Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Starred Review. The British antihero of this moving In this extraordinary book, Alexander Masters has created a moving portrait of a troubled man, an unlikely friendship, and a desperate world few. Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters HarperCollins £, pp I feel so strongly about this strange, funny, sad book that I hardly. Stuart does not like the manuscript. Guardian first book award Stuart: A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters. Wed 24 Aug
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Stuart book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In this extraordinary book, Alexander Masters has created a moving portrait. FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by site over £ Stuart: A Life Backwards Paperback – 2 Jan This is the story of 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. download Stuart A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.
Continue reading the main story SOON after Alexander Masters got to know Stuart Shorter, a "polydrug-addicted, alcoholic, 'Jekyll and Hyde' personality with delusional paranoia and a fondness for. Two years later, Masters was still seeking a literary scaffolding for his subject's extraordinarily difficult life. At last, Stuart pressed his biographer to scrap a pedantic first draft and start over, this time telling the tale "backwards. Hook the reader, and show "what murdered the boy I was. It won Masters critical praise and a television movie deal when it was published last year in Britain. With its American debut, a new group of readers can judge whether the reverse chronology sheds more light than a conventional narrative might have on Stuart's compulsive suicide attempts, bouts of "rageousness" and urges to sleep on the street even after settling into an apartment. But the more important question "Stuart" poses is whether the catastrophic arc of one man's life — not to mention that man's resilience, wit and allure for women — can ever adequately be explained.
Outside, it is getting dark; the trees in the garden have started to grow in size and lose their untended shapes.
I know you put a lot of work in. Put briefly, his objection is this: I drone on.
He wants jokes, yarns, humour. He doesn't admire "academic quotes" and background research. You gotta do better than this.
You are an ex-homeless, ex-junkie psychopath, I do not add. Stuart phrases it another way, then: "Something what people will read. Their business may have collapsed. Their daughter has been killed in a car crash. Or both. Self-confidence is their main problem and, if the professionals can get hold of them in the first few months, they'll be back at work or at least in settled, long-term accommodation within a year or two.
Right at the bottom of this abnormal heap are the people such as Stuart, the 'chaotic' homeless. The chaotic 'kai-yo-ic', as Stuart calls them, drawing out the syllables around his tongue like chewing gum are beyond repair.
When Stuart was first discovered, Kaspar Hauser-like, crouched on the lowest subterranean floor of a multi-storey car park, the regular homeless wanted nothing to do with him. What unites the chaotic is the confusion of their days.
Cause and effect are not connected in the usual way. Beyond their own governance, let alone within grasps of ours, they are constantly on the brink of raring up or breaking down.
Charity staff fuss especially hard over these people because they are the worst face of homelessness and, when not the most hateful, the most pitiable extremity of street life. Perhaps to mitigate the bleakness, Masters inserts himself into the narrative as a middle-class straight man, the target of Stuart's earthy barbs.
In this guise, Masters declares to his skeptical friend that his dressing gown is "made from pure silk. During the five years Masters worked in hostels for the homeless, his activism soared from day-job holder to what he self-mockingly calls "social reformer.
During their collaboration, Stuart and his Boswell become genuine mates.
Sadly, their friendship was never tested by publicity because in Stuart Shorter fell — or walked — in front of a speeding train. He was only 33, but he had concluded there was no good explanation for how he'd turned out, unless he was "the child of the Devil.
I've tried burning him out and cutting him out and he don't take no notice. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. News World U.
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