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Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  6,048 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
Murder Was Never So Much Fun!

When Disco Bloodbath was first published, it created a storm of controversy for its startlingly vivid, strikingly fresh, and outrageously funny depiction of the hedonistic world of the New York City club kids, for whom nothing was too outré -- including murder. Nominated for the Edgar Award for best true-crime book of the year, it also marked

Paperback, 287 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 1999)
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A Dirty Job by Christopher MooreGood Omens by Terry PratchettFear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. ThompsonLamb by Christopher MooreChoke by Chuck Palahniuk
Best Dark Humor
63rd out of 549 books — 1,228 voters
Permanent Obscurity by Richard PérezParty Monster by James St. JamesTrainspotting by Irvine WelshThe Shores We Walk by Gabriel RheaumeThe Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
Cautionary Tales or STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS ;)
2nd out of 45 books — 47 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marla Shu
Jun 28, 2007 Marla Shu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh the glamour of James St. James!! I don't care if they've renamed the book now. It will always be Disco Bloodbath to me!!
Aug 28, 2007 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adultish
Okay, so I have the "Party Monster" paperback - less than $300 - version, but still. Mine is corrected on the inside cover by James St. James; he hates that they changed the title. I agree, it is WRONG to take an author's title away from them. Oh well, if you enjoyed the movie, this is almost better. well, more detailed, but there's no Seth Green & Macaulay Culkin so it may be a wash. Very interesting info on how to make Special K, and my favorite phrase for months after reading this was "bu ...more
Nov 17, 2007 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: old club kids
Shelves: biographies
Anyone who was into the rave scene, or was a club kid in the early 90s needs to read this book. It's everything that the time was about. Drugs, partying, music, DJs and more.

St. James writes about death in a way that is both disturbing and at times funny. It's weird to say that a book about a ghastly murder had me laughing out loud at parts.
Amanda  DeVore
Nov 18, 2008 Amanda DeVore rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens and young adults
Recommended to Amanda by: My Aunt
Party Monster
James St. James

This book was based off a true story. So I believe the authors purpose, was to get the story out. Maybe, the purpose was to show what drugs and bad people can do to you. You can be one person at one minute and change to a completely different person another. ""Baby I can make you both stars!" That’s how I put it. And they were sold. "You two are going to be, hold onto your hats, CLUB KID DRUG DEALERS! Oh, you'll make a fortune. They all do. AND FUN! Woo Doggie! You'l
Bark's Book Nonsense
Dec 17, 2009 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
After finishing this novel about the drug fueled world of the club kids that James St. James describes with great detail I almost felt like I'd overdosed on his writing. A little past the half way mark his constant descriptions of their hedonistic world and the ever-changing group of so-called friends exhausted me. It was an interesting book at turns hilariously funny and yet depressingly melancholy. The lengths these kids took to be the center of attention and fill their lives with excitement w ...more
One of many pop-culture, current events books from the near to distant past that I will admit reading.

A dark sordid catty tale soaked in drugs and as nearly pure evil as can be found on the bookshelf. And it's true stuff. Having been a denizen, if for a short time and mostly as an avid voyeur,of the Limelight crowd, one knew something really bad was going to happen. Nobody gets to live at the pace that so many on display at the clubs of the period did and get out unscathed.

JStJ writes amazingl
Dec 01, 2010 Kitty rated it really liked it
St James is magic - I'm convinced of it. His bio might have him listed as living in Los Angeles or some other such place but to anyone who's had the delight to finish Party Monster we all know that he really lives in some higher, sparklier realm of existence reserved for the Keebler Elves, Santa Clause, Marilyn Monroe and one of Liberace's fountain heads. If there's another writer on the face of the planet that can feed me the most horrific details of a murder, describe in detail the sawing up o ...more
Aug 29, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It's a true story of drug addiction gone unchecked and true madness. The style isn't literary, but I must say that this book really disturbed me, not only because it was based on a true story but because it smacks of a sad reality and the darkness in the human heart. This is also a story of deep alienation. Definitely not a "feel good" book, but a memorable one nevertheless. Recommended for unconventional and non-mainstream readers. In fact, I would place this beside ...more
Oct 30, 2010 Anna rated it really liked it
In tone and sense of humor, this book reminded me a lot of Permanent Obscurity by Richard Perez. I haven't seen the movie, but I can tell you this is a book worth owning. A black comedy if ever there was one, told in short bites. I was fascinated by how far the story goes, how badly people behave. A trip down the rabbit hole ... or should I say K-hole?
Kevin Klehr
Nov 21, 2010 Kevin Klehr rated it it was amazing
I first saw a movie about this topic starring Seth Green and Macaulay Culkin, not realising it was a true story. Straight away I was googling the 'club kids' and watching their appearances on Donahue and various other talk shows. Even tracked down the documentary which is very telling.

