Alexander Masters

‘Stuart, A Life Backwards’, 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 whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison.

Interwoven into this is Stuart’s confession: the story of his life, told backwards. With humour, compassion (and exasperation) Masters slowly works back through post-office heists, prison riots and the exact day Stuart discovered violence, to unfold the reasons why he changed from a happy-go-lucky little boy into a polydrug-addicted-alcoholic Jekyll and Hyde personality, with a fondness for what he called ‘little strips of silver’ (knives to you and me).

Funny, despairing, brilliantly written and full of surprises: this is the most original and moving biogrpahy of recent years.

Reviews of Stuart

  • From the reviews of ‘Stuart’:

    ‘A remarkable biography. Unforgettably moving. A gripping read.’ Tim Lott, Sunday Times

    ‘With his first book, Alexander Masters…has achieved something remarkable. He has, without patronising, given a voice to the “underclass”; at the same time, without preaching, he shows us the value of even the most damaged of human lives…a powerful book, humane, instructive and entirely original.’ Sunday 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.’ Observer

    ‘Bollock brilliant. Possibly the best biography I have ever read. Just about perfect.’ Mark Haddon, author of ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’.

    ‘Unique and wonderful’ Daily Mail

    ‘This is a very rare and haunting book…A great first book.’ Andrew O’Hagan

    ‘Good books like this appear about once every five years. It’s been years since I’ve been so delighted by a book and so surprised by it…When I’d finished I felt bereft, as if I’d lost an old friend.’ Zadie Smith