Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the 20th 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.
©2002 William Boyd (P)2011 W F Howes Ltd
The story is just wonderful, the writing is terrific, the characters are rich.
Forrest Gump, in that real characters interact with the protagonist. But this is an English book, through and through.
I am a very fussy listener, and I'd give this narration 3 out of 5. Perhaps a younger narrator would have been better for the earlier part of the book.
Logan Mountstuart, the lead. He's funny, smart, complex and flawed - just as a good lead character should be.
This is such a satisfying read, and for me, a great introduction to a writer who is now on my "must read" list. I can't recommend it highly enough. And once you've read it, take a look at the glorious TV series of the same name starring Matthew McFadyen and Jim Broadbent. I'm sure I'll revisit both the book and the show over the coming years, they're that good.
This book was a joy. Following the story of Logan Mountstuart from schooldays through to the end of his days, this book was warm, amusing and sad by turns. Logan's life covers most of the 20th century and we see major world events through his eyes. Beautifully written by Mr. Boyd and expertly narrated by Mike Grady, Mountstuart's life is explored through his journals and for the first time, I really forgot the book was being narrated and just believed that Mike Grady was Logan Mountstuart. The story of a life well lived.
"A Beautiful & Bittersweet Life"
This is, quite simply, a masterpiece of storytelling. The protagonist, Logan Mountstuart, is a flawed yet nonetheless likeable individual whose tale, as it encompasses various notable people from the arts and spans the 20th century, is completely compelling. The narration by Mike Grady is also superb.
"A poignant journey through a man's life"
When I finished listening to this book I felt as if I'd accompanied Logan Mountstuart through his life with all his hopes and disappointments. It's a mixture of the very personal feelings of the man played against the backdrop of world events into which he gets drawn. Logan seems very real, very human and even though he sometimes behaves badly he remains a sympathetic character, who has an extraordinary eventful life with many ups and downs, sadness and happiness, success and failure.
It's long book but I didn't want it to end. The reader is excellent.
"Condensed human experience"
Beautifully written and narrated. This book really lends itself to the audiobook format; it is an experience to listen, and you feel sorry when the story finishes . Typical Boyd; it immerses the listener into the very individual world of the lead character. There is tenderness, wit, tragedy and fun; just like real life.
I really didn't want this to end and have already relistened to so many parts. Ridiculous, I know, but I am mourning the passing of Logan Mountstuart and have relished being taken through his life. The writing and reading are superb and it will be a long time before I discover such a deeply satisfying listen again.
"Don't read Boyd all at once!"
I had just finished 'waiting for sunrise' and really enjoyed it. I'd listened to 'restless' ages ago. But this is too similar to Sunrise to be a comfortable next listen. I felt that I'd already enjoyed parts of this before. Whilst I know they weren't written in that order, it did became an issue for me. I'll let him alone for a year or two and then see what the rest are like. Having said that, he's a good author. Just maybe recycling a few ideas? ;-)
"Any Humam Heart"
Absoloutly loved this book, make some time and settle into Logan's world spanning decades and continents with Logan will make you consider how lives can be lived outside of the usual constraints the humdrum and predictable.A word of warning however, this will start a William Boyd habit.
Yes. I feel like Ive met some of these people, their types, and I know well some of the locations described...always enjoy connecting that way. Parts of the story even touched on my special interests; art world. I engaged with the piece completley, it is intimate that way. I believed in it and liked the man Logan, laughed aloud countless times and was moved almost to tears more than once. Great escapist entertainment like this is worth a re visit.
I will be looking for something similar.
Thought he was perfect.
I painted my house whilst listening to it, over three days, it was very tempting to listen to the whole thing in one session, but I needed to eek it out.
"A good book that could have been better read"
I really liked the story and most of the narration. However, as the main character was born in Uruguay and is a Latin American Spanish speaker, the reader could have made a little effort finding out how to properly pronounce the Spanish words as a Latin American.
"Life well told"
Written in a form of a diary, Any Human Heart follows a life of fictional novelist Logan Montstuart. After promising start in life, early success with first published works and after meeting number of 20th century celebrities (Hemingway, Picasso, Woolf...), his life goes other way after WW2. Still, he manages to lead eventful life, witnessing some of extraordinary events of the century, and making at least few years really happy. "It's good to acknowledge that you found true happiness in your life - in that sense your life has not been wasted."
Main character is not very heroic and positive - he uses drugs extensively through part of his life, he drinks and does not manage to create a relationship with his first son. He is a normal guy, with faults which make him more human.
Writing is good - it did not start well for me, but it keeps up once Logan finishes University. Some parts manage to shock, and some are humoruous. It was a life well lived - and book is interesting enough that deserves recommendation.
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