Subtitled The short life and fast times of John Belushi, Woodward tells it like it really was. Wired is the life story of an immensely talented but fatally insecure and self-destructive man. Belushi could have been a contender, but allowed drugs to overtake his life, alienating him from the Hollywood system he craved acceptance from, and let destroy him.
Woodward's investigative journalism has uncovered the facts, but they do not make pleasant reading. The first parts of this biography takes us through the organised mayhem that was Saturday Night Live and into the Blues Brothers movie. Reading about the creative processes involved in the making of great comedy is fascinating. Even at this relatively early stage in his career, you can see his insecurity emerging, as the rival sketch writers and comedians all try to get their material in the show, and Belushi felt left out, as when Chevy Chase joined the gang. Drugs were everywhere though and everybody used them, but not everyone got totally hooked the way Belushi did.
In the second half of the book, Belushi hits Hollywood and his habit rapidly gets out of control; the text becomes just a catalogue of drug transactions, and less and less about acting and comedy. It gets sadder and sadder as Belushi gets increasingly pathetic. Woodward's attention to detail frankly makes the latter chapters boring and overlong, and when Belushi finally dies you're almost relieved. However the book is essential reading for anyone interested in US culture in the 70s and 80s, and certainly does nothing to glamorize drugs.