Essentially this is a tale about a murder. It's the story of young nightclub entrepreneur, Michael Alig, and his celebrity rise and fall in New York, thanks to a disregard of anyone but himself and by taking a s**t
Anita Dalton
May 01, 2011 Anita Dalton rated it it was amazing
I no longer review "norm" books but this one straddled the line between norm true crime and truly odd true crime. So I won't review it, but because it was such a fantastic book, I'll share some of the best quotes. St. James really does have a fascinating capacity to be glibly deep and deeply glib.

"There is no mystery to death. No complicated pattern, nothing difficult. They are no special. It could happen again. Anytime. Anywhere. Of course. A slight miscalculation, a simple mistake - it didn't
Jun 02, 2011 Faye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book five stars because for what it set out to accomplish, it did perfectly. It is one man's recollection of the late 80s, early 90s, in which the Club Kids, led primarily by the eccentric Michael Alig, took the NY party scene by storm. James has a delightfully quirky and recognizable voice. I devoured this book in a day. As a person who is fascinated by club scenes, particularly the Club Kids, and has read and watched all articles and videos concerning them online (you're missin ...more
Ashley Scott
Aug 07, 2011 Ashley Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, 2011
This book reads about 35% Michael Alig/the Angel Melendez murder, 25% a random look at a not so necessary VH1 behind the music of Freeze's life (accompanied by some random chick named Mavis), 20% wacky random drug use and repetitive descriptions of binging and spiraling out of control, 15% snark, mudslinging, leading, and bragging, and finally, about 5% surprising empathy and warmth. It wasn't what I expected, nor was it as salacious as I had hoped, but I still enjoyed the ride. I am not the fir ...more
Marley Utzig
Mar 04, 2012 Marley Utzig rated it it was amazing
Party Monster is not really a True Crime novel, but a non-stop party. The book is about the birth of club kids and their crazy father. Sure daddy murders somebody and sells children as sex slaves, but the drugs are great and parties are even better so who cares? That is in fact the most important point of the story as James says “I think that the whole point of my story is that nobody ever implicated Dorothy in the double witch homicides of Oz because well … you know … She’s Judy Garland, for Go ...more

I was kind of ashamed to read Disco Bloodbath at the time it was published because it was kind of trashy and gory but I couldn't put it down-it was so entertaining albeit tragic-all that fun and drugs came at a price. It was one of the first books i read when I got to New York as a teen and I probably lived vicariously through some of its characters as I couldn't get a fake ID or get into any of the clubs. The 90s were winding down but you could still see crazy japanese club kids in L.E.S., and
Amanda Mcmillen
May 11, 2014 Amanda Mcmillen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember when this happened, well kinda. I followed it on the news as much as my then drug filled mind could. I was one of those kids who saw Micheal on TV and wanted to be just like him. I ended up in the Austin and Dallas club scene. I was a different generation of club kid, but only barely.

For years I told myself I would read this book, and never got around to it. I seen the movie more than a few times, and even hosted a few "Party Monster" themed parties.

One day I had to grow up, be a mom,
Oct 18, 2014 Amelia rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peta Tron
Aug 11, 2012 Peta Tron rated it it was amazing
I can't think of enough words to describe how fabulous this book is. Even when everyone is out of control and destroying themselves with drugs, James St James manages to keep my interest, the pages kept turning and it was all finished before I knew it.
Sep 24, 2012 Robyn rated it really liked it
This was so catty and so trashy and decadent, how could I not love it? I could NOT put this down, even for a bunch of important shit I was supposed to be doing.

