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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, incisive and ultimately terrifying
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...
Published on 22 Feb 2000 by heather@heather555.freeserve.co.uk

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, over-romanticised
This book is excellently and intelligently written with some honest not least terrifying accounts of living with the frightening illnesses of anorexia and bulimia. However, I found the author's recounting of her battle highly over-romanticised with the effect of leaving her eating disordered readership feeling triggered and insignificant.
Published on 18 Aug 2001


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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best and worst read of my life, 14 Mar 2004
By 
lucinda davies (stapleton, bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
To the initiated (ie, those who already suffer from an ED), this is one massive trigger written under the guise of a 'biography' - dispite Marya Hornbachers claims to the contrary. Through a glamourised and extremely descriptive narrative, she basically gives you the inclination, the information and the lies required to perpetuate a disorder, even exasserbate one.
Do not look to 'Wasted' to aquire a deeper understanding of ED's; read clinical studies and psychological reviews. If you want a nice, gory 'i'm-glad-i'm-not-like-that' read, then this is your book. But let's get straight to the point, here:
If you want to be triggered into getting worse, read 'Wasted'. It will give you everything you need and a bit more to boot. Every single ED in-patient treatment unit in the country hasn't banned it for nothing...
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19 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This isn't real nourishment, it just feels like it, 5 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
To say that this book is written without any self-pity is a joke. These days it would seem that whenever anyone writes about their tragic past it has to be "without a trace of self-pity". How does this work? If you think your trauma is such that you could write a whole book about it, you must surely feel a little hard done by. Books such as "Wasted" are not written for purely altruistic reasons, despite Hornbacher's claims to the contrary. The argument that reading about the suffering of another may help someone else in the same situation is particularly shakey when it comes to a subject such as anorexia. Self-pity is there and I don't have too much of a problem with it. I'd feel pretty sorry for myself if I was Marya Hornbacher.
I won't go into details about my own ten year battle with anorexia. Suffice it to say that it was hard, miserable, lonely and painful. I was not a selfish, spoilt brat, a widespread but often unspoken perception of anorexics which repulses me, but I did want to write a book about my ordeal. I did want to show off my achievements, which was fair enough since I had nothing else going for me and life was damn grim. Ten years ago I even considered the title "Wasted" - strange but absolutely true - but then got better before I got round to it all. It probably would have been worse than Hornbacher's work but still, maybe I should have stuck with the programme and not done something so appallingly un-postmodern as to find a happier ending instead.
"Wasted" strikes me not as an experience of anorexia and bulimia as it was, but as how we want it to be. We like the schlock horror of miscarriages, the extremities of bingeing and vomiting, but we wouldn't like to be reminded of the absolute boredom that comes in between, the mindless food brand name obsessions, the laxative stains on pants, no, that's too horrid and not dramatic enough to justify a description. Fair enough. But be aware that this book is basically anorexia porn and it's perfect, all there, no more trawling through self-help books for triggering examples, it's everything there for you at once. It will feed you if you are hungry and it will fascinate you if you have never hungered at all, but it will not redeem anyone...
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A dangerous game, 1 Aug 2008
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
A graphic account and manual of how to be anorexic or bulmic. This book by Hornbacher is disturbing, not least because of the almost smug way she communicates her story and what one cannot help but think the knowledge that she has been to the dark side and survived. One of the positives is that she does not advocate the there-there approach to anorexia. I have always believed that anorexics know exactly what they are doing in the grip of the illness, but the type of 'fever' the condition demands makes it impossible to pull back and change direction. In many ways this comes across in Hornbacher's work. This book is not suitable for teenages or adolescent women, in fact it is probably not suitable for women under 25.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely honest, 21 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
This book is one of the best I've ever read. Its honesty and intimate detail had me reduced to tears on many occasions. All women, those who have suffered with eating disorders, and those who haven't can all realte to some of the feelings shared in this book - it is deeply moving. A true favourite of mine, that I read time, and time again.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wasted, 16 Oct 2010
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
Couldn't put this down a gripping read, explaining the issuse of eating disorders and the root of them. A story about life growing up with an eating disorder, gives a really good insight into the mind of someone with an eating disorder. Worth reading. would recommend.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 10 May 2009
By 
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
I have never re-read a novel so much in my life.

Buy this book.
There is nothing more I can say.

Buy this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant book!, 11 Aug 2008
By 
Julie "Julie" - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
Wasted
Firstly, let me just say that I don't "do" reviews - in fact this is my first one.

I couldn't put this book down. It moved me, made me laugh, surprised and shocked me. But at the same time I sensed that Marya was not writing with to create sensationalism. She was simply saying how it was. In fact in her prologue she goes on to say how difficult this book was to write but felt that if she could save just one person from going through what she went through then it would be worth it. It wasn't a cathartic journey she was under taking, it wasn't any type of therapy - as she says she pays experts a lot of money for that.

Although I am not anorexic or bulimic I could see how very easily it would have been to go down that road. I have always had a weight problem - well in my eyes anyway, when people said I didn't, to me, that was just people being nice.

Having said that when you read about her childhood she didn't stand much of a chance with regards to her self image. She doesn't say that she had a particularly bad childhood and she loves her Mum and step dad to bits. But I loved the way that she didn't lay it all at there door as so many seem to do these days instead of taking ownership. Sure, the way you're brought up can and will affect the person you become but that doesn't mean you have to drag the same baggage around with you until the day you die.

The very sad part of this, and I am not ashamed to say, that it moved me to tears, is the fact that due to the punishment she put her body through via bingeing, starvation, laxatives and other forms of self-harm she will never live to a ripe old age - in short she has hastened her own funeral.

This book is not just for those of us with eating or weight disorders but anyone that loves a good human interest story, even though there is no happy ending (at least not in the normal sense) it gives us all a greater understanding of the human psyche.

This woman (I forget sometimes she is only 22 at the time of writing) is a real writer with a story to tell a supposed to just someone with a story to tell. I would love to read anything this woman wrote.

Overall I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holy Hell, was this ever the book, 16 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
Wow. That's one way to put how I feel about this book. It was moving and inspired me to recover from anorexia. I am shocked she lived to tell the tale
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, poignant and melancholic read, 25 May 2003
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
When I began reading this book I thought it was quiet slow and hard to get into. But after the first chapter I was instantly hooked and could not put it down. Just as Mayra says she was addicted to starvation, I became addicted to her story of pain. Although I have never suffered from an eating disorder as severe as her, I understood her fear of eating and a desire to want to waste away. But her book is about more than an eating disorder, its about afeeling of disconnection with the rest of the world, the fakeness of everyday life and wanting to escape. I recommend this book to anyone.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the accuracy scares me, 11 Nov 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Wasted (Paperback)
Having struggled with a mild eating disorder for many years, I found this book fasinating as the parrallels to my life were obvious. The book served as a harsh warning. The frank personal account of the time, combined with medical information and reflections through both the authors eyes, and those of others, keeps the book varied, with out making it difficult to follow. The book goes into detail about feelings and reacions, making you feel as if you were there at the time, really empathising with the author. I keep reading this book to remind me that people can crawl back up the rabbit hole.
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Wasted by Marya Hornbacher (Hardcover - 2 Mar 1998)
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