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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2007
I bought this book just before I started work in an Eating Disorders Unit as an attempt to gain a more subjective view of suffering with an eating disorder, outside of the clinical information that seemed to ignore the emotional aspects of the disease. I was so absorbed in Marya's story of this debilitating addiction that I read it in one night. I have since read it twice more and still do not stop aching from the horror of what she went through. The fact that even now she is still struggling to just cope with 'living' with the disease day by day and not having some fairytale ending is heartbreaking. My job was working in the community with a set of twins who had suffered from the disease for over 35 years, from the age of 13. There is no turning back for these women, although it breaks my heart to say it - my job has just been no more than keeping them alive despite every attempt by them to sabotage my efforts. One day their frail bodies that at their best hover above a BMI of 15 will give in. I just hope that anyone suffering from an eating disorder can just take Marya's story and realise that it is real and it's killing you.
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on 24 February 2006
I've never suffered from an ED (although two close friends have) but I still found this book absolutely fascinating. If you want to read it to learn more about eating disorders, it's useful and insightful, but it's also simply an incredibly well-written, powerful book, independent of its subject matter.
Hornbacher has the ability in her writing to take the reader truly inside her head, not just in terms of her eating disorder, but her perfectionism, obsessions, relationships with her parents, depression, and so on. The book can indeed be described as triggering, purely because it is so well written; the reader is carried along with every mood swing, every painful thought, every emotion she has. Many authors now seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of eating disorder biographies, but Hornbacher remains original and outstanding. If you've decided to read a book about an ED and you're trying to choose which, then make it this one. It's unique.
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on 16 August 2005
Never before have I read a book that deals so honestly with one woman's struggle with anoxeria and bulimia. Although I must admit I found the character she portrayed unlikeable, I found her poignancy, honestly and shear depth of experience awe-inspiring.
As a person currently struggling with a number of eating disorders I found her memoir disturbing for one very simple reason. The final chapter. Marya isn't recovered. She isn't well. And she will die young. This book has made me see that what i do to my body isn't just for now. It isn't just for today. It's for life. And I don't want to be an infertile 30-something with a ravaged immune system and a wrinkled face. So I'm determined to sort out my behaviour. "Wasted" has made me see the true horror of such disordered eating - the aftermath.
A terrific read, and one that anyone in the throws of an eating disorder would do well to read.
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on 11 August 2007
Love it or hate it, Wasted is an exceptional and quite extraordinary book. I read with interest the other reviews here, some of which claim that the book will act as a 'trigger' to those already suffering from eating disorders. Yes, I agree this may possibly be the case.. but this does not make Wasted a bad book. A good book will make you feel something, will make you empathise with the characters, will make you understand something more about yourself or about the human condition. In all of these respects, Wasted is a hugely significant book. This book is not just another book about eating disorders - far from it. It is an intelligent, engaging and well-written account of the search for identity and one person's struggle with a truly horrific and self-destructive addiction. Shocking the subject matter may be, but personally I consider this to be a real modern classic.
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on 7 October 2005
This is an amazing, compelling and illuminating book - i can honestly say that it 'speaks' to me like no other book i have read has done. the author manages to articulate what everyone with an ED probably wants to say or is thinking....the book is incredibly perceptive and well written. I bought it when i was still suffering from an ED a few years ago in an attempt to understand more about my condition. i can honestly say that it did play a significant part in me getting better. Even though there are things in the book that you can identify so closely with that they are almost triggers, it eventually shocks you into realising how ridiculous your obsession is and the potential damage that you are doing to yourself. No other book i have read on ED's attempts such an analysis of why they develop and why so many suffer from them.
i read this book often when i can feel the old ED behaviours and thoughts returning and i feel that i need to 'connect' with someone who understands what it's like....and it stops me from going back there.
This is not just a book for people who have or have had an ED though - i would recommend it to anyone simply becuase of the quality of the writing and its originality.
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on 26 April 2003
I borrowed this book off a friend a while ago and read it again and again. I was sad to have to give it back and have been trying to buy ever since. It has a raw, gripping quality due to its honesty about such a difficult subject. I would not recommend it as a book to read if you suffer from an eating disorder because it somewhat glamourises her suffering. I was drawn into her world and found it facinating, probably because I aspired to be like her. It is still a very good read and I would recommend it to anyone with honest intentions, who is not merely looking for new hints and tricks to self-destruction.
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on 26 October 2005
This book offers increadible insight to the world of eating disorders, for both ed sufferers, the familys of those with the 'illness' or even just any one who fancys learning about them. The book is a skillfully written memoir that balances Maryas storys of her life events and illness, with ed facts and sometimes almost poetic accounts of her brush with the brink of death.
Although the subject matter may be disturbing for some, it is by no means morbid. It is merely honest, brutaly honest. It might reduce you to tears, make you look a little closer at the eating habits of your loved ones, choose health, or even feel inspired to write your own account. In fact, it will probably do all of these things. If it does, then Marya's mission will have been accoumplished. In short it is a stunninly written, at times tragic and highly emotive memoir. The greatest i have read of it's kind. It is reflective yet intelligent and the greatest book i have read on the subject yet. In fact, one of the greatest reads i have read ever. Its well worth buying, even if it were twice the price! x
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on 21 March 2004
I would have to say that this is the most hard hitting Eating Disorder related books I have ever read. It can be very triggering to those still in the clutches of Anorexia, or those at risk, but that is only due to the sheer force and conviction of Mayra through her descriptions and feelings towards to the disease. The ending isn't Fairy Tale injected, and the book keeps up a suitable pace to the subject matter throughout. She has captured the essence of Anorexia, in all its twisted infamy.
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on 17 March 2014
Read the 1st chapter which was long and it was so boring. I couldn't read any more after that. Would not recommend it.
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on 23 February 2006
compelling, inspirational, and damn right shocking is what this book is. It speaks volumes to myself having suffered from an ed, and it brings to life all of the thoughts feelings and behaviour that you've ever expereienced and thought you were the only one, yet the author hits the nail excatly on the head and shows no your not the only one, and in a raw, truthful and sympathetic way she reveals the truth of all the throws of an eating disorder and its effects on the sufferer and those around them! Absolutely fantastic, i couldnt put it down
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