Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Belushi: A Biography” as Want to Read:
Belushi: A Biography
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Belushi: A Biography

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  307 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
On the day he turned thirty, John starred in America’s number-one movie (Animal House), starred in the number-one late-night show (Saturday Night Live) and had recorded the number-one album (Briefcase Full of Blues). All from a guy who was never supposed to make it out from behind the cash register of his family’s Chicago diner. How did this Albanian immigrant’s son captur ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Rugged Land (first published 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Belushi, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Belushi

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Andis / Slytherin 🐍
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Belushi was one amazing human.
J. Bryce
An oral history compiled by Belushi's wife soon after his death, she put the interview tapes away for many years and only got back to the project after becoming more happy in her own personal life -- then supplemented her vast stash with more recent interviews. And chock full o' previously unpublished photos.

Highly recommended to Belushi's fans.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A marvelous "sprawling canvas" (as it itself says toward the end). Manages to be even better and more compelling than Wired--which after all approached the subject matter from just one angle. When I first got it I went, "Oh, another oral history"...but this puppy's got the goods. I just thought I'd include all the great quotes which I uncorked along the way. "I was always amazed by his ability to just hop onstage and be in complete control. I said to him many times, 'I don't understand how you c ...more
Jim Cherry
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I first noticed John Belushi when I was about 15 years old. I was watching Saturday Night Live and the Star Trek parody with John as Captain Kirk came on, and Belushi nailed the impersonation and it was so funny it made me choke on the ham sandwich I was eating. After that Saturday Night Live (it wasn’t SNL yet) became something to watch and John’s performances were stand out from the killer bees, the samurai, the diner cheeezborger cook, all were skits I wanted to see. When John went onto movie ...more
Mark Schlatter
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Unlike the relentless nature of Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi, this biography does much more to celebrate Belushi's life. Of course, when your format is oral history with excerpts from interviews of friends, family, and fellow actors, that's to be expected. I was struck by how often Belushi was described as a ringleader and catalyst --- not just of parties and adventures, but of artistic endeavors. The section on the National Lampoon radio show illustrates how Belushi was ...more
May 12, 2015 added it
According to Judy Belushi, at the first Blues Brother concert, in which the guys opened for Steve Martin, she looked out into the crowd at the Blues Brothers hats and T-shirts and marveled at how her husband and his friend had made these characters of their imagination into reality.

If that kind of thing matters to you in some sort of pop culture, creative artist way, you will like this book. I did. It is peopled with comics and writers and performers I know, pieces of comedy I vividly remember,
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
belushi was a multi-layered, larger than life character. it takes a book like this, with several voices and lots of pictures, to even begin to scratch the surface of his personality. i had the slight feeling that belushi's addictions were being white-washed, but, at the end of the day, i felt like i knew him as a person, which is the best feeling to have after reading a biography..

couple this with the more in-depth "samurai widow" for a more complete version of his life. i'd still read "wired",
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really got to know who John was as a person in this book, and we got to see how his addiction affected his life. I think he had an addictive personality and just did everything in excess. What I especially appreciate about the book is at the end, they don't shy away from what happened. There are photos and news clippings, and they talk about how he ODed and who the woman was. This was his story, both bright and ugly, and it was a good story.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I truly enjoyed reading this eye opening book. Written by friends, coworkers and family it takes you through the life of the very talented John Belushi. His work will live on forever and be inspiration to many to come.
Filled with great pictures. I like the lay out,easy to follow table of contents and cast of characters. Highly recommend to SNL, Blues Brothers and Belushi Fans.
janet Burke
Jan 18, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
After reading Judy Belushi's book "Samurai Widow" I couldn't resist following up with this book, especially since I found a copy used on Amazon for $5.00! This will take awhile since I'm currently reading a couple of other books, but the format of this book lends itself to skipping around at my leisure. Also, the photos are great to look at!
Sara Goldenberg
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The pictures were very nice. It didn't talk as much about the SNL years as I would have liked ... I wasn't that interested in his earlier stuff or his upbringing.

And where were Garrett Morris's contributions?
Bryan Spellman
Mar 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic look at a comedy genius!!! Forget what you have read in the past, this is from the people that were there and I LOVE the style of writing!

Justlesa Hall
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Such an interesting collection of stories from various people who interacted with him during his short life. It served as a nice tribute from some of the people who knew him best.
Ryan Jones
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
interesting read
Evett DiBianco
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book sat on my self for two years. I got it as a Christmas present and never picked it up because Belushi was before my time. But the layout of the pages, a slew of people from John's life, recounting who he was, what he did, where he started and how he'll be remembered, was the best way to get me to feel like I wanted to know him. Truly a tragic story to a man with so much talent.
Apr 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book really made me appreciate the art of biographies. Before reading it, I had no idea who John Belushi was (which is hard enough to believe), but I was soon attached to his story. I love this book.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is so sad he got hooked on drugs and left us at such a young age. Animal House is still a classic, I have it. The Blues Brothers is still a classic and his brother in now int he band. What a talent.
David Ward
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Belushi: A Biography by Judith Belushi Pisano (Rugged Land 2005)(Biography). This volume is an oral history constructed from interviews with those who knew and loved Belushi. From Saturday Night Live to "Animal House," nobody else could do what he did. My rating: 7/10, finished 2006.
Jason McIntosh
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
John was the man. such a good heart and generous spirit. shame he went so soon
Jul 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
got bored and didnt make it to the end.
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyed and respected read. Gave much insight into the life of one heck of a funny man. A definitive biography.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Much better than the Woodward book, "Wired." This book focuses on his legacy and less on the tabloid details of his last days. Excellent book for any fan!
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
the guy was pure genius. original. crazy as fuck too...everybody gets in a story about the guy...what more could you ask for.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent book written by his wife, after reading this i felt like I knew John Belsuhi!
May 04, 2012 added it
Very good
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-biography
Best Belushi biography out there. Tons of great photos and stories. It really gives you a feel for who he was, and what he was like as a person, not just a genius performer.
Mar 01, 2008 added it
Nov 05, 2007 rated it liked it
I love me an oral history.
rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2011
Love Reading
rated it it was amazing
Jan 29, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Making of Kubrick's 2001
  • Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis
  • Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century
  • Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Sometimes Zeppo: A Celebration of the Marx Brothers
  • Clint Eastwood: A Biography
  • The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts
  • The Patton Papers: 1940-1945
  • Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care"
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book
  • The Life Of Brian: Screenplay
  • Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman
  • My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure
  • World War II: The Definitive Visual History: From Blitzkrieg to the Atom Bomb
  • At Ease: Stories I Tell to Friends
  • The Real Animal House: The Awesomely Depraved Saga of the Fraternity That Inspired the Movie
  • Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi
  • The First 200 Years of Monty Python
  • The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theater (book with 2 audio CDs)

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99
  • No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
    $10.49 $2.99
  • Slow Getting Up: A Story of NFL Survival from the Bottom of the Pile
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Castles of Steel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life
    $9.74 $1.99
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
    $3.99 $1.99