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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
There are many Stuart Shorters. Stuart Unexpected: paranoid, softspoken, and timid. Stuart Fury: hotheaded, murderous, and temperamental. And Stuart Unpredictable: fey, cunning, and full of charm. But who is he, really? That's what Masters intended to find out, and as he woefully discovered, Stuart's life, filled with passion and intensity, may be rich fodder for novelists, but it's a downright liability for a biographer. Piled high with incident, Stuart's days erupt in perpetual chaos. "Thief, hostage taker, psycho, and sociopathic raconteur," Stuart Shorter, despite his 20-page rap sheet is, Masters thinks, not someone whose behavior he can explain or justify, but with any luck, he can transfer it to the page.
No fiction here, Stuart's may be the most original biography you've encountered. Despite his late-life right turn toward respectability, he remained a man of the street. As he comments on the problems of the British underclass and the issues of the homeless -- by turns maddening, frustrating, and riotous -- an unlikely yet credible friendship develops between the biographer and his subject, providing just one of the rich rewards of the book. But no reward is greater that the opportunity to meet Stuart himself. An unexpected, bold introduction to and an invigorating take on a tragic individual, Master's work is a masterwork of pathos. (Fall 2006 Selection)