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Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.)

Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (P.S.) [Kindle Edition]

Marya Hornbacher
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to reality's darker side -- and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.

From the Publisher

excerpts from the British reviews
‘A heart-rending memoir’ Elle

‘A stunningly original and beautifully written book gouging deep into a gruesome subject which, by comparison, other writers have merely flirted with.’ KATIE CAMPBELL, Evening Standard

‘This factual account of a 23-year old’s experience of anorexia and bulimia is not just another confessional. It has not been written as an act of therapy or for financial gain. It is a prose poem. This does not detract from its painful force nor from the author’s searing intelligence (one has to keep reminding oneself that she is only 23) but rather adds to the force of her communication…Through a mixture of horrific autobiography, medical anecdotes and quotes from Nietzsche, Plath, Emily Dickinson and Lewis Carroll, she tries to tell you what suffering from anorexia is like. At every stage in the story of her illness she pulls to pieces the thought processes that justify starving herself to death. Like Plath she writes with a metaphoric intensity which at times seems tragically indistinguishable from the power of her drive to self-destruct. Her brutal honesty as to why it happened to her – family culture, low self-worth, did she just come out that way? – and her lack of special pleading, only adds to the essential pain of the book. If you want to understand anorexia, read this book.’ ALICE THOMPSON, Scotsman

‘The mind of Hornbacher is sharper than were her collar-bones when she weighed 4 stone, was given a week to live, and suddenly decided not to die. It is her 23-year-old body that was wasted by fourteen years of anorexia and bulimia. Her true story is painfully honest, analytical, complex and sad: compulsive reading.’ Harpers & Queen

‘A brilliantly moving memoir’ TOBIAS JONES, Frank

‘What marks Wasted out is the quality of the voice. Hornbacher is, simply, a good writer. Her gift for description makes even the familiar aspects of the phenomenon newly real. She is coolly vivid on the sheer violence of anorexia, correcting any misconception that it’s a passive disease; it is rather ‘a no-holds-barred attack on your flesh’. There’s an edge to her prose capturing the wildness of her eventual starved mania…successfully catching a young woman’s desperate desire to counter the cultural voice that tells her she’s "too much, too much, too much". Wasted will be of value not only to fellow sufferers: any woman who has ever been made gleeful by the diminishing of her physical self will gain from reading this painful and sharp-boned account.’ SYLVIA BROWNRIGG, Guardian

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, incisive and ultimately terrifying 22 Feb 2000
You can read many accounts of Eating Disorders, but this one has to be one of the most disturbing, well written and incisive. Marya writes clearly and without self-pity, about the start of her disease, when she is young and bulimic, until the climax of anorexia when she enters into a disturbing account of severe mental illness. She never explains why she got the disease, probably because she can't explain it to herself, but her description of her state of mind and the people around her's reaction to her disease is brilliant. She says she wants to write this book to stop other people going down the same route. I have no doubt she will succeed, because this book is horrific and terrifying. She adds information from supposed experts into the book, and quite often mocks therapists who have no idea about her illness, so together with her honest self-analysis it makes for an educational read. Don't expect any answers or miracle cures however. The quality of her writing is high, and I'm sure any book by her is well worth the read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything an eating disordered person thinks 27 April 2003
By A Customer
I read 'Wasted' in one day, once i had picked it up, it was actually impossible for me to leave it. It is one of those books where opening it at any page offers you compulsive reading, and it is true to say that Hornbacher offers a very frank and blunt view of something that, instrinctly, is very complicated. The book did almost inspire me, however, and i do not believe that her desire to help others and stop them from doing what she did, is fulfiled. Having already suffered from bulemia for a year before reading, i found the book full of new ideas, lies and ways of keeping the lifestyle i had, maintained. This is clearly unintentional, but the descriptions of emotion, power, simplicity, ease and almost the glamourisation of the eating disordered existence, would intrigue even those who had never considered it before. I am certainly not advising anyone to miss out on this book, it is an amazing read, words cannot explain how capturing it is until you actually pick it up, but i am advising people to be careful about what they take from it. My congratualtions do go out to Marya Hornbacher for finding exactly the right words for feelings, actions and emotions for things that only people who suffer like her would understand, and so far, i was unable to find. The connection you can make with what she is saying is formidable, amazing, and shocking in some parts because you really believe your the only one fighting and suffering. Marya Hornbacher shows you brutally how wrong you were. An excellent read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
There really is no need for me to describe the contents of this brilliant book as it has already been done very well by the reviewers before me, but I do think that even though it's been almost 10 years since publication, this book is still as relevent now (if not more so) than when it was written.

