Book Review(s): Two by William Boyd
Any Human Heart. This novel is in diary format. It’s a testament to Boyd’s skill that it’s an involving read. A trip through the 20th century via the life of Logan Mountstuart, whose ups and downs involve public figures and fictional characters, and who has reserves of strength and humour that keep the reader gripped right to the end. An emotional experience, and one of those novels where, after closing the last page, you miss the viewpoint character.
Ordinary Thunderstorms. The protagonist in this novel is a reader’s dream: resourceful, intelligent, brave and likeable. Adam Kindred, through a chance meeting, becomes wanted for murder. But he is not the patsy the real villains hope for–he disappears into London’s homeless population and, while trying to survive, creates problem after problem for them, all in the most plausible and interesting way. An examination of, among other things, survival through human connection. The novel’s told via several points of view and one of Boyd’s many strengths is that he never resorts to cliche, either in character or situation. A great read.
Ordinary Thunderstorms Review Part Two. MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. I believe that protagonist Adam Kindred is the Ordinary Thunderstorm referred to in the title. I find it extremely interesting that Kindred remains sympathetic to the reader despite the fact that he murders, steals the cane from a blind man, fools kind people, impersonates a dead man, gets rid of said dead man’s body, and lies to the woman he loves. Fantastic.
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