Any Human Heart

by William Boyd

Penguin Canada | January 26, 2010 | Trade Paperback

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 512 pages, 8.1 × 5 × 1.25 in

Published: January 26, 2010

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0141044179

ISBN - 13: 9780141044170

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart

by William Boyd

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 512 pages, 8.1 × 5 × 1.25 in

Published: January 26, 2010

Publisher: Penguin Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0141044179

ISBN - 13: 9780141044170

Read from the Book

Webmaster's Note: Footnotes have been inserted in appropriate places. In the actual text, they appear at the bottom of the page, as usual.PREAMBLE TO THESE JOURNALS"Yo, Logan," I wrote. "Yo, Logan Mountstuart, vivo en la Villa Flores, Avenida de Brasil, Montevideo, Uruguay, America del Sur, El Mundo, El Sistema Solar, El Universo." These were the first words I wrote--or to be more precise, this is the earliest record of my writing and the beginning of my writing life--words that were inscribed on the flyleaf of an indigo pocket diary for the year 1912 (which I still possess and whose pages are otherwise void). I was six years old. It intrigues me now* to reflect that my first written words were in a language not my own. My lost fluency in Spanish is probably my greatest regret about my otherwise perfectly happy childhood. The serviceable, error-dotted, grammatically unsophisticated Spanish that I speak today is the poorest of poor cousins to that instinctive colloquial jabber that spilled out of me for the first nine years of my life. Curious how these early linguistic abilities are so fragile, how unthinkingly and easily the brain lets them go. I was a bilingual child in the true sense, namely that the Spanish I spoke was indistinguishable from that of a Uruguayan.* This preamble was probably written in 1987 (see p. 464).Uruguay, my native land, is held as fleetingly in my head as the demotic Spanish I once unconsciously spoke. I retain an image of a wide
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

“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