Stuart: A Life Backwards Paperback – 2 Jan 2006
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‘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
About the Author
Alexander Masters lives in London. His second book, 'The Genius in My Basement', was published in 2011.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the story of Stuart, a chronic homeless man who from an early age has sniffed glue, done heroin, abused booze, been abused, been to prison... you name it and it probably has happened to him. It is almost as much a story about the author as it is about Stuart, detailing their relationship and the troubles Alexander Masters has putting Stuarts life down on paper.
And that is what makes this book worth a read - there are no clear answers, no solutions and no holds barred, just like in life itself. Stuart himself asked Alexander to write the book backwards, from his present life back to when he was a young boy and when he 'first discovered violence'. This could have been more effective if countless to-ing and fro-ing between the present and the past had been avioded but i think the author felt it important to convey the mixed up nature of Stuart's world.
If you want to open your mind and take in the account of one man who has had had a traumatic life and understandably has had difficulty coming to terms with what has happened to him, then this is your book. We see homeless people everyday but never stop to think about who they are and why they are there. We judge them instantly and avoid contact with them because they remind us of the dark side of society.
It's easier to think of homeless people as 'dangerous others' who desearve what they have got and could change their circumstances if they tried - Stuart will change this for you and put a real story and a real face to this group of unfortunate people.
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Stuart: A Life Backwards not only makes the reader acutely aware of the failings of society but also sense the despair of those who try to make a difference. Masters intelligently and humorously portrays Stuart's life in such a way that one cannot help but like the ex-homeless, ex-junkie psychopath.
Having lived in Cambridge myself during the time of Masters's and Stuart's friendship, I am ashamed to admit that I was blissfully unaware of people like Stuart who made those same streets I walked along their home. For anyone who wishes to have their eyes opened, I highly recommend Stuart: A Life Backwards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set book for A level, appalling choice but good service from seller!Published 9 days ago by Mamamoot
A book encompassing a serious subject that I guess I would rather sweep under the carpet. Exposes the frailites of the human condition and the extent to which childhood trauma has... Read morePublished 1 month ago by disgusted of dagenham
I loved this book, really well written and very comical in places, kept me amused the whole way through. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Warren
It is not often a book grips you and makes you feel so sympathetic. An very disturbing at times book about how a man came to be on the streets and why sometimes he chose to pu... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mr. B. Peacock