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Wasted | [Marya Hornbacher]

Wasted

Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. At the age of 5, she returned home from ballet class one day, put on an enormous sweater, curled up on her bed, and cried because she thought she was fat. By age 9, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school, while watching Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. She added anorexia to her repertoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve. Marya's story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington D.C., she is in the grip of a bout of anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to 52 pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: her powerful death instinct at war with the will to live. Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and slip into a netherworld where up is down, food is greed, and death is honor? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through 5 lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and ultimately, any sense of what it means to be "normal." In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family, and cultural causes underlying eating disorders.
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Publisher's Summary

Precociously intelligent, imaginative, energetic, and ambitious, Marya Hornbacher grew up in a comfortable middle-class American home. At the age of 5, she returned home from ballet class one day, put on an enormous sweater, curled up on her bed, and cried because she thought she was fat. By age 9, she was secretly bulimic, throwing up at home after school, while watching Brady Bunch reruns on television and munching Fritos. She added anorexia to her repertoire a few years later and took great pride in her ability to starve.

Marya's story gathers intensity with each passing year. By the time she is in college and working for a wire news service in Washington D.C., she is in the grip of a bout of anorexia so horrifying that it will forever put to rest the romance of wasting away. Down to 52 pounds and counting, Marya becomes a battlefield: her powerful death instinct at war with the will to live.

Why would a talented young girl go through the looking glass and slip into a netherworld where up is down, food is greed, and death is honor? Why enter into a love affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Marya Hornbacher sustained both anorexia and bulimia through 5 lengthy hospitalizations, endless therapy, the loss of family, friends, jobs, and ultimately, any sense of what it means to be "normal." In this vivid, emotionally wrenching memoir, she recreates the experience and illuminates the tangle of personal, family, and cultural causes underlying eating disorders.

©1998 Marya Hornbacher; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

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  •  
    Rhonda Independence, MO, USA 12-27-02
    Rhonda Independence, MO, USA 12-27-02
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    "Awesome"

    I've read this book atleast 3 times. The book itself is written to not keep any part of bulimia or anorexia hidden. It explains all and every feeling imagined and felt. When I had the chance to download this book with Marya's own voice reading her own words, it was a chance to listen to how she speaks. Her words, sometimes haunts, sometimes makes me speak outloud to nobody, saying things like, "Yes, that's true." It's an amazing book to have on audio. Download this book, and listen to it. You'll be glad you did.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Alpharetta, GA, USA 09-04-04
    Keith Alpharetta, GA, USA 09-04-04 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Intense, painful, mandatory reading"

    This is a subject every caring person should try to understand. Having know bulemics I cared about I have tried to understand - but still do not. This book brings me closer to an understanding. However, the insight is only a feeling and a glimpse.

    Marya's writing reminds me of Mary Karr (Liar's Club and Cherry). At times the narrative becomes poetry. It is a pleasure to listen to at the same time as the content makes one mad.

    This is another illustration of the superiority of audio books. I have not attempted to read this book, but I confidently predict that it is many times more powerful to hear Marya tell you the story in her own words. Like Mary Carr, Bill Bryson and many others, hearing an author read their own words adds an extra dimension and, in the case of Mary and Marya, can elevate the book to a different plane.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Washington, Pennsylvania 05-17-12
    Emily Washington, Pennsylvania 05-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    15
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    "abridged memoir"

    I love this book, so I jumped at the chance to hear the author read it. I do wish it was unabridged, however, as there are some really good, key parts that are missing--things I really wanted to hear her say.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RaisinNut PA, USA 08-09-13
    RaisinNut PA, USA 08-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Making the world better one review at a time.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    171
    ratings
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    52
    52
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    "Glamorless..."

    In “Wasted,” Marya Hornbacher’s battle with her body is nothing short of epic, but unlike a true epic it is far from heroic. Hornbacher is the unlikely antagonist in her own life story, hating her body to the very brink of death. “Wasted” captures every dramatic, painful and often repulsive detail. If you can bear to look at it, you will glimpse in raw form the gruesome reality of eating disorders. There is no glamor here. There is hunger, vomit, blood and bones.

