Stuart: a Life Backwards by Alexander Masters

About the book

In this extraordinary book, Alexander Masters has created a moving portrait of a troubled man, an unlikely friendship, and a desperate world few ever see. A gripping who-done-it journey back in time, it begins with Masters meeting a drunken Stuart lying on a sidewalk in Cambridge, England, and leads through layers of hell…back through crimes and misdemeanors, prison and homelessness, suicide attempts, violence, drugs, juvenile halls and special schools–to expose the smiling, gregarious thirteen-year-old boy who was Stuart before his long, sprawling, dangerous fall.
Shocking, inspiring, and hilarious by turns, Stuart: A Life Backwards is a writer’s quest to give voice to a man who, beneath his forbidding exterior, has a message for us all: that every life–even the most chaotic and disreputable–is a story worthy of being told.

Reviewed by King’s Somborne Reading Group:

Our one word descriptions of this book included: frightening, miserable, inevitable, challenging, injustice and friendship. Very much an eye opener on the system and the majority of our group rated Master’s handling of the biography very highly indeed – the highest score we’ve ever given to a book in our 11 years or more.

Star rating: ****

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3 thoughts on “Stuart: a Life Backwards by Alexander Masters”

  1. Review by Bookends Reading Group:
    Mixed. Not all finished – too depressing, others found it absorbing. Raising important issues relating to people with special needs etc.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by Anon reading group:
    Not a book to be forgotten! Created much debate. The group were unanimous in their opinion that it was a very moving book. although, some felt the writing was rather disjointed!

  3. Review by MLA South East Reading Group:
    The group felt a really good choice ‘not enjoyed’ as such as a really tough subject matter. Some beautiful insights and flashes of humour. Very moving and also informative.
    Star rating: ***

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