Thursday, November 17, 2011

William Boyd’s Any Human Heart (2002)

Logan Mountstuart is anything but the typical Old Knock (if there is such a thing as “typical” when it comes to this rare species).  He is a world traveller and semi-adventurer (very un-Knockish).  He is a successful(?) lover of women—again, not on an Old Knock’s resume.  They tend to fall into love by accident.  And he spends much of his life searching for something to excel at.  He does finally find it—in his writing and art collecting—but he often is distracted from it by life. 

Logan Mountstuart is, to put it bluntly, a jerk.  He is self-consumed.  He is disappointed by the realities of this world.  This is where he becomes an Old Knock.  Mountstuart is a Romantic.  And, as a Romantic, he is constantly disappointed in life.  But he tries anyway.  This desperate attempt to make life what it should be, to live life as he would have it and not being willing to accept it as it comes, is what makes him heroic.

Logan Mountstuart is human.  All too often, he goes off the rails.  But it is his attempt to press onward that gives us hope.
William Boyd

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