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A Life Discarded Paperback – 23 Feb 2017

3.7 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (23 Feb. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008130817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008130817
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘A bizarre, engrossing, affectionate book that is a triumph on every level.’ The Times

‘Profoundly moving.’ Daily Mail

‘If Masters investigations feel like a Paul Auster detective story, there are also traces of Alan Bennet bad Barbary Pym seeping through the Cambridge hedges … It’s not life affirming – Masters isn’t slick or pompous enough for that – but life-probing, pushing at the boundaries of empathy and understanding.’ The Sunday Times

‘Masters is a beautiful writer: funny, inquisitive and attentive.’ Observer

‘Intriguingly original … A ripping yarn from start to finish and as impressively chaotic and hugely enjoyable a dip into a skip as one could ever hope for.’ Express

‘Playful, unsettling and altogether compelling … pin-sharp and generously open to eccentricity … He has produced an ingenious new twist on the concept of a ghostwritten biography, in which the ghost turns out to be the kind of person who usually disappears between the cracks of society without leaving a trace behind. In A Life Discarded she is brilliantly fleshed out and brought back to life.’ The Spectator

‘Masters has written a book that engenders in the reader the inexhaustible sympathy for the sorrow, and the solace, of the unconventional life.’ Telegraph

‘Masters wonderfully exposes all the questions about identity, in writing or in the flesh, that this enormous, rambling, sad diary raises … Masters tells his tale with such verve ‘ Mary Beard, Guardian

‘Masters’ interest is firmly in obscure and unseen lives. That’s not all that sets his books apart: they have a postmodern playfulness, the writing process described in the narrative and their subjects reading and commenting (not always favourably) on the work-in-progress, while doodles, photos and knowing, Tristram Shandy-style jokes dot the text … A fascinating and surprisingly funny book’ FT

‘Fascinating and funny’ FT

‘Charming, mercurial and joyous …[a] masterclass in narrative investigation’ Sunday Times, Books of the Year

About the Author

Alexander Masters’ first book, Stuart: A Life Backwards, won the Guardian First Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Biography Prize. Eighteen different newspapers and popular magazines chose it as Book of the Year. It was turned into a BBC film starring Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Alexander lives in Sussex.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I feel cheated by this book. It sounded a promising story and started off interesting. The author did a poor job of finding out who wrote the books and didn't even order or read them properly for years. In the end this led to a problem for him but ultimately the book is a story of an absolutely nobody. Well actually its mainly the story of a rather amateurish attempt to unpick the life of a nobody.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Wonderful, moving, engaging.
The only frustration was , as "Laura" had wanted so much for her reality to be made public, that she was given a pseudonym- however, family history buffs would, as I did, be able to discover her real name with very little problem.
It would, I think, be impossible to read this without ending up quite in love with poor, sweet Laura.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very interesting story, however, overall, I found it tedious.

A great story, fascinating even but I felt the author spent too much time trying not to discover the identity of the journal's author/owner.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not as good as Stuart A Life Backwards.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well crafted account of enquiry and investigation. A fascinating and often humerous story. An introduction into the techniques used in the creation of bibliographies. Very absorbing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very interesting book
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was not ready for this
Perhaps I shall appreciate its subtleties in the future
Most of it was lost on me
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't enjoy this book as much as I expected to. I skipped quite a bit and found some parts I enjoyed.
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