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Any Human Heart by William Boyd
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Any Human Heart (original 2002; edition 2004)

by William Boyd

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1,546654,750 (4.11)105
Member:Veej53
Title:Any Human Heart
Authors:William Boyd
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library, 25-book List A, Read 2011
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction - Literary

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Any Human Heart by William Boyd (2002)

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» See also 105 mentions

English (62)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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 |
bookshelves: impac-longlist, booker-longlist, fraudio, published-2002, winter-20132014, tbr-busting-2014, spies, historical-fiction, lit-richer, lifestyles-deathstyles, art-forms, epistolatory-diary-blog, south-americas, uruguay, britain-england, cults-societies-brotherhoods, sport, gr-library, france, paris, oxford, glbt, spain, books-about-books-and-book-shops, norfolk, teh-brillianz, greece, adventure, cover-love, epic-proportions, eye-scorcher, london, madrid, war, wwii, lisbon, portugal, filthy-lucre, nassau, bahamas, switzerland, britain-scotland, iceland, suicide, teh-demon-booze, new-york, germany, picaresque, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, travel, edinburgh, those-autumn-years, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, washyourmouthout-language, north-americas, music, midlife-crisis, african-continent, afr-nigeria, skoolzy-stuff, dodgy-narrator, afr-somalia
Read from November 28, 2013 to January 16, 2014

Read by Mike Grady

From the description: The journals begin with Mountstuart's boyhood in Montevideo, Uruguay, then move to Oxford in the 1920s and the publication of his first book, then on to Paris where he meets Joyce, Picasso, Hemingway, et al., and to Spain, where he covers the civil war. During World War II, we see him as an agent for naval intelligence, becoming embroiled in a murder scandal that involves the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The postwar years bring him to New York as an art dealer in the world of 1950s abstract expressionism, then on to West Africa, to London where he has a run-in with the Baader-Meinhof Gang, and, finally, to France where, in his old age, he acquires a measure of hard-won serenity. This is a moving, ambitious, and richly conceived novel that summons up the heroics and follies of twentieth-century life.

In the fashion of Zelig, Forrest Gump and the 100 year old man, Mountstuart is in all the right places meeting all the important people, however Any Human Heart is an absolute joy as Boyd's writing leaves those also-rans in the starting gates.

Purringly enjoyed Logan's slamming of the Bloomsbury set, that circle of spite who lived in squares and loved in triangles. Not sure about the portrayal of Duke and Duchess and for this reason I support a flawed, dodgy narrator scenario.

And that goodreads product description box - WTF! It is just a review filched over from Amazon book sales, with its inherent bias. Bad News! Check the product description elsewhere.

Born on April 20, 1893 in Barcelona, Joan Miró Ferra was a Spanish painter.

From wiki: Sir Harry Oakes, 1st Baronet (December 23, 1874 – July 7, 1943) was an American-born British Canadian gold mine owner, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He earned his fortune in Canada and in the 1930s moved to the Bahamas for tax purposes, where he was murdered in 1943 in notorious circumstances. The cause of death and the details surrounding it have never been entirely determined, and have been the subject of several books and four films.

Have the TV miniseries to watch at some stage, however, for now, I will mull over the full life of Logan MS - I am in my weeds for you.

4* Restless
5* Any Human Heart - recommended
4* Brazzaville Beach
WL Waiting for Sunrise
3* Armadillo
AB Solo ( )
  mimal | Jan 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (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
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"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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