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Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,584 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
This reissue of Bob Woodword’s classic book about John Belushi—one of the most interesting performers and personalities in show business history—“is told with the same narrative style that Woodward employed so effectively in All the President’s Men and The Final Days” (Chicago Tribune).

John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose March 5, 1982, in a seedy hotel bungalow
Paperback, 480 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1984)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,670)
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Kit Fox
Apr 04, 2008 Kit Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I knew that John Belushi did a lot of coke, but what I didn't realize was that he did, like, ALL of the coke. Sounds like just about every gram of blow that was shipped to the US in the late 70s and early 80s found its way into Belushi's system, one way or another. This guy did more nose candy than all of Weimar Germany, and they did a whole hell of a lot of coke in Weimar Germany. No one sets out to have their life story become a cautionary tale, but if this isn't, I'm not too sure wha ...more
Apparently, it's meticulously researched, although some people really take issue with Woodward's characterization of Belushi. I liked the level of detail, even if toward the end, it started reading like a Smoking Gun dossier.

Now, this book was like a dream come true for me, in theory: drug addiction, real-life assholes (including Bill Murray! and Chevy Chase!), Hollywood goings-on, Chateau Marmont bungalows, Robert DeNiro going apeshit for heroin!, seedy folks plying Belushi with blow. And I am
Aug 12, 2009 J.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hooper: Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all. -JAWS (1975)

I was thinking about this quote about half way through the reading of Wired. It is the perfect quote to describe John Belushi, without the "make little sharks" line. Belushi was beyond an addict, he was a drug shark. All he did was move around and take drugs. Reading this book is an
Joseph Eastburn
Jun 08, 2011 Joseph Eastburn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far it's hypnotic...
If you ever want your kids to stay away from drugs, it might be a good idea to hand them this...

Knowing that Belushi died a seedy death from acute toxicity due to cocaine and heroin, it came as no surprise to me that he did drugs. What did come as a shock was just how many he did - so many that I'm surprised that I wasn't high just from reading about it, and the real shock came to be not that he died so young, but that he managed to last as long as he did (especially considering his last 2 month
Jill Kemerer
Jan 12, 2013 Jill Kemerer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I didn't love the book, because it's hard to love a book about drug addiction where the person dies and has few redeeming qualities along the way (besides his "comic genius"). I'm not saying the book wasn't riveting and factual, but I like to feel inspired on some level whenever I read a biography. I recently read a biography about Chris Farley, who followed in John Belushi's tragic footsteps, but that book left me feeling sad and uplifted. I felt as if underneath it all, Chris wanted
Erik Graff
Feb 08, 2013 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Belushi fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: biography
Why did Bob Woodward do this book? It's like his others: reconstructed events and conversations based on numerous interviews, many of them conducted by an assistant of the author. But unlike the other, political, books, Woodward has no insight whatsoever into the drug culture, no personal familiarity with Belushi, no hint of a sense of humor. Rather than a biography, this is more an account of the subject's progressive degeneration, justified perhaps as a moral tale about what the temptations of ...more
Carol Storm
The problem with this book is not that Woodward is too tough on Belushi. He's too easy on his sources. The breakdown is this:

Belushi, being dead, can't tell Woodward what happened to him. However, there are (literally!) hundreds of dope pushers, groupies, strippers, bikers, has-been comics, bar flies, scum bags, scrounge artists, movie directors, session musicians, and network television executives, who are HAPPY to sit down and tell Woodward THEIR version of John Belushi. And each and every one
Jun 12, 2016 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
John Belushi was a hero of mine. He wasn't handsome or fit. He was round and hairy and talented. It gave something for the other guy to look up too, except for the drugs.

I loved the comedy of John Belushi. I saw the wired movie when It first came out, but remembered only that Michael chiklas was in it.

I thought I knew a lot. I didn't even know the tip of the iceberg.

