I don’t know what I expected – I read Boyd’s Waiting For Sunrise a few months ago and wasn’t impressed and although I’d enjoyed his prior work, An Ice Cream War a bit more, they still both garnered only 7s from me. This was not encouraging. But the Booker Prize Group selected this one so … on I went.
Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart
by William Boyd
2002 / 479 pages
read by Simon Vance – 15h 58m
rating: 8 / contemp fiction (Booker List)
(both read and listened)
The story consists of the chronologically ordered life-long journal entries of the imaginary Logan Mountstuart who lived from 1906 to 1991 and traveled to various parts of the world, living the times, meeting famous literary and other creative people of the times, and having his own ideas.
The “Journals” are introduced by a Preamble in which Mountstuart explains his life from birth to his arrival at Abbeyhurst College at the age of 17. The next section is called “The School Journal,” is dated 10 December 1923 and finds Logan as one of five Roman Catholics attending the school.
It starts out quite funny in an ironic sense, but don’t let that fool you, the overall life of this guy is not generally a happy one – there’s a lot of pain and sadness involved in addition to adventures of the highest order.
And then it gets almost unbearably sad for awhile.
The narrative includes footnotes which are included in the Audible version. They are a mix of fact and fiction and even a couple of fictionalized fictions.
Oops! An 8 I guess – it was better than the other two books by Boyd but not exactly enjoyable. Some really good writing. (Thank you!)