There seems so be a disturbing trend at the moment for people in the public eye to 'confess' to have suffered from eating disorders at one time or another, making it sound as though an E.D. is almost a fashion statement. Not only does this help in trivialising what can often be a fatal illness, but makes it seem somehow glamorous.

Believe me, there's nothing glamorous about destroying your body and slowly killing yourself. And 'Wasted' illustrated this perfectly, describing just how awful a full-blown E.D. really is. It describes how an eating disorder isn't something to play around with, something to 'try out for a few days', it isn't a 'diet that's gone a bit overboard', a weightloss plan. What it is though, is something which controls your entire body and mind- and it's scary.

And if you have no interest in eating disorders? Well you should read this book anyway as it is probably the best piece of writing I have ever read.

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So true... 12 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Ive just finished this book and it shocked me how well the Hornbacher decribes eating disorders. I have suffered with a combination of bulimia and to a lesser extent, anorexia for years. There is no other way to say what it does to you except to say that eating disorders are soul destroying. There are days when I want to curl up and die because I know that there is no easy way out but this book shows that however ill you can become, you can also get through. Wasted is a shockingly honest book. Some may say that Hornbacher is almost encouraging readers to toy with the idea of extreme dieting, but I disagree. She is telling the way it really is. Yes, she was an extreme case but it happens and it is terrifying. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the thought process behind bulimia and anorexia. If you have an eating disorder and want a trigger book or some sort of motivation, dont bother. You wont find it here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compleatly essential 27 Dec 2006
By Chloe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone who has ever had an eating disorder and for anyone who has not this is one of theose books that is compleatly essential. I read it shortly before I was admitted into an eating disorders clinic. I was extremely ill. Yet despite that fact it really struck hard with me. I would recommend it to anyone that would ever say that an eating disorder is not a serious psychiatric condition. Hornbacher level of self destruction was what I really identified. she was determined to kill herself, it is the most brutally honest book on eating disorders that I have ever read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Dark, honest and frightening...
I saw the reviews for this book and knew it would be very interesting, which it was. I love reading about people's life stories, addictions, mental health etc but I felt this was a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by louby
1.0 out of 5 stars Bored me!
Read the 1st chapter which was long and it was so boring. I couldn't read any more after that. Would not recommend it.
Published 3 months ago by Miss Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
Superb book would def recommend to all ages provides an in depth insight into eating disorders and their real impact
Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashamed to say I did pirate it first, but I thought so much of it that...
I'm not usually one for reading a book BEFORE I buy it, but in this case I did. I thought the book was so thought provoking and touched so close to home that I had to buy it.
Published 5 months ago by Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writer
Marya Hornbacher is such a good writer, she conveys real clarity into the misunderstood world of Anorexia and Bulimia. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars cold hard reality
Marya said herself that she didnt enjoy writing this book. I'm not sure this is the kind of book anyone "enjoys" reading. It's a cold, hard dose of reality. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Go Book Yourself
4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing book but triggering
I have been suffering with an eating disorder since I can remember, and I chose this book when I was a young teen as my 'bible', although it can be comforting to know you are not... Read more
Published 13 months ago by kmarshall9
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing, brilliant true story
Insightful, sad, gripping, raw account of an eating disorder sufferer. I read this in one sitting. Great writing, but even more incredible that this true.
Published 14 months ago by Nina Snyman
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and compelling.
An interesting account of a woman's life struggling with a common and often misunderstood illness. I love Maryas writing style, i found it to be analytic, compelling and in some... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Millie Ryan-Whittam
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant descriptions
Another book that left me feeling that my eating disorder was somewhat half-hearted. ... Engaging writing. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Natasha Holme
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Popular Highlights

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Bear in mind, people with eating disorders tend to be both competitive and intelligent. We are incredibly perfectionistic. We often excel in school, athletics, artistic pursuits. We also tend to quit without warning. Refuse to go to school, drop out, quit jobs, leave lovers, move, lose all our money. We get sick of being impressive. Rather, we tire of having to seem impressive. As a rule, most of us never really believed we were any good in the first place. &quote;
Highlighted by 145 Kindle users
“Hungry” was the same as lonely, and not-hungry was the same as scared. &quote;
Highlighted by 122 Kindle users
The convenience in having an eating disorder is that you believe, by definition, that your eating disorder cannot get out of control, because it is control. It is, you believe, your only means of control, so how could it possibly control you? &quote;
Highlighted by 115 Kindle users

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