This is fascinating look into his life, hollywood and the couple years of SNL. I highly recommend it. I read it on a 6 hour bus
Man, THIS is what I'm talking about. Great summer read. Great read for anyone with addicts in their family or friend-circles (or self). Straight-forward, non-mythologizing, fascinating, horrifying. I'm so glad I came across this beat-up paperback in a record store...only 75 cents and it's the best thing I've read in weeks. As far as I can tell, it's the only non-Washington thing Bob Woodward ever published.
Travis Rockwell
Jun 11, 2016 Travis Rockwell rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a ride that was! Will review.
Jul 14, 2010 Spicoli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book about ten years ago at a used bookstore in Dallas, and for some reason it fascinates me. I've read it about four times since then, about every other year I'll re-read it. It's a pretty drugged out book, it almost seems at times, especially when talking about Belushi following "Animal House's" success, like cocaine is going to fall off the pages. It's a fast-paced book with a lot of dialogue that I have to believe is not verbatim; it's hard to believe that some of the people ...more
Donna Davis
Bob Woodward became famous during the aftermath of the Watergate burglary. The unraveling of the Nixon presidency, the discovery of the presidential "enemies list" had its origins at his desk, and that of his reporting partner, Carl Bernstein.

Here he turns to celebrity reporting, but once again he uses his investigative powers to find out just exactly what happened to one of young America's most popular comedians (at the time of his death). The story is riveting and tragic. Even though we know a
Jul 24, 2011 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sound piece of journalism. Biographies are difficult and I do not envy the job of the biographer, especially a biographer of the deceased - if you are too soft and glaze things over the reader will be angry, if you are hard and honest those involved the subjects life will be angry.

This struck me as a very thorough piece of work. I have heard many complaints that this book focused on the negative aspects of John Belushi's life and career but I don't think I agree with that. Despite the em
Aug 04, 2015 Renee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
For some reason I never got around to reading this book, although I read Samurai Widow several years ago. If you have read Belushi, or Samurai Widow, this will give you a flipped perspective. A lot of fans find this book offensive (I have seen several reviews complaining that it only portrayed him in the worst possible light and situations). I, however, found it to be a more objective perspective and found it to be a necessary companion read to the two books put out by his widow. She definitely ...more
Will Redd
Apr 24, 2013 Will Redd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been fascinated by the life of John Belushi, primarily because I look just like the man, so of course I would eventually read this book. What I found is a tragic tale of loneliness and addiction that probably could have been stopped if anyone had truly gotten to know the man, or if his close friends had done something just a bit sooner. The truly frightening thing I found as I read was exactly how much I do have in common with John. It scared me. Which, of course, is exactly what it ...more
Aug 26, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His widow and friends felt it was exploitive, but if Woodward's harsh look at John Belushi is to be believed, he was an arrogant, temperamental, somewhat delusional guy with a life-long insatiable appetite for drugs that led to his death. For anyone who likes to read about lives spinning out of control as one sinks into a haze of narcotics, this is for you. The book actually speaks to something I think I've always thought: he was funny, but he wasn't the larger-than-life comedy genius he has bee ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Lex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was hypnotic. To even read of Belushi's talent put me in awe, and to read of his excesses made me wish I could simultaneously reach through to slap sense into him while shaking my head at the impossibility of getting him to stop using. This is a portrait of Belushi as a wildly talented performer and hugely excessive addict, and a surprising one from Bob Woodward. Some of Belushi's loved ones have a problem with this book, and given how meticulous and detailed Woodward was in his writing, it ...more
Mar 05, 2009 Annie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess Bob Woodward's talent does not lie in constructing compelling or readable prose, but in digging for and collecting details. This is very apparent in this documentation of the years leading up to John Belushi's death. The dry, plodding style, a reading of the facts, may lend itself well to a political investigation, where the facts themselves are the drama. But when discussing an interesting man's life, the effect of this method is to take what may have been a good yarn, dissect it, and t ...more
Douglas Lobo
Mar 11, 2014 Douglas Lobo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is a cautionary tale about the risk of drugs. Belushi was trapped in a wire of drug dealers and supppliers which was supported by the celebrities he lived around with. His death was a expected tragedy. Woodward tell Belushis life as he was a fictional character, whose conflicts increase little by little. The style is fast, but more intense and detailed in the end. Belushi and other celebrities, like Dan Aykroyd and Steven Spielberg, are described so vivid that we can actually see them o ...more
Tom Stamper
Aug 10, 2015 Tom Stamper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This controversial biography really holds up as a lesson in how fame and fortune and the fast lane can come crashing down on the wrong people. This is not book that Belushi's friends much liked. They felt it was a one dimensional story that missed Belushi's true genius and only focused on the excesses. The counter critics argued that Hollywood hated it because it made them look bad. With time I think it's more complicated.

