Any Human Heart
4 journalers for this copy...
This novel is narated through Mountstuart's intimate journals, which detail his time as a novelist and his travels throughout the world.
As with most of Boyd's work, this novel is hard to pin down and categorise, as it encompasses comedy and tragedy - the final section actually moved me to tears.
It is beautifully written, big in scope and an absolute delight.
Added to Blum's bookbox.
I really loved this, thanks for putting it in blums box Natalie. Am taking it to my first meet-up for someone else to enjoy.
This is organised as a series of journals written over the 85 extraordinary years of the life of LMS from his birth in Uruguay, the son of a beef baron, to a lonely but serene end in a small town in France. Although he gets involved in more than a life-times worth of events (some of global significance), he tends to drift on a tide of circumstance and his own failings; he reminded me of Forrest Gump, ‘...done down by the haphazard.’
I thought early on that it was a parlour trick to have LMS meet up with so many famous people, such as Ian Fleming (LMS is a ‘spy’ working for Naval Intelligence), Virginia Woolf (a lover commits suicide by drowning), Hemingway (LMS as a journalist in the Spanish Civil War), Picasso, the Duke & Duchess of York, Eveyn Waugh etc. etc. But, there is a quote late on in the book – which I can’t find unfortunaely – in which LMS is advised that a journal should include the minutiae of ones life, not inter-national events which are recorded elsewhere. But here Boyd is giving us both the story of the 20th century, the times in which LMS lives, and the effects on an individual. The end result, if you persevere, is very rewarding. A couple of sections lacked interest for me, such as the avant guarde US art scene in the 50’s & 60’s, and the anti-fascist radicals in the 70’s, but life isn’t all interesting is it?
A couple of final observations; a quote from Montaigne wishing for an, ‘old age free from dementia’ – LMS stays physically well, more or less, but it is the lucidity of his/ones mind which is more important in the end. LMS meets an anarchist in Seville whose life’s credo is based on ‘two hates and three loves: hatred of injustice, hatred of privilege, love of life, love of humanity, love of beauty.’ How simple and elegant.
**available to pass on - I may wild release over Christmas?**
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Going to the Ipswich meet-up tomorrow, probably