Stuart: A Life Backwards _HOT_
Stuart: A Life Backwards is a biography by Alexander Masters of his friend Stuart Clive Shorter, formerly, at various times, a prisoner and a career criminal. It explores how a young boy, somewhat disabled from birth, became mentally unstable, criminal and violent, living homeless on the streets of Cambridge. As the title suggests, the book starts from Shorter's adult life, and works backwards to trace through his troubled childhood, examining the effects his family, schooling and disability had on his eventual state.
Stuart: A Life Backwards
As a child, Shorter was sexually abused by his brother, and also by a babysitter, after which he was put into a children's home. Here, he was abused again by the paedophile Keith Laverack, who in 1997, was jailed for 18 years for various offences against children. During his adult life, Shorter was in and out of various homeless hostels, as well as spending much time in prison for a number of violent crimes. He also fathered one son, the Little'Un, who lives in Norwich.
Stuart has also had a 'brilliant' idea for a job. If it works, it will be the first honest work he's been able to hold down in his life. New flat, new job, new Stuart. Already he has signed himself up for an IT course.
In order to keep track of his newly busy life, Stuart has devised a special colour-coding for this book: green highlighter for family, yellow for social, orange for duty. His handwriting is not excellent. Even when there's only one word to be got down, he sometimes begins his gigantic letters too far across the line and has to pack the end into a pea-size, as if the letters had bunched up in fright at the thought of dropping off the page. At other times the phrases are neat and slow. His spelling is part phonetic, part cap-doffing guesswork: 'Monday: ADDanBRocK's.' 'Tuesday: QuiSt going to Vist VoLanteR service's. ASK for NAME & ADReSS For AwarD organation.'
Stuart's backwards inspiration has turned out to be excellent. At a swoop, it has solved the major problem of writing a biography of a man who is not famous. Even with a well-known person it can be boring work to spend the first fifty pages reading facts and guesses about Grandpa, Granny, Mum, Dad, subject aged one, two, three, seven, eight. But introduce Stuart to readers as he is now, a fully-fledged gawd-help-us, and he may just grab their interest straight away. By the time they reach his childhood, it is a matter of genuine interest how he turned into the person that he is. So we'll move backwards, in stages, tacking like a sailboat against the wind. Familiar time flow -- out the window. Homogeneous mood of reflectiveness -- up in smoke. This way, an air of disruption from the start.
Will it work? Can a person's history be broken up? Isn't a life the sum of its pasts? Perhaps Stuart's approach is possible only with Stuart, whose sense of existence is already broken into fragments.
Adaptation of Alexander Masters' critically acclaimed memoir of homeless alcoholic Stuart Shorter. As writer and charity worker Alexander gets to know Stuart and learns about his complicated life, he marvels at his new friend's resilient personality, and asks to write his biography. Stuart agrees, recounting his life story in reverse. Tales of post-office heists, suicide attempts and spells inside various institutions help Alexander understand how Stuart's life spiralled out of control.
Based on the award-winning memoir by Alexander Masters, charting his friendship with Stuart Shorter, a violent, poly-addicted homeless man. Stuart A Life Backwards is a funny and incredibly moving film and a fitting tribute to a man who was not a celebrity, but who led an extraordinary life.
Stuart A Life Backwards details the remarkable friendship between a reclusive writer and illustrator and a chaotic homeless man whom he gets to know during a campaign to release two charity workers from prison. As the writer learns more about the homeless man's complicated life and traumatic childhood, he asks if he can write his story and the homeless man advises him to tell the story backwards, so that it's "more exciting - like a Tom Clancy murder mystery."
Stuart (Tom Hardy) is a homeless alcoholic who leads a complicated life because of the disturbing memories of his troubled childhood. His writer friend (Benedict Cumberbatch) chronicles his life and tries to recount every aspect of it.
Tom Hardy does a wonderful job in this movie and is thoroughly committed to bringing the addict Stuart Shorter to life without sentimentalizing him or selling him short. Through this movie, we remember that the cycle of violence is what allows abuse to cycle on through the generations, and if we are to eliminate violence we must remove children from situations in which they are victims.Touchingly, the audience watches as Alexander grows from feeling obviously uncomfortable around Stuart and apathetic about the plight of the homeless to being a caring friend and confidante.
When Alexander Masters first tried to write the biography of Stuart Shorter, a charismatic but chaotic homeless man with whom he had worked, he met with unexpected criticism. Shorter told him it was boring. Then he told him to write his story backwards. Arriving with these expectations, it is slightly disappointing to be met with a predominantly linear narrative in Jack Thorne's stage adaptation. It is not until the last half hour of his ninety minute play that we start looking backwards; and the subsequent revelations seem rather rushed.
Masters knew Shorter for only the last four years of the latter's life. The two men got to know each other well while working on a campaign to free the "Cambridge Two": Ruth Wyner, the director of Wintercomfort, and her deputy, John Brock, jailed because "rough sleepers" had been secretly exchanging drugs on the premises.
This riveting book - winner of The Guardian First Book Award last year and bestseller in Britain - provides painful insights into the lives of the homeless without losing focus on Shorter or becoming preachy. The energy of the book lies in Masters's sense of Shorter as a human being and a brother, "a man with an important life".
Masters knew Shorter for only the last four years of the latter's life. The two men got to know each other well while working on a campaign to free the \\\"Cambridge Two\\\": Ruth Wyner, the director of Wintercomfort, and her deputy, John Brock, jailed because \\\"rough sleepers\\\" had been secretly exchanging drugs on the premises.
This riveting book - winner of The Guardian First Book Award last year and bestseller in Britain - provides painful insights into the lives of the homeless without losing focus on Shorter or becoming preachy. The energy of the book lies in Masters's sense of Shorter as a human being and a brother, \\\"a man with an important life\\\".
But then Stuart: A Life Backwards is no ordinary book. Its subject is a violent recidivist, armed robber, hostage taker and heroin addict, who was persuaded by author Alexander Masters to talk about his life and what turned him from, in his mother's words, "a really happy-go-lucky" 10-year-old into a man known variously, even to his fellow vagrants, as "Psycho", "Knife Man Dan" and "that mad bastard".
What makes the book really individual is that while it tells Stuart's tragic life story - shaped by mild muscular dystrophy, a childhood of taunts about his disability, and rape by his brother and subsequently at a children's home - it is far from a one-sided, middle-class view of homelessness. For much of it is in Stuart's words, and tells of how he and Masters gradually earned each other's respect and learned from each other - and worked on the book together. 041b061a72