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


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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: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 21 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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11 of 14 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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2 of 3 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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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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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By GadgetChick on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was only 5 when John Belushi died, but my parents had been huge fans of Saturday Night Live and I remember their sadness about it. Later, in high school, some of my male friends went through a phase where they watched old episodes of the show (taped from syndicated reruns) incessantly, and I got familiar with classic Belushi characters, like the Samurai Warrior, etc. Then, a few years ago I read Live from New York, about the history of Saturday Night Live, and was intrigued by the narratives in that book about Belushi. When this book was reissued, I knew I had to read it, despite being told by a colleague that "it isn't worth reading." I don't quite agree with that assessment, but do agree there's a lot of contextual information missing here that would have made the book better, had it been included.

I'm not going to rehash the plot here - it boils down to, Belushi was a wild, unpredictable, extremely complicated person who I think did not have the emotional tools in his toolbox to deal with sudden fame and fortune. In my experience, that lack of tools comes directly from what has happened to a person in their childhood, something Woodward does not cover at all in this book, and the lack of information about Belushi's early life leaves a lot of gaps when it comes to understanding the mania and addiction. And in the end, the mania and addiction killed him.

In reading through the book, what kept coming into my head as I read about John never sleeping, John wandering around all night, John not being able to focus, John never finishing anything, was ADHD. I have a couple of friends who were diagnosed with ADHD as adults after long periods of self-destructive behavior, and getting on one of the ADHD drugs - Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, etc. has helped them tremendously.
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