John Belushi Is Dead

John Belushi Is Dead

IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.

Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.

Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.
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  • MTV Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439187616 | 
  • August 2010
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JOHN BELUSHI IS DEAD: Kathy Charles

An offbeat and unexpectedly moving debut novel about two teenagers who let their obsession with celebrity death interfere with living life.

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1

WE HUNG OVER THE fence at the Ambassador Hotel, watching the demolition. Benji stood beside me taking photos with his digital camera, his mouth open in disbelief. He was determined to document every moment. As the bulldozers tore into the side of the hotel, the sound of crushing mortar made me feel sick. The Ambassador had a long, star-filled history. To us the building was a holy shrine, and watching its destruction was like watching a death.

For the past year we had attended protest marches and signed online petitions. During that time the hotel had been used as a movie set and a cheap location for sci-fi and comic book... see more

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