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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Saturday, 4 July 2009

"Stuart. A life backwards" by Alexander Masters

This is the biography of Stuart Shorter, homeless man. It starts with his death and moves backwards through the prison sentences and, hostels, crimes etc to his traumatic childhood. It seeks to explain how the 'chaotic' homeless have beome who they are. It is the story of a remarkable man who suffered tremendously at the hands of nature, his family and 'The System' and is yet perceptive, funny and wise.

As well as the story of Stuart we have the framing story of the developing friendship of Stuart and Alexander. The catalogue of misunderstanding as Alexander tries to explain the inexplicable (Stuart) is extraodrniarily funny. I suppose the humour was the last thing I expected in a book about such a grim topic and yet it is perhaps the funniest and most charming biography I have ever read.

Funny and also moving; Mark Haddon calls it 'Bollocks brilliant'; I agree.

June 2009, 292 pages

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