Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Stuart: A Life Backwards

Posted on

Alexander Masters, an advocate for the homeless in the U.K., has written the year’s most surprising, charming biography: the tragi-hilarious tale of Stuart Shorter, an opinionated, annoying yet likable ex-con, a former junkie psychopath who’s spent his life bouncing between jail, the street, and various state-funded programs, a man for whom ”every day is a hum of casual outrages.” An easygoing guide, Masters takes Shorter’s idea to tell the story in reverse: ”Make it more like a murder mystery. What murdered the boy I was?” Stuart: A Life Backwards is required reading for every ”middle-class geeky c—” — as Shorter occasionally calls Masters — who can’t imagine how a human winds up on the street.