Anne Broyles's Reviews > Any Human Heart

Any Human Heart by William Boyd
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Aug 16, 10

Read in August, 2010

This pseudo-autobiographical journal is fascinating in that it chronicles a century's history through the point of view of a fictional character. The journals of Logan Mountstuart feel real in their occasional disjointedness, footnotes, and various styles. Yet I disliked the protagonist so much (yes, I know he was supposed to be an anti-hero) that I had a hard time slogging through the man's life. If it hadn't been for a book group, I wouldn't have finished this tome.

Boyd is a masterful writer, and I might try something else he's written, if only because of occasional sentences like the one below. Logan has just heard that one of his oldest friends has died:

I felt that instant empty feeling, an absence: like a brick removed from an already shaky wall and you wonder if the new weights and stresses on the other bricks will accommodate this sudden hole, if that redistribution will leave it standing or bring it down. The moment passed, but I felt somewhat weaker, more ramshackle myself. I sensed that my life, my world, without Peter Scabius in it was a tottering, more jerry-built edifice all of a sudden."
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