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Stuart: A Life Backwards Paperback – 2 Jan 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers; 1st Harper Perennial Edition edition (2 Jan. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007200374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007200375
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘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 Telegraph

Synopsis

This is a major new launch for the paperback edition of the most original, captivating and award-winning memoir of the year. "Stuart, A Life Backwards", is the story of a remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer and illustrator ('a middle class scum ponce, if you want to be honest about it, Alexander) and a chaotic, knife-wielding beggar whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison. Interwoven into this is Stuart's confession: the story of his life, told backwards. With humour, compassion (and exasperation) Masters slowly works back through post-office heists, prison riots and the exact day Stuart discovered violence, to unfold the reasons why he changed from a happy-go-lucky little boy into a polydrug-addicted-alcoholic Jekyll and Hyde personality, with a fondness for what he called 'little strips of silver' (knives to you and me). Funny, despairing, brilliantly written and full of surprises: this is the most original and moving biography of recent years.

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