only after having seen the video version of this novel twice — most recently, this evening.

I first read Any Human Heart several years ago and on the recommendation of a good British friend — no, actually, on the recommendation of the daughter of a former Swiss lover who married a Brit, but who has remained a good friend (as has her daughter) ever since.

That British daughter’s recommendation assured me at the time that I’d made the right decision in almost marrying her Swiss mother — that if only in following through, I might’ve had such a daughter.

In short, I believe Any Human Heart — both the novel and the film—may be the best work of this era. And possibly the last of its kind.

I’m not optimistic about the future of literature—and Any Human Heart is literature, make no mistake about it. William Boyd’s novel — as well as the film for which he wrote the screenplay (and of which his novel is obviously the source) — are the stuff of world literature. At the very least, he has written the definitive novel of the Boomer Generation; at most, he has written a novel to compete with the best of novels of all time.

Does Any Human Heart hold the same rank as Don Quixote (the first and, in my opinion, the greatest of all novels ever written)? I’ll have to ponder that one for a while — and while I continue to read William Boyd’s other works. In the meantime, however, I can’t recommend strongly enough both the novel and the film.

RRB
5/11/13
Brooklyn, NY

( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading this book because it was written in journal form. Logan started off as such a promising young man, but in the end I really felt sorry for him. He could never be alone and when he was in a relationship with someone, it was never enough. ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading this book because it was written in journal form. Logan started off as such a promising young man, but in the end I really felt sorry for him. He could never be alone and when he was in a relationship with someone, it was never enough. ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
I enjoyed reading this book because it was written in journal form. Logan started off as such a promising young man, but in the end I really felt sorry for him. He could never be alone and when he was in a relationship with someone, it was never enough. ( )
  nycke137 | Jul 29, 2014 |
I lived in this book for a week and didn't want to leave it. I felt myself flag after WWII ended, the 50's and 60's art world of New York is not my time, but I still was pulled along and into it and loved every word and page. More Boyd please.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Boydprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grady, MikeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Never say you know the last word about any human heart".
-- Henry James
Dedication
First words
"Yo, Logan," I wrote.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A fictional diary, 1923-91, 490 pages, with footnotes and a 12-page index which includes references to both historical and fictional characters.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0141009284, Paperback)

Logan Gonzago Mountstuart, writer, was born in 1906, and died of a heart attack on October 5, 1991, aged 85. William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart is his disjointed autobiography, a massive tome chronicling "my personal rollercoaster"--or rather, "not so much a rollercoaster", but a yo-yo, "a jerking spinning toy in the hands of a maladroit child." From his early childhood in Montevideo, son of an English corned beef executive and his Uraguayan secretary, through his years at a Norfolk public school and Oxford, Mountstuart traces his haphazard development as a writer. Early and easy success is succeeded by a long half-century of mediocrity, disappointments and setbacks, both personal and professional, leading him to multiple failed marriages, internment, alcoholism and abject poverty.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:48 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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