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Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi Paperback – March 6, 2012


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Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi + Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Wired is the most smashing drug book ever written… a cautionary tale for our times… astonishing.”
—Liz Smith, New York Daily News

“A fact-studded life story… Belushi wanted it all and it all was too much… chilling.”
Washington Post Book World

“Woodward follows Belushi from one circle of hell to the next… harrowing… compelling.”
The Village Voice

About the Author

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked for thirty-nine years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for The Washington Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored twelve #1 national nonfiction bestsellers. He is the author of Obama's Wars, The War Within, Bush at War, Plan of Attack, and State of Denial, among others.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451655592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451655599
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on April 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I grew up watching John Belushi on "Saturday Night Live," seeing NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE every year since 1978, reading anything that comes out about him and his generation of comic actors. For the 30th anniversary of his death (which occured on Friday, March 5, 1982), I reread Bob Woodward's WIRED.

It's still a solid piece of reporting. Tragic, straight-forward, unflinching, the book does what it was supposed to do. Belushi's widow Judy wanted to know what happened to John, so she asked Woodward, whose usual beat was Washington, to use his journalistic skills to find out. And he does, with the provision that he could at least write an article about it when he was finished. She didn't care. Just find out. (Originally, Woodward thought he could write a series of Washington Post articles but, as John's manager Bernie Brillstein told him, "John's a book, not an article").

My understanding is that neither Woodward or Judy have spoken to each other in the decades since. Woodward was at first dismayed, but the truth was just too sad and sqaulid.

My only suggestion in addition to this book: don't let it be your only exposure to John Belushi. You'll only get a hint of just how funny and talented he truly was from this book. His entire tenure on "Saturday Night Live" is available on DVD, as well as his greatest and most classic film, ANIMAL HOUSE. The Blues Brothers also still exist on CD and DVD. Judy, his widow, has put out a great book called BELUSHI. Just make sure you get the whole picture because it would be sad if you only saw this side of him. That would be equally as tragic.
(And, please, for the love of God, stay away from the wretched film they made of WIRED. I love Michael Chikliss...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SET67 on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
Nearly everyone named in this book she be ashamed of themselves and (must) feel enormous responsibility for John's death. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own actions, but everytime he turned around, someone was either handing him coke or giving him money for it. Including his wife, who knew he had a problem and wanted him to stop but did drugs with him herself. In their quest to 'finish' a movie, directors, producers, co-stars, and friends would keep John supplied with coke to help get the movie made on time. He was a sick man, and no one cared enough about him to actually get him the help he needed. Very sad indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Powder2010 on March 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
I grew up watching John Belushi on Saturday Night Live and in Animal House. He was so incredibly talented and funny and he was and still is one of my very favorite comic performers. I collected magazines, posters, and the music from the Blues Brothers. He was one of the only performers to have a top rated television show, a top rated movie, as well as a top rated music album.
When Belushi passed away in March of 1982, I was so very sad because I looked forward to what would come next from this legendary comedian. Unfortunately, his decent into drug addiction would result in an untimely and unexpected death.
Woodward's book is a blistering and "no holds barred" look into the wild life and times of John Belushi. His research is meticulous and he doesn't sugar coat anything which is why so many people around Hollywood panned it as being sheer hyperbole. I believe this was because they were in serious denial and felt extremely guilty after Belushi passed away. I don't think many around him realized how bad his addiction was or that it would kill him. Woodward's book is excellent and is a harrowing look into the drug fueled lifestyle that would all but consume Belushi.
Although difficult to read at times, this book is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of John Belushi.
After reading Wired, be sure to read Samari Widow by Judy Belushi. It is a well written book that focuses on Judy's life with John and John the man, husband and comedian rather than John the raging drug addict. It is very heartfelt and well written. There are some great candid pictures of John and Judy as well as the rest of their families.
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Lippman on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
Woodward does an awful job with this book, focusing almost exclusively on the lurid details of Belushi's drug addiction, while missing the real story of who Belushi was as a person. Offering no examination of Belushi's childhood and youth, his anxieties, the source of his comedic talent or the reasons for his tragic addiction, this book is little more than tabloid journalism. At best, it cheats the reader of a real understanding of its subject, at worst it badly miscasts the interviews given by those who Woodward met with to gather the details of Belushi's downfall. It's no wonder that the people interviewed by Woodward, and Belishi's widow, have uniformly condemned this book and refused to work with or even speak to Woodward after it was published. I'd urge anyone interested in Belushi to start with this review:
[...]
And consider Belushi: A Biography
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Format: Paperback
Bob Woodward should have titled this book "John Belushi : Junkie!" because that the only thing you will get from this piece of uninformed crap. Woodward is not the least bit interested in John as a person. He's more interested in exploiting John's addiction to sell a book. He blames the people around John for his demise which, of course, is completely unfair. All in all a shoddy and exploitive piece of work by somebody who should have known better. But then again he did. Which makes it that much worse.
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Wired: The Short Life & Fast Times of John Belushi
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