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Wasted [Hardcover]

Mark Johnson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 May 2007

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 one man's struggle to save himself, and help save others in the process.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184744024X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847440242
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 530,932 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, Powerful & Straight Talking 16 Jun 2008
Mark Johnson brings us into a world that fortunately for most of us, we never see. This book brings you to the levels that Mark Johnson experienced. The writing is terrific & brings you onto the streets with him & into the turmoil's of his life. This is a very honest book which at times, can be disturbing. I applaud Mark Johnson for getting his life back in order. I am also pleased that his fight has been recognised & totally agree with him when he says his qualifications are his experiences. It's an honest book that takes us down, goes through the 'ups & downs' of his life, the hurt that he passed onto people & try's to explain what drugs does to not only yourself, but to your loved ones. I also admire his honesty. Mark cannot be proud of what he done, but he can be proud of himself now that he came through some shocking experiences that you would not wish on your enemies. Well most of them anyway. Good Luck Mark.
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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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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A deeply engaging heart felt read. From the off I could not put it down. Good luck to you Mark.
Published 11 days ago by Frank
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Harrowing book, well written
Published 14 days ago by pepesilvia
4.0 out of 5 stars HARROWING STORY
Great book. As I got further through the book I got more gripped and by the end I couldn't put the book down. It's scary how easily available drugs are these days.
Published 1 month ago by michelle562569
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lethe book was in as good as new condition .very pleased
Published 1 month ago by Karen Libretto
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book true to life
Heart felt story for anyone who is in recovery or involved with anyone in the family and friends. Great book true to life. Great condition and packed well on time or maybe early
Published 1 month ago by Crystalwitch1968
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Full of honesty, heartbreak and the strength of the human spirit. I wish Mark continued success on his recovery. .
Published 2 months ago by philip
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good to see some of the addicts can get their arses back into social acceptability
Published 2 months ago by SammiLou
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An inspiration!
Published 3 months ago by s.wightwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heart wrenching, moving and inspirational
Published 3 months 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 4 months ago by M Thompson
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