Stuart : A Life Backwards

3.94 (3,136 ratings by Goodreads)
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`Stuart does not like the manuscript. He's after a bestseller, "like what Tom Clancy writes". "But you are not an assassin trying to frazzle the president with anthrax bombs," I point out. You are an ex-homeless, ex-junkie psychopath, I do not add.'This is the story of a remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer (`a middle-class scum ponce, if you want to be honest about it, Alexander'), and Stuart Shorter, a homeless, knife-wielding thief. Told backwards - Stuart's idea - it starts with a deeply troubled thirty-two-year-old and ends with a `happy-go-lucky little boy' of twelve. This brilliant biography, winner of the Guardian First Book Award, presents a humbling portrait of homeless life, and is as extraordinary and unexpected as the man it more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 24mm | 220g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • Illustrations, ports.
  • 0007200374
  • 9780007200375
  • 104,965

Review quote

`Unique and wonderful.' Daily Mail`Possibly the best biography I have ever read.' Mark Haddon`This is a very rare and haunting book ... A great first book.' Andrew O'Hagan'Good books like this appear about once every five years. It's been years since I've been so delighted by a book and so surprised by it ... When I'd finished I felt bereft, as if I'd lost an old friend.' Zadie Smith`Utterly compelling and very funny.' Daily Telegraph`One of the most remarkable and touching biographies I've ever read.' Minette Marin, Sunday Times'I feel so strongly about this strange, funny, sad book that I hardly know where to begin ... My enthusiasm feels almost limitless. A page-turner.' Observer'Funny and original, a startling book ... By the end I was doubled up in tears, but throughout I was often doubled up with laughter. It is dazzling.' Vogue'A remarkable biography. Unforgettably moving. A gripping read.' Tim Lott, Sunday Times`A comedy of errors and horrors deftly handled and with a terrifically droll sense of humour.' Melanie McGrath, Evening Standard'With his first book, Alexander Masters ... has achieved something remarkable. He has, without patronising, given a voice to the "underclass"; at the same time, without preaching, he shows us the value of even the most damaged of human lives ... a powerful book, humane, instructive and entirely original. Sunday Telegraphshow more

About Alexander Masters

Alexander Masters lives in London. His second book, `The Genius in My Basement', was published in more

Rating details

3,136 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 33% (1,038)
4 39% (1,215)
3 20% (616)
2 6% (199)
1 2% (68)
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