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Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi Hardcover – November 1, 1985

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Editorial Reviews

Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 461 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (November 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671473204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671473204
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #830,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In the last 36 years, Woodward has authored or coauthored 15 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Eleven have been #1 national bestsellers -- more than any contemporary non-fiction author.

Photos, a Q&A, and additional materials are available at Woodward's website, www.bobwoodward.com

His most recent book, Obama's Wars, is being published by Simon & Schuster on September 27, 2010.

Since 1971 Bob Woodward has worked for The Washington Post, where he is currently an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein were the main reporters on the Watergate scandal for which the Post won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973. Woodward was the lead reporter for the Post's articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.

In 2004, Bob Schieffer of CBS News said, "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time."

In a lengthy 2008 book review, Jill Abramson, the managing editor of The New York Times, said that Woodward's four books on President Bush "may be the best record we will ever get of the events they cover . . . . They stand as the fullest story yet of the Bush presidency and the war that is likely to be its most important legacy."

Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the United States Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
Woodward's book is, of course, flawed like Judy Belushi's "Samurai Widow"; but other than these two books there is nothing more of Belushi to refer back to, in the written form. There will always be the SNL videos, the Blues Brothers CDs, or the handful of movies John did, but where does one interested enough start from when they want to make some chronological order of Belushi's life; to learn more about his exhuberent ascent, his tumultuous descent and his final dark months, weeks and days? Bob Woodward gives the reader a dry and thorough, if not somewhat-slanted, take on John Belushi's 33 years on planet Earth. The reader simply cannot help but get the feeling that the author is emphasizing the downward spiral and the end of a manically funny man, which is why this book wasn't received very well when it was first released, back in 1984.. Still, from JB's days in Wheaton, Illinois, Second City Chicago and National Lampoon, to Saturday Night Live, Hollywood and the Chateau Maramont Bungalow #3, Woodward's book is worth 3 1/2 starts and, at the very least, one good read-through.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mark Coffey on December 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book about once a year to remind myself of how much I want to live. For anyone caught up in the illusion of the glory of life in the fast lane, the second half of this book, dealing with Belushi's last great binge in minute-by-minute detail, should be a real eye-opener. Woodward paints a balanced portrait of a much-loved, charasmatic individual trapped by his own demons. Alternately fascinating and horrifying, this is perhaps the best celebrity biography I have read. I sincerely hope it comes back into print - if not, I suggest you try to hunt a copy down; it is worth your time.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Clockwork Apple on May 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The story of John Belushi's life was a rollercoaster ride of very low times of self destruction, separated by short rises of happiness and accomplishment. John seemed to be someone that just could not be happy in his own skin, he did not see himself as a worthy human being who deserved to be happy, but instead someone who did not deserve his fame, or did not feel he was respected in the ways he thought he should be, he was constantly trying to prove himself. John was selfish, yes, he would binge for weeks on drugs, parties, and the fast life looking to fill that void regardless of who it hurt. He destroyed friendships as fast as he made them, but was always the one quick to apologize and try to mend the bridge he had just burned. I feel sorry for John and wish that he would of been given the help he was crying out to receive. Like so many before and after him his problems were ignored in hopes that he would somehow see the light and snap out of it on his own. John is to blame for his own death, and partial blame goes to his friends, but a huge part of the blame rests on Hollywood's shoulders. A town that rewards it successful entertainers with money and fame, and then quickly shuns them the minute that entertainers value has been sucked dry. Hollywood glorifies a lifestyle, in it's movies, that in reality is an impossible one to maintain. The book is very poorly written in my opinion, and Woodward easily confuses the reader by jumping from quote to quote. The readers many times is left unsure of who the quote is being taken from or who exactly the quote is about. There are a lot of scattered bits of information in the book as well and also many typos. For example in one section John's heart is described as being 222 lbs after his death. The book was interesting but so scattered I found my self struggling to stay focused and had to re-read many paragraphs to fully understand what exactly Woodward was trying to say.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was a John Belushi fan from the first episode of "Saturday Night Live" and I think his performance in ANIMAL HOUSE puts him in the same league with the great film comedians of all time. I still vividly remember hearing about his death in March 1982 and still wonder what might have been if he was still around.
And I've read WIRED several times.
It's a horrible tragedy what happened to him, but hopefully some people can take something away from this book--see the warning and avoid the same the fate. I think the book is well-written and well-researched (I particularly liked how Woodward strictly reported the facts: someone saw Belushi in the company of a Playboy bunny and Woodward leaves it only at that--when other writers would've piled on leering speculations). If there is ever a reprint, I think there should be a new chapter by Woodward reflecting on his experience or at least the article (in ROLLING STONE?) that covered the controversy and fallout of the book's initial printing.
Nothing can change what a great talent John Belushi was. The sad details of his final days haven't diminished his accomplishments--but they did make for a scary, compelling book about the underside of Hollywood and man overwhelmed by his appetites.
(And stay way away from the obscene film version!)
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joe on July 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
John Belushi was a funny man but his story was not very funny. Bob Woodward does an incredible job of dredging up Belushi's life from a scared high school kid trying out for a play in Chicago to his coughing fit right before he died. It seems Woodward only focuses on the negatives in the book, but John Belushi's life was too short to have too many ultimite highs. SNL was a huge hit, so was Animal House, and so were the Blues Brothers. Belushi barely made 5 million dollars in his life and he spent that quickly on cocaine. He loved life so much, he never wanted to sleep. Woodward details all of it, in gut-wrenching detail. At times, Belushi's behavior gets redundant and Woodward's journalistic style gets a tad boring, but it is a good, quick read. If you can find the book and you were ever mesmerized by one of Belushi's characters, this book is a great read.
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