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Any Human Heart Audiobook

Any Human Heart

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (11 )
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4.6 (11 )
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4.7 (11 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Juliet De Andreis Sydney 22/01/2016
    Juliet De Andreis Sydney 22/01/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A journal worth reading"
    Any additional comments?

    “We keep a journal to entrap that collection of selves that forms us, the individual human being.”

    This is a touching, entertaining and sometimes depressing story that made me reflect on life and its intricate, messy composition.

    It takes you through some of the exciting artistic and literary periods of the last century and you encounter in a brief way some of the famous people from the time, which on the whole is enjoyable, but which at times feels like a bit of a bauble (shiny, attention-grabbing and cheap), which distracts from the real gifts under the tree. But then, I might have been put off by the author twice rubbishing For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is one of my top five all time reads – take what you will from that.

    The most beautiful thing about this book for me is that it shows in a subtle but powerful way how quickly the world changes and moves away from us, and how quickly the world we knew and were comfortable in is gone. There are some heartbreakingly moving movements in this regard, and it is well worth the (longish) read to experience these.

    The drawbacks? The section on the Baader Meinhof gang and the SPK. The story transitions out of our protagonist’s elderly poverty in London (one of the saddest and best parts of the book) into this somewhat unbelievable and uninteresting section that does little to give the mood of the decade. This really jarred and detracted from the story as a whole. Thankfully the final section in rural France salvages the book . The African journal was also a puzzle - it's not bad, but it felt tacked on and unnecessary.

    However, overall it is an engaging novel; it's funny and sad, with some cracking observations, and it made me think about my short, fragile and precious life, which is all I ask from a good novel really.

    Mike Grady’s performance is strong – he really brings the protagonist to life and he has an excellent voice for this story.

    I would recommend it .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Czarniecka 27/09/2016
    Czarniecka 27/09/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "very good"

    This was my first book by William Boyd and I've really enjoyed it. It's very well written and beautifully performed by Mike Grady. I don't like the division on "men's" and "women's" litterature but as it is a story of a life of a man told by himself I understand it might be considered a "men's" book. Some parts made me think of "The sea, the sea" by Iris Murdoch. All aspects of human life (from a men's perspective) are discussed/discribed. A beautiful reflection and a realistic portrait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Margaret
    st kilda east, Australia
    24/08/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fabulous book"
    What made the experience of listening to Any Human Heart the most enjoyable?

    The story is just wonderful, the writing is terrific, the characters are rich.


    What other book might you compare Any Human Heart to and why?

    Forrest Gump, in that real characters interact with the protagonist. But this is an English book, through and through.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    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.


    If you could take any character from Any Human Heart out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Logan Mountstuart, the lead. He's funny, smart, complex and flawed - just as a good lead character should be.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kindle Customer
    Hockley, United Kingdom
    11/11/11
    Overall
    "Wonderful storytelling"

    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.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Kirstine
    Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom
    19/03/12
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Nicholas
    London, United Kingdom
    7/12/11
    Overall
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • mike
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    14/12/11
    Overall
    "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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Gregory
    United Kingdom
    16/05/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Escape"
    Would you listen to Any Human Heart again? Why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Any Human Heart to, and why?

    I will be looking for something similar.


    What does Mike Grady bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Thought he was perfect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • F
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    31/03/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "wonderful!"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • cosmobunter
    Derbyshire, England
    7/04/13
    Overall
    "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? ;-)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • tracey
    HARTLEPOOL, United Kingdom
    23/12/12
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Luke
    London, United Kingdom
    21/07/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, touching epic."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Any Human Heart to be better than the print version?

    In some respects yes; it's a diary and having it read to you does work very well. I was slightly irritated by one small mispronunciation which the character would not have made relating to an Oxford college and this unduly rankled but otherwise excellent.


    What other book might you compare Any Human Heart to, and why?

    Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, it has some similar coming of age, success, regrets, derring do elements albeit with a female protagonist.


    What does Mike Grady bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Trite and obvious as it sounds, the voice of LMS


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    LMS's loss and his later descent into poverty


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Maggs
    Port Talbot
    21/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Any Human Heart -worth a listen"


    I didn't enjoy this book in the beginning but kept listening & I'm so glad I did. It sad funny warm & excellent but of storytelling, Mike Grady was superb, it was like Logan himself was reading it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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