Wasted by Ross Honeywill: stock image of front cover.

Wasted by Ross Honeywill (Paperback, 2010)

Regular price
Sale price
Regular price
Sold out
Unit price
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Wasted: The True Story of Jim McNeil, Violent Criminal and Brilliant Playwright by Ross Honeywill 

At thirteen, Jim McNeil quit school for good. At fourteen, he started an affair with a brothel madam and was introduced to Melbourne's underworld. Despite his love of reading and philosophy, McNeil relished his life among thugs, thieves and whores, becoming one of the city's most violent criminals.

In 1967, having jumped bail and fled to New South Wales, 32-year-old McNeil shot a policeman during an armed robbery. He was convicted and began a seventeen-year prison sentence, leaving behind his pregnant wife and five children. Survival in jail meant negotiating a path between the wardens' abuse and the inmates' violent gangs. McNeil joined a reform group known as the Resurgents, where he was encouraged – for the first time in his life – to write.

When he wrote his first play, McNeil had never set foot in a theatre. Just four years later he was a celebrity, freed ten years early thanks to a powerful group of Sydney's elite, who declared him one of the country's most important writers. McNeil soon married actress Robyn Nevin, won the Australian Writers' Guild's script award and was commissioned to write the screenplay for My Brilliant Career. Charismatic and charming, he seemed at the height of his powers.

But McNeil never wrote again. Pursued by Sydney society and lost in a world that lacked the strict regimen of prison life, he fell back into alcoholism and violence. He returned to the streets and was dead within a decade. His four plays stand as a testament to a talent sadly wasted.

For the first time, this is the story of Jim McNeil's tragic, mesmerising life.

About The Author

Ross Honeywill's books have been published in Australia, New Zealand and mainland China. The author of two business books, as well as a number of non-fiction books, his titles include I-ConsNEO Power and Lamarck's Evolution. The critically acclaimed Lamarck's Evolution was launched at the 2008 Melbourne Writers Festival. A social and consumer behaviourist, Ross advises clients predominantly in Australia and North America and is frequently quoted as a commentator on social change. He lives in Tasmania.


Format: Paperback | 320 pages

Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.4  x 2.3 | 410g

Publication Date: 30 Aug 2010

Publisher: Viking

Imprint: Penguin Books

Publication City/Country: Camberwell, Australia

Language: English

Illustrations note: none

Edition Number: 1

ISBN10: 0670073954

ISBN13: 9780670073955


Condition: Good

A book that has been read but is in good condition. Very minimal damage to the cover including minor scuff marks along the edges, and minor scratching, but no holes or tears. The majority of pages are undamaged with very minimal creasing but no tearing. No pencil underlining of text, no highlighting of text, no writing in margins. No missing pages.