Any Human Heart (Vintage International) (Paperback)
William Boyd's remarkable novel describes the life of an Englishman, Logan Mountstuart, from his birth in 1906 to his death in 1991 at age eighty-five, a life lived through the waning of the British Empire. Our all-too-human protagonist does a stint in a British boarding school, attends Oxford, fights in the Spanish Civil War and is present for almost every important historical event that follows. He becomes a celebrated writer for a time; works for British intelligence; keeps the dreadful Duke and Duchess of Windsor out of the hands of the Nazis; is captured while on a spying mission and put into prison; meets everyone from Picasso to Hemingway; has continuous flirtations with various women; often drinks too much; marries badly and almost perfectly. Because the novel is told in journal form, we're privy to Logan's intimate thoughts on literature, art, politics, war, drink, sex, friendship and love. Although towards the end Mountstuart seems surprised by his lack of success, this reader felt triumphant in knowing him so completely. In the month since I read this novel I've thought of Logan countless times. -- Diane Leslie— From August 2010
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.
About the Author
William Boyd was born in Accra, Ghana, and attended University in Nice, Glasgow, and Oxford. He is the author of seven novels and eleven screenplays, and has been the recipient of several awards, including the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction. Boyd lives with his wife in London and southwest France.
“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