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Stuart :  A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters
  

Stuart : A Life Backwards

Biography / Autobiography   All Shortlists and Winners   
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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.

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Synopsis

Stuart : A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters

‘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.â

Stuart Shorterâs brief life was one of turmoil and chaos. In this remarkable book, a masterful act of biographical restoration, Alexander Masters retraces Stuartâs 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 authorâs friendship with Stuart in the years before his death, Masters gives us Stuartâs life in reverse, tracing his route backwards through the post-office heists and attempts at suicide and the spells inside many of this countryâs 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.

Reviews

'It will surely prove to be the debut of the year.' Andrew O'Hagan, Telegraph

'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…the structure of Stuart is a masterstroke, allowing buried secrets to be uncovered like hunks of beef beneath silver domes.' Observer

'A remarkable biography. Not since John Healey's classic memoir The Grass Arena has life on the street been catalogued with such candour and to such illuminating effect … unforgettably moving. A gripping read." Tim Lott, Sunday Times

About the Author

Alexander Masters

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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Book Info

Publication date

4th April 2005

Author

Alexander Masters

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Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

alexandermasters.net/1/

Publisher

Harpercollins Publishers

Format

Hardback

Categories

Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners


ISBN

9780007200368

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