Stuart: a life backwards By Alexander Masters

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"I can't hope to justify or explain Stuart," says Masters in this portrait of his drunk, drug-addled homeless friend, but he has a damn good try. Starting, as Stuart suggests, at the end, he roams back over a life of chaos to uncover the seeds of his self-destruction.

It's a roller-coaster ride: funny, honest and deeply moving. "You done well," Stuart said to Masters before he died. "I'm proud of you." Quite right, too.