The thing that John Belushi did on screen just isn't really describable i
Óli Sóleyjarson
Það er til mynd sem var gerð eftir þessari bók. Hún er víst ofursúr og enginn var glaður með hana. En það að lesa um myndina gerði mig forvitinn um bókina. Ég hélt að bókin væri betri. Sérstaklega hélt ég að höfundurinn þýddi gæði. En bókin er afar slök. Það sem helst skemmir hana er að höfundurinn er að velta sér uppúr aukaatriðum og fólki sem þurfti ekki einu sinni að nefna á nafn. Það fór líka í taugarnar á mér hve stór hluti af textanum var settur fram í beinni ræðu eins og það sé einhver mö ...more
Nikki Golden
Jul 07, 2008 Nikki Golden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with The Brethren, as much as I hate Bob Woodward, he does write a good book. It's scary to realize the amount of complete idiotic thinking that ruled Reagan's administration, and this behind-the-scenes look at the Iran Contra scandal is really just the tip of the iceberg. The amount of hubris people bring with them at the upper echelon's of government is absolutely disgusting and astounding. It amazes me this country is still moving forward the way that it does.
Chris Notaro
Aug 31, 2015 Chris Notaro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic adventure through the roller coaster of a life that was John Belushi. Written a few years after his death (mid 1980s), Woodward gets a lot more candid information from the people who were around Belushi in the last years of his life than a writer today would be able to, given the concerns those big names granting the interviews (i.e. Akroyd, Spielberg, De Niro, etc.) would have about their comments going viral. I was fascinated from start to finish.
Dec 04, 2012 JP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely absorbing read from start to finish. Doesn't fall into the trap that most biogs do, which is waste 250 pages about the star's childhood, their boo-hoo-hoo rejections by girlfriends and abusive parents, etc. Turns out Belushi had quite a regular American childhood, worked damn hard to get where he wanted to be before he fell into the life of a drug user. The final third of the book makes for fascinating reading. Turns out he was only human after all.
Jan 30, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a book about Hollywood, the start of Saturday Night Live, the prevalent use of drugs by seemingly everyone in showbiz and of course John Belushi. Bob Woodward did a great job of thoroughly covering the daily happenings in Belushi's life with tons of interviews and exceptional research. He clearly documented everything that lead to the eventual conclusion of the book without drowning the reader in the darkness of the tragic loss.
Aug 31, 2014 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hot-messes
A book about how many of your favorite TV and movie stars are doing ALL the coke. Like literally SO much coke.

I think Woodward does a good job of portraying addiction and how helpless it feels to be close to someone with a life threatening addictions. This book analyzes Belushi's life and death through the lens of addiction and illustrates that, for addicts, one hit is too many and 100 are never enough.
Apr 14, 2009 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Belushi was a fabulous comedian. His work on SNL, and his movies were fresh and original,and cocaine fueled! This is the story of his rise to stardom, and his fall into the grave. He was an ordinary person who was lucky and skilled enough to experience thing most people would dream and desire to do. Bob Woodward became famous for the Nixon/Watergate scandal, and I suppose that also helped draw me to this book.
Sep 12, 2007 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am still in the process of reading this book, but I am finding it really interesting and well-written. I understand that Belushi's friends and family did not like the way he and others in the book were portrayed, and I can see why. Belushi is fraught with self-doubt, destructive behavior and ideas, and inner turmoil. Anyone can probably relate to some of his behavior, though would probably not act upon it.
pretty horrible, and i felt dirty after reading it. just because it was 25 cents at the thrift store doesn't mean one has to read it, i guess... that said, while i was reading it i couldn't look away - like a car accident. when i was done, i was like, Well, he wasted a lot of time doing drugs... but look at all the time i just spent reading this clueless book!
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Robert "Bob" Upshur Woodward is an assistant managing editor of The Washington Post. While an investigative reporter for that newspaper, Woodward, working with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein, helped uncover the Watergate scandal that led to U.S. President Richard Nixon's resignation. Woodward has written 12 best-selling non-fiction books and has twice contributed reporting to efforts that collecti ...more
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