Any Human Heart

By William Boyd
(Alfred A. Knopf, Hardcover, 9780375414930, 512pp.)

Publication Date: February 2003

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback, Paperback, Audio Cassette, Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer '11 Reading Group List
“Using fictional diary entries, Boyd has created a magnificent portrait of a man whose life touches on many of the high and low points of 20th century. Real historical figures are deftly woven into a narrative so real it's hard to believe that the diarist, Logan Montstuart, isn't truly the writer. As you follow his life, the humor, folly, adventure, and pathos will make you sad when this life must come to an end.”
-- Kathi Kirby, Powell's City of Books, Portland, OR


Description
The author of Armadillo, The Blue Afternoon and Brazzaville Beach--the novelist who has been called a "master storyteller" ("Chicago Tribune") and "a gutsy writer who is good company to keep" ("Time")--now gives us his most entertaining, sly and compelling novel to date, a novel that evokes the tumult, events and iconic faces of our time, as it tells the story of Logan Mountstuart--writer, lover and man of the world--through his intimate journals.
Here is the "riotous and disorganized reality" of Mountstuart's eighty-five years in all their extraordinary, tragic and humorous aspects. The journals begin with his 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.
A moving, ambitious and richly conceived novel that summons up the heroics and follies of twentieth-century life.
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