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A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip

A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Unique, transgressive and as funny as its subject, A Life Discarded has all the suspense of a murder mystery. Written with his characteristic warmth, respect and humour, Masters asks you to join him in celebrating an unknown and important life left on the scrap heap.A Life Discarded is a biographical detective story. In 2001, 148 tattered and mould-covered notebooks were discovered lying among broken bricks in a skip on a building site in Cambridge. Tens of thousands of pages were filled to the edges with urgent handwriting. They were a small part of an intimate, anonymous diary, starting in 1952 and ending half a century later, a few weeks before the books were thrown out. Over five years, the award-winning biographer Alexander Masters uncovers the identity and real history of their author, with an astounding final revelation.A Life Discarded is a true, shocking, poignant, often hilarious story of an ordinary life. The author of the diaries, known only as `I', is the tragicomic patron saint of everyone who feels their life should have been more successful. Part thrilling detective story, part love story, part social history, A Life Discarded is also an account of two writers' obsessions: of `I's need to record every second of life and of Masters' pursuit of this mysterious yet universal diarist.

BiographyBiography: generalBiographyDiaries, letters & journals Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: 01/05/2016 ISBN-13: 9780008130770  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Alexander Masters' first book, Stuart: A Life Backwards, won the Guardian First Book Award, the Hawthornden Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Biography Prize. Eighteen different newspapers and popular magazines chose it as Book of the Year. It was turned into a BBC film starring Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch. Alexander lives in Sussex.

More books by Alexander Masters

Customer Reviews

Masters' warm and genuine voice and the intimate relationships he develops with his subjects always make his autobiographies enjoyable to read. His first one especially ('Stuart: A Life Backwards') is fantastic. so it seems a little unfair to 'judge' any of the follow-ups in comparison. But nonetheless that's what i found myself doing while I read 'A Life Discarded.' And while it has its moments of drama, these moments seem a little contrived, and the climax of the book, in dramatic and conceptual terms, a little anticlimactic. Although, as masters points out towards the end of the book, the discarded life of his subject here is unique in that it is arguably the most authentically and thoroughly documented human life that there has ever been. If you've read and enjoyed any of Masters' books before, I think you'll like this one. If you haven't, I would read this one as an appetiser and then read 'Stuart: A Life Backwards' as a treat afterwards.

- 14/06/2016
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