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Wasted [Paperback]

Mark Johnson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 April 2008

Mark Johnson's father had 'LOVE' tattooed across his left hand, but that didn't stop the beatings. The Johnson children would turn up to school with broken fingers and chipped teeth, but no one ever thought of investigating their home life. Mark just slipped through the cracks, and kept on falling. For years.

Constantly in trouble at school, Mark began stealing at the age of seven, was drinking by the age of eight, and took his first hit of heroin aged eleven. A sensitive, intelligent boy, he could never stay on the right path, and though Art College beckoned, he ended up in Portland prison instead.

With searing honesty, WASTED documents Mark's descent into the depths of addiction and criminality. Homeless, hooked on heroin and crack, no one - least of all Mark - believed he would survive. And yet - astonishingly - he somehow pulled himself through, and now runs his own thriving tree surgery business, employing and helping other recovering addicts. His story is at once shocking and inspiring - a compelling account of his struggle to save himself, and help save others in the process.

Frequently Bought Together

Wasted + Mum, Can You Lend Me Twenty Quid?: What drugs did to my family + Once an Addict: The Fascinating True Story of One Man's Escape from the Murky Drugs Underworld
Price For All Three: 20.33

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751539732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751539738
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


As gripping as it is appalling, WASTED is all you could ask of a misery-and-trauma book - it's shocking and it's haunting and it's about one hell of a life (DAILY MAIL)

Book Description

* A Childhood Stolen. An Innocence Betrayed. A Life Redeemed

* A shocking and inspiring true account of addiction and recovery - in the tradition of The Kid and Ugly

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, breathtaking, brutally honest 25 May 2007
Lazy labels like `misery memoir' are slapped onto books of varying quality. Mark Johnson's Wasted, based on his life on the streets, is in a class of its own. It's a harrowing tale with a happy ending and a strong but far from simple message. Mark is an amazing success story, someone who, after years of abuse and addiction, offending and sleeping rough, has gone on to become living proof that rehab works. You could also say he's an example of the wisdom that comes with experience. In telling his own story, Mark is telling the story of other young people, and it's no surprise his ideas about mentoring are now being taken seriously by the probation service in England and Wales. There's nothing self-serving about his recollections, no denial, no preaching. This is the real deal from a writer who is bigger than the story he's telling, and with a story as powerful and compelling as this that's saying something. When Johnson talks about the world he came from, the one he left behind, and the one he wants to help others out of, his writing has the passing bell ring of truth. "Pranged is the tuning fork that never stops vibrating", Johnson says of the comedown from crack, "Pranged is fingernails on metal dustbin lids. Pranged is your body and mind being cut open and exposed to everything sharp in the world", and "pranged" is what the reader feels after putting down this brave, breathtaking, brutally honest book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is brilliant 28 Dec 2009
This book is a brilliant, honest, and in places shocking, of a man who came up from the very depths of society to make a success of himself. The problems with drugs, his battle with them - and to emerge and make his life a success - simply brilliant, un-put-downable. I wanted to know just how drugs affected people who indulged. Now I do know. Then the fact that he fought back to having a good life.

Cathy Cave
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, vivid, powerful 15 May 2007
By Selma D
"Wasted" is a book that will stop you in your tracks. It's no-holds-barred account of a violent childhood and adult life on the streets is at times painful to read. But its a read that you can't put down and which forces you to turn the page... then the next... and then the next.

Its exactly right that Amazon have paired the book with "Abandoned" by Anya Peters. I've read both and they complement each other perfectly - one describing homelessness and childhood suffering from a male perspective the other giving a female point of view.

Two aspects of both books stand out for me. An eye for the telling detail of everyday life that says so much more than a lengthy descirption. And the voice of the central characters which come across so distinctly. Its as though you are there on the streets yourself: in "Wasted" sleeping rough in doorways, looking for that next fix, in "Abandoned" living in your car, trying to maintain a pretence of normality when your situation is anything but. I couldn't say one book is better than the other. Read them both and its an experience you won't forget.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to read in parts but worth it! 23 Feb 2010
I think that this book should be used in schools to educate about drug abuse.

The awful childhood life that the writer had to endure may not have happened to them but it is just as easy for them to get into the downward spiral of drug abuse.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly Honest 13 May 2007
A stunningingly honest account of Mr Johnsons life growing up in a home where he was not loved in the conventional sense. The book then goes on to depict in vivid prose how he went on to become a heroin and crack cocaine addict and his life living on the streets of Central London. Towards the end of this book Mark receives help and enters into rehabilitation and at last the reader gets a sense that this young man will eventually be able to live a happier, more healthy fulfilled life. Truly one off the most honest accounts I have read in years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honest, articulate & inspiring 16 Jan 2011
By Genie
This tells the true story of the author's journey from drug abuse and criminality (at an early age) to drug addiction & homelessness and how the guy turned it all around. I normally don't like memoirs of "rough lives" but this is one I couldn't put down. This guy can really write. It's an incredible tale, horrifying in parts but totally without the cloying self-pity I've previously seen in such memoirs. Anyone working in the area of drugs or drug addicts absolutely needs to read it. An inspiring and fascinating story. Before reading this book I had only 2 attitudes toward junkies: fear or loathing. This book totally changed my attitude to drug addicts; now I can view them with a much greater understanding. Highly recommended reading, an articulate and important book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT READ 21 July 2009
This book is a superb insight into the downward spiral that a life of drugs and alcohol can bring. I use this book as a resource. If you work with troubled youth then this is a MUST for your book shelf. An excellent read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By pws
I have always been interested in the whys and what fors of heroin use. I could never understand why the addicts just couldn't give it up. Was it that good that they didn't want to stop? But, Mark told me everything I wanted to know. The real pain and suffering in wanting to give up. He explains that no matter how hard the angel in your mind wants to stop, the devil always wins. Both the physcial and mental pain are just too much to just stop alone. Which is why I feel that the Governent should be doing more to help addicts to stop. If there were more places for them to go for help, more places available in detox centers, then they would not have to beg and steal to feed a habit that sounds so destroying and from what I now gather, pure hell for the user. To top it all there is a real feel good ending for Mark. A great book. 10/10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An inspiration!
Published 7 days ago by s.wightwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heart wrenching, moving and inspirational
Published 26 days ago by kay
5.0 out of 5 stars Wasted
I give this book a 5 star .a must read .honest wish mark all the luck in the world .
Published 1 month ago by M Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping
Many if us live in our own worlds, ignorant to the suffering of so many. This book had me gripped. Had the pleasure of hearing Mark Johnson speak at a work event a few years ago,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Donna12
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, heartfelt and honest
A beautiful and gruesome tale which literally jumps off the page and drags you down into the streets with Mark. Read more
Published 1 month ago by chrissy
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Quite shocking but very well written though sad and an awakening call regarding any addiction.
I couldn't put it down.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Due to the fact that I work in Addictions, this book opened my eyes to what the addictive person goes through.
Published 5 months ago by elaine
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking But Brilliant
I have just finished this book, and now feel compelled to tell the world about it. There are incredibly shocking parts in the book, some a little hard to read, but his honesty and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Lianna Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
Highly recommended - a book about family, loss, heartbreak, hopelessness but also friendship, endurance, and the love of nature and art.
Published 6 months ago by Sunrise
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific value
Thank you for sending me the book so quickly, Amazing value.. Excellent condition. Cant say anymore. Perfect! perfect! perfect!
Published 7 months ago by dorafromthedump
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