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Read of the Week: Stuart, A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters

Written by The Reader, 1st February 2017

This week's read comes recommended by Laura, Sutton Trust Project Coordinator, who discusses Stuart, A Life Backwards by Alexander Masters.

"In the great bureaucracy of the police and social support services, everyone is patting their backs at Stuart’s extraordinary return from this medieval existence towards respectability and secretly waiting for him to grab the nearest meat hook and run amok.

Furthermore, not only has Stuart enough undestroyed brain cells left to describe what such a life is like, but he can pinpoint, almost to the hour - between 4 and 5 p.m., one weekday in early summer, when he was twelve - the symbolic moment when he made the change from (in his mother’s words) a real ‘happy- go-lucky little boy’, always ‘the considerate, very considerate’ one of her two children, into the nightmare Clockwork Orange figure of the last two decades. If his own life were not still so disordered, he could make good money explaining to parents what makes children turn into authority-despising delinquents."

Alexander MastersStuart, A Life Backwards

downloadThis is the story of Stuart Shorter, a man who has experienced homelessness, violence and addiction, who wanted to tell his story through Alexander Masters, an author, screenwriter, and worker with the homeless. Stuart has a request though: that his story be told backwards.

This book is incredibly moving and thought-provoking as we learn more about Stuart's life, past and present. I would highly recommend reading this book and found it to be incredibly honest and important.


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