Any Human Heart, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.




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Somewhat disappointed by this one after enjoying 'An Ice Cream War' and 'Brazzaville Beach' from the same author. This is a sprawling novel that extends over 70 years, a fictional memoir in which we are constantly encountering famous real-life characters, from Picasso to Jackson Pollock, Ian Fleming (in his role as spy-recruiter) to Ernest Hemingway. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are cast in a very shady light. It all sounds good fun, doesn't it, and there is fun to be had to a degree, and some sharp passages of writing, even occasionally superb; but there was no central narrative thread, which made the book lumpy and episodic. The glue was the central character Logan Mountstuart, who we follow from public school to the grave and all shades in between, from wealth to poverty, from hedonism to cynicism, from shallow romps to deep regrets. My problem was that I didn't care enough about him to sustain me through nearly 500 pages, and I was glad when I got to the end, not in that satisying way you reach the destination with a friend you have enjoyed being with, but when you have been stuck with someone who turned out to be a tad tedious halfway through the journey. Still, I have high hopes for my next travelling companion, whoever that might be.

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