    This abridged version of “Wasted,” read by Hornbacher herself, is so seamless that I did not even realize it was abridged until I discovered this fact in another listener’s review. Hornbacher is the perfect narrator. No other reader could get this story so right.

    If you are hoping for a happy ending, Hornbacher advises you to look elsewhere. She denies the existence of a happy ending to her story, claiming that the best one can hope for in the end is simply “letting go.”

    But here is a secret – many years have passed since this book was written. During those years Hornbacher continued to struggle with her eating disorder, and she came face to face with a terrible mental illness that left her grasping for sanity and hope (see “Madness: A Bipolar Life). In the end, she managed to do better than just let go. She conquered and overcame. And, lucky for the rest of us, she lived to write about it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 05-05-13
    Kelly Tuscaloosa, AL, United States 05-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Abridged=Horrible"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Everything pertinent is left out and I was beyond disheartened when one of my top 3 books was butchered. Bad call.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marya


    What does Marya Hornbacher bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great charisma, but the throwing away of 50% of her amazing (in book) biography hurt me.


    Was Wasted worth the listening time?

    yes and no


    Any additional comments?

    GET AN UNABRIDGED VERSION!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn E. Sanders Kansas City, MO United States 10-29-12
    Dawn E. Sanders Kansas City, MO United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2012

    Dawn

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This Was Really Good"
    If you could sum up Wasted in three words, what would they be?

    Gripping, personal, insightful


    What about Marya Hornbacher’s performance did you like?

    She was able to express feelings and mania in the way she read - faster at the manic parts, good expression of character.


    Any additional comments?

    I first read her memoir about being bipolar, and this was about her eating disorder. Both were equally good and insightful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Autum American Fork, UT, United States 01-09-12
    Autum American Fork, UT, United States 01-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tells the brutal truth"
    Where does Wasted rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is #2


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This is a true story about the authors battle with eating disorders.


    What does Marya Hornbacher bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice helps bring out the emotions better.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book for those trying to understand the mind of a person with an eating disorder and for those who are battling one themselves.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 09-27-06
    Margaret Thunder Bay, ON, Canada 09-27-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
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    "Honest and enlightening"

    I listen to this amazing book to remind me why I chose life. Marya's dry humour and brutal honesty make this a fantastic listen. Any ED survivor will relate to all - especially the little details of hospilization. Truthful, heartfealt, a courageous decision by the author. Fantastic!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer minneapolis, MN, United States 05-10-14
    Jennifer minneapolis, MN, United States 05-10-14 Member Since 2011

    audio book junkie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    44
    15
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    2
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    "Quick read, hard to put down"

    If you're like me and you find mental illness fascinating this is a really well written first person account of what it's like to struggle with Anorexia Nervosa. It's interesting to see how an eating disorder begins and spirals out of control.

    I saw a documentary with this author recently where she stated that she was young when she wrote this book and it triggered her eating disorder. Perhaps that is why there are many people who consider this entire book a trigger and have mixed emotions about it. I'd be interested to read her take on the events now, many years later, as recovered as anyone could be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Petit Lapin New York 06-03-13
    Petit Lapin New York 06-03-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring & Bad"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    depressed people who want to be more depressed


    What could Marya Hornbacher have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Stop being so negative.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Depressed boring voice.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't even finish listening to the narrator who's awful voice made listening to this girl complain about her life even more intolerable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 21 results PREVIOUS123NEXT
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  • Josephine Sayers
    5/30/11
    Overall
    "Close to my heart"

    Such a heart-rending memoir, but such a favourite of mine. It has all the poetic beauty of Plath and the gritty realism of Irivine Welsh. Thank you, Marya, for sharing your story and letting us know we're not alone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • chloe
    United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Raw, damaged and beautiful autobiography"

    This is my favourite of the year.I listen to it3x a week.

    It's brutally honest,raw&was clearly painful to write about yet is so eye opening,it draws you in and shows how poetic destruction can be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    9/30/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    The only thing better than reading Wasted is having Marya Hornbacher read Wasted to you. She is a natural storyteller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Carol
    CHELTENHAM, GLOUCESTERSHIRE, United Kingdom
    7/7/09
    Overall
    "Quite an eye opener!"

    Ok when you fancy a bit of a different track from chick lit! Scary but not so very rare story these days. Food for thought!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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