Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wired: The short life and fast times of John Belushi, Bob Woodward

Wired: The short life and fast times of John Belushi
Bob Woodward

I decided to read this book because I have made the comment on a few occasions that certain authors need a visit from the samurai editor. And of course, when you get there you have to think about John Belushi. He was an amazing performer and capable of so much.

Sadly Wired can only be described as a downer.

The writing is utilitarian, not pretty, but it's a journalist's account of Belushi's life, not a fan's, so that is to be expected. The problem is actually the subject matter.

Belushi's slide into drug addition and death makes for painful reading. He had a cocaine habit of vast proportions, and his fame meant he had more than enough money to sustain it. To make matters worse, though, almost the entire culture he was surrounded with treated it as perfectly normal. A couple of people seemed to have tried to provide some restraint, but nothing was effective and the train wreck that was his life continued without a hiccup. Woodward drops names all over the place, and almost none come away looking good. It makes for unpleasant reading.

If you want to know more about Belushi's short life you'll find it in Wired, but it isn't fun reading.