• Any Human Heart

  • By: William Boyd
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady
  • Length: 18 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-12-11
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (14 ratings)

Regular price: $23.23

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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
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 08-24-12

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kirstine on 03-19-12

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.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 11-11-11

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.

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21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Juliet De Andreis on 01-22-16

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 .

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Philip on 03-30-18

Men are from Mars

The thoughts and life of a man of a former era probably made more unusual because sex was less talked/written about then (if thought about much the same). I felt the male narrator with his (seemingly similar) persona created this character well, a life of expatriate existence and public’ schools in a troubled pre war world and ending up where the world sent you even if it was unclear why. It had a sense of the contemporary thinking rather than a retrospective view of what happened historically. He was an unconvincing and accidental spy - if indeed he ever was one. But, intrigue apart, there was an overwhelming sadness in this book which, for someone of my age (male over 65) made me feel uncomfortable. This man slowly loses everyone and everything of any meaning to him. We start in a world of constant activity, surrounded by people and personalities, challenges and unlikely careers and then we end up alone and relatively insignificant with just a few memories and the inevitability of dying. Sadly, I found these insights a little too convincing. A worthwhile book for some - probably only men.

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