Any Human Heart
By William Boyd
(Penguin UK, Paperback, 9780141047560, 512pp.)
Publication Date: December 14, 2010
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Any Human Heart is William's Boyd's classic, bestselling novel - now a major Channel 4 drama Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart. Any Human Heart will be enjoyed by readers of Sebastian Faulks, Nick Hornby and Hilary Mantel, as well as lovers of the finest British and historical fiction around the world. It was recently adapted for a major Channel 4 four-part drama series scripted by William Boyd and starring Kim Cattrall, Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent and Tom Hollander. This edition features beautiful cover artwork from the television series. 'Astonishing, touching, extremely funny. A brilliant evocation of a past era and an immensely readable story' Sunday Telegraph 'Superb, wonderful, enjoyable' Guardian 'A terrific journey through the twentieth century. Thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable' Jeremy Paxman William Boyd was born in Ghana, where his father was a doctor, and was educated there and in Scotland. His first novel A Good Man in Africa won both the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham Prizes, and his subsequent novels have gone onto win many awards. His books include: On the Yankee Station and Other Stories, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, School Ties, The New Confessions, Brazzaville Beach, The Blue Afternoon, The Destiny of Natalie 'X' and Other Stories, Armadillo, Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, Any Human Heart, Restless, The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth, Ordinary Thunderstorms, Fascination, Bamboo and Waiting for Sunrise. He divides his time between London and south-west France.
William Boyd was born in 1952 in Accra, Ghana and grew up there and in Nigeria. His first novel, A Good Man in Africa (1981), won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Somerset Maugham Prize. His other novels are An Ice Cream War (1982, shortlisted for the 1982 Booker Prize and winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), Stars and Bars (1984), The New Confessions (1987), Brazzaville Beach (1990, winner of the McVitie Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize), The Blue Afternoon (1993, winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award), Armadillo (1998), Any Human Heart (2002, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet) and Restless (2006, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year Award). His latest novel is Ordinary Thunderstorms (2009). Some thirteen of his screenplays have been filmed, including The Trench (1999), which he also directed, and he is also the author of four collections of short stories: On the Yankee Station (1981), The Destiny of Nathalie 'X' (1995), Fascination (2004) and The Dream Lover (2008). He is married and divides his time between London and South West 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