Jennifer Lyon

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024
Wednesday Reading

I’ve been reading a biography about John Belushi — “Wired: The Short and Fast Times of John Belushi” written by Bob Woodward. John Belushi was a comedic star who rose to fame on Saturday Night Live and went on to make many movies before died of a drug overdose. I think I was about 19 when he died so it had an impact on me. I thought the book would be interesting.

For context, this book was published in 1984, so it’s an old book, written by an old school journalist. And it shows in the writing!!! The book suffers ( by today’s standards and my humble opinion) from way too much detail and backstory of every person mentioned. I know the author did a ton of research, and in the time this was published, that level of detail was considered reasonable and admirable. But I often find myself struggling in a new scene trying to find out how it relates to Belushi. I will say this, though, I’m more than half way through and I haven’t DNF’ed it, so it’s compelling. That’s a compliment to the author that he managed to cram so much detail in there and keep my interest. These days I’m brutal about dumping a book that I loses interest in :-)

But still, in my opinion, the old school journalist could take some lessons from modern authors (and their amazing editors!!) on how to tighten a story to a razor sharp reading experience.

What are you reading?

Also, Happy Valentine’s Day!

6 comments to “Wednesday Reading”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    February 14th, 2024 at 7:33 am · Link

    I want to say I read ‘Wired’ back in ’88-’89, but I can’t remember for sure. Maybe I only knew someone who was reading it. Have you ever read ‘By Myself’, the autobiography of Lauren Bacall? It’s a good one.

    I haven’t read much over the past year or so. I’ve been trying to get through an anthology of science fiction award winners. I managed to get through a whole short story during the snow on Monday morning, and it was pretty interesting, but I couldn’t tell you what it was about right now. My brain is mush when it comes to anything lovely or creative.

    Anyway, I’m glad I could stop this morning and chat for a change. Now it’s time to hit the shower and then hit the salt mine. LOL

  2. Silver James
    February 14th, 2024 at 12:49 pm · Link

    Belushi was one of those who burned so brightly ya just knew he’d burn out before his time. Sadly, like B.E., reading doesn’t seem to be in my wheelhouse these days. *makes big ol’ sad face* I can’t seem to find a new book that interests me enough to buy or check out of the library and none of my go-to books are singing any sort of siren song. I have the newly-released JD Robb book and haven’t even peeked at it. I’m pathetic. LOL

    Happy Valentine’s Day! 🥰

  3. Viki S.
    February 14th, 2024 at 3:17 pm · Link

    I give you a kudos for sticking with Wired. When books get overly descriptive I get annoyed and either skip over tons of pages or put the book away.

    John Belushi was an amazing comic. It’s so sad to see how the great ones are very troubled. That era lost several to self medication and overdosing.

    Reading is hard to do. I don’t get much free time but I am currently trying to read Iron Flame.

    Have a wonderful afternoon and Happy Valentine’s Day! Enjoy your dinner out with Wizard.

  4. Jenn
    February 14th, 2024 at 4:22 pm · Link

    B.E., so glad to see you! Nope, I haven’t read Lauren BaCall’s biography, I’ll check it out.

    It’s hard to find time to read on good days, so I can see why it’s a struggle for you with the full time job, plus two cats. Hopefully in time, you’ll be able to carve out some more time for yourself and to nurture your creativity.

    Stop by whenever you have time! Hope you’re week is going well!

  5. Jenn
    February 14th, 2024 at 4:27 pm · Link

    Silver, yeah, he really did burn too bright and burn out too soon. Self awareness and self control were not one of his many gifts. The world is a sadder place when we lose people who really only want to bring joy. (To be clear, I fully and all too painfully understand he was self destructive.)

    You are not pathetic and we have a theme today of not being able to concentrate on reading :-) But it’s okay. We all go through it. I’m slightly better than I was, but still read slower and fewer books than I once did. I think it’s a thing a lot of readers go through. Add in your surgery and the immense energy it’s taking your body and mind to heal — it’s totally understandable reading just isn’t in the cards for you right now!

    Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day!

  6. Jenn
    February 14th, 2024 at 4:39 pm · Link

    Viki, he was definitely a sad case. This book, while dry and listing endless facts, does give me a sense of how people in the business kept enabling him to achieve their own goals. There were people who tried to help him too, or simply didn’t realize how off the rails he was, but the sheer prevalence of drugs combined with a lot of covering up for him made it extremely hard to get through to Belushi, or for him to even mature into someone who could help himself. It’s just sad.

    I often do DNF books for that. But this one I wanted to read. Plus there’s nothing on TV for me these days, so I have to do something :-)

    I know it’s hard for you to find uninterrupted time to read.

    Thanks we’re looking forward to dinner! Hope you have a nice Valentines evening too!

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