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A Life Discarded Paperback – 23 Feb 2017
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‘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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Perhaps I shall appreciate its subtleties in the future
Most of it was lost on me
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I first picked this book up, I did so not realising it was non-fiction. It is not my normal type of reading material, but then that’s part of its charm – it doesn’t... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Firmin's Whiskers
After reading the first few pages I lost all interest. Doubt if I will ever pick it up again but as its on my Kindle you never knowPublished 27 days ago by Wombatski
This was a difficult book to read and review. It is the most unusual book I have read to date but it slowly drew me in and I ended up enjoying it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by breakaway Reviewers
Not convinced this is non-fiction. Did not like the painful way the story unfolded. A few pictures would have helped. Do the diaries really exist?Published 1 month ago by Cameron