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Alexander Masters - Author

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.

Featured books by Alexander Masters

A Life Discarded 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

A Life Discarded 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

May 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A detective story, investigating the life of the person whose diaries – 148 of them at least – turned up in a skip in 2001. Who was this person, this I who had written every day for nearly 50 years? Alexander Masters determines to search out this “Life Discarded” making for a lively, poignant and most unusual biography of a person we don't immediately know the name of, don't know their sex or age even if they're dead or alive. Our vision of the diarist changes as Alexander Masters truffles out more facts, the perspective constantly shifting turning me into a compulsive reader longing to know the writer's identity. Never fear, all is revealed and I won't spoil it here except to say I doubt if there will be another biography quite like this one along for a long time, an extraordinary story of one of the most compulsive diarists of recent times. Like for Like Reading. The Boy in the Book: One Man's Adventure in Search of a Lost Childhood by Nathan Penlington. The Diaries of Nella Last: Writings in War and Peace Edited by Patricia and Robert Malcolmson

eBooks of the Month
The Genius in My Basement

The Genius in My Basement

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2011

An intimate portrait of an everyday genius. Alexander Masters tripped over his first subject on a Cambridge pavement, and the result was the multi-award-winning bestseller Stuart: A Life Backwards. The second, he's found under his floorboards. One of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century stomps around the basement in semi-darkness, dodging between stalagmites of bus timetables and engorged plastic bags. He eats tinned kippers stirred into packets of Bombay Mix. Simon is exploring a theoretical puzzle so complex and critical to our understanding of the universe, that it is known as the Monster. It looks like a sudoku table -- except a sudoku table has nine columns of numbers. The Monster has 808017424794512875886459904961710757005754368000000000. But Simon's also up to something else. What's inside the decaying sports bag he never lets out of his clutches? Why does he hurtle out of the house in the middle of the night? And -- Good God! -- what is that noxious smell that creeps up the stairwell

eBooks of the Month
Stuart: A Life Backwards

Stuart: A Life Backwards

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Paperback (b Format) Release Date: 05/02/2007

This is the comic and shocking history of Stuart Shorter- inadequate thief, hopeless hostage-taker and charming, disturbing raconteur.

eBooks of the Month
Stuart : A Life Backwards

Stuart : A Life Backwards

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Paperback (b Format) Release Date: 01/02/2006

  A 2011 World Book Night selection.   Read the endorsements on the cover and believe them, this is truly a tragic and unique biography.  I love the style, right from the start you are caught up in this strange story and then I love the story itself.  Although love is perhaps not the most appropriate word, for this is a tale of violence, crime, prison and alcohol as Alexander transcribes Stuart’s life – backwards.  Funny, immensely sad and at times startling, it reads like fiction.  Winner of the Guardian First Book Award and shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award (won by Hilary Spurling’s brilliant Matisse), I urge you to try it.   A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... This extraordinary book – winner of the Guardian First Book Award and adapted into a BBC film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy – is a glimpse of the underbelly of English society, a world largely hidden from our lives. It 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. Told backwards, it shows how Stuart changed from a happy-go-lucky little boy into a thief, addict, alcoholic and sociopath street raconteur. Funny, despairing, uplifting, brilliantly-written, it is one of the most original biographies of recent years.   Our Editorial Guru, Sarah Broadhurst, has suggested others book and authors that would be perfect for you to read next or to pass on the recommendation - so your gift will keep on giving enjoyment. Her selection for this title is:  Lorna Sage(Bad Blood).

eBooks of the Month
Stuart :  A Life Backwards

Stuart : A Life Backwards

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2005

Winner of the the Guardian First Book Award 2005 and Short listed for the Whitbread Biography Award. This extraordinary book is a glimpse at the underbelly of English society, a world largely hidden from our lives. Funny, despairing, uplifting, brilliantly-written, it is one of the most original biographies of recent years.

Other books by Alexander Masters

Stuart

Stuart

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2019

The winner of the Guardian First Book Award that reinvented the biographic form. One of the ten books - novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography - that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. Stuart: A Life Backwards expanded the possibilities of what a biography could be: the stories it could tell, and how it could tell them. It is about 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 thief, hostage-taker, psycho and street raconteur. Told backwards - Stuart's idea - it starts with a deeply troubled thirty-two-year-old stepping out in front of the 11.15 train from London to King's Lynn, and ends with a 'happy-go-lucky little boy' of twelve. Compelling, humane and funny, it is as extraordinary and unexpected as the life it describes.

A Life Discarded

A Life Discarded

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/02/2017

Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap. A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation. A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as 'I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of 'I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist.

Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Ebook Release Date: 05/05/2016

Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap.A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation.A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as 'I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of 'I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist.

Stuart

Stuart

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Ebook Release Date: 27/09/2012

A unique biography of a homeless man and a complete portrait of the hidden underclass. 'So here it is, my attempt at the story of Stuart Shorter, thief, hostage taker, psycho and sociopath street raconteur, my spy on how the British chaotic underclass spend their troubled days at the beginning of this century: a man with an important life. I wish I could have presented it to Stuart before he stepped in front of the 11.15 train from London to Kings Lynn.'Stuart Shorter's brief life was one of turmoil and chaos. In this remarkable book, a masterful act of biographical restoration, Alexander Masters retraces Stuart's troubled journey. Stuart was homeless, with many of the problems this sub-section of English society display; alcoholism, drug-addiction, crime, violence. Scattered with glimpses of the author's friendship with Stuart in the years before his death, Masters gives us Stuart's life in reverse, tracing his route backwards through the post-office heists and attempts at suicide and the spells inside many of this country's prisons, on back to a troubled time at school and learning difficulties and a violent childhood that acted like a springboard into the trouble that was to follow him all his life. This extraordinary book is a glimpse at the underbelly of English society, a world largely hidden from our lives. Funny, despairing, uplifting, brilliantly-written, it is one of the most original biographies of recent years.

Genius in my Basement

Genius in my Basement

Author: Alexander Masters Format: Ebook Release Date: 06/10/2011

An intimate portrait of an everyday genius. Alexander Master's landlord, Simon, lives in the basement of their Cambridge house. Between teetering towers of outdated maps and slagheaps of plastic bags, Simon eats endless meals of tinned kippers and plans trips on the Cambridge public transport system. But Simon was one of the greatest mathematical prodigies of the twentieth century. He spends his time between train journeys working on a theoretical puzzle so complex and critical to our understanding of the universe that it is known as the Monster. Poignant and comical, 'Simon: The Genius in my Basement' is about the frailty of brilliance and how genius matters very little in the search for happiness.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://alexandermasters.net/1/

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