If you're looking for a true crime novel, you will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a snap shot of a unique time and place, as taken by a one of a kind and vital character who was deeply enmeshed in that subculture, you've picked the right book. St. James' voice is not quite like anything else; he's amusingly catty, and seems q
Jan 08, 2013 Tara rated it liked it
Usually I always choose the book over the movie, but in this case I'm tempted to rate them equally (for different reasons). While parts of the book offered more details than the movie, sometimes the details were boring or unnecessary. James St. James may be a good story teller, but he lacks necessary writing skills. I could do without the added whining and self loathing bits.
Jul 02, 2013 Sistermagpie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to be on a kick with this story--I saw the documentary, then the movie, then figured I'd try out the book. I'm glad I did! Totally enjoyable, even though it's incredibly sad. The murder of Angel Melendez is technically the central crime, but the drug abuse slowing (or not so slowly) killing all the protagonists is far more horrific. In a way, it keeps the murder from even seeming like a real murder, at least to the people who are doing the killing. They've left actual life and emotions so ...more
Sep 20, 2013 Luxia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults/GBLT fiendly
I used to think that Lady Gaga was original when it came to shocking the hell out of people with her style. That is all up until I came upon this story and realized that the Club Kids did it first! Haha, seriously though!

I first watched the 2003 Macaulay Culkin movie 'Party Monster' also Co-starring Seth Green, and Rock Star Marilyn Manson, that was loosley based off of this true story and almost immediately had to read the book. You see, I always wanted to read this. But the only problem was t
May 26, 2014 Leslee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Decided to read this as it was timely with the recent release of Michael Alig on parole. Alig has hit the ground running with an already in use twitter account (aptly named Alig_Aligula), and James St. James has already written aDear Michael letter to his frenemy.

I'm dating myself but I came into adulthood around the time period of the club kids and have seen both the fictional movie and the 'shockumentary' that were based on this book. Perhaps because it was so sensationalist with so many maga
Holden Pumphrey
Mar 13, 2015 Holden Pumphrey rated it really liked it
Best true-crime-beach-read ever.
kira ☆
Oct 18, 2016 kira ☆ rated it liked it
Nov 09, 2014 Meredith rated it it was amazing

If you think that you 'partied hard' in your youth think again. It's a miracle that James St. James survived this scene, so that he could document it in wonderful, over the top palaver. None of the screechy queenieness of his voice is lost in the prose. It is fabulously written in every sense of the word.

The author's writing about his 'friendship' with Michael Alig was really the best part. The word 'frenemy' came close to describing the relationship, but not quite. It was a complex
I’d been wanting to read Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale Of Murder In Clubland by James St. James for years, but I was motivated to finally pick it up when Michael Alig (the star of the book) was recently released from prison earlier this year. If you don't know who Michael Alig is, a) I'm sorry you've been living under a rock for such a long-ass time, and b) he was a well-known club/party promoter during the 80s and 90s in New York and a drug addict who went on to murder, dismember and ...more
May 01, 2016 Lydia rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtiqa, non-fiction
... so, I just remembered this book existed, and I just realised I probably read it when I was way, way too young. Oops.

This reads like a fiction novel. I can almost guarantee that it will be unlike any other crime memoir you've ever read in your life.

I loved reading it at the time. I'm honestly not sure how I would feel about it now, but at the time, I was trying to figure out who I was and I was absolutely starved for any LGBTIQA fiction. So, reading this was sort of like a lifeline for me,
Jul 17, 2016 Hylke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, english
Sep 24, 2016 Jacqui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dunno how I never saw this movie until a few weeks ago. I think I kept forgetting about it, but I have the sound track and love it. After seeing the movie, I thought it was the most disjointed, manic, confusing mess and could not wrap my head around the cast... it had a good cast, the movie felt like a hot mess.

Decided, okay, I need to get the book, I felt like I missed some key element to connect all these scattered pieces.

Nope. The book was just as much out there, random pieces attempted to
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im not addicted to drugs im addicted to glamour 3 41 Jun 09, 2014 09:07AM  
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James St. James (born James Clark), is a former Club Kid of the Manhattan club scene in the late 1980s/early 1990s and the author of Disco Bloodbath (now published under the title Party Monster). He was notorious for a lifestyle of excess that included heavy drug use, partying, and bizarre costumes.
More about James St. James...

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“Funny, that no matter where you are in the world, there's always someone eager to help you destroy yourself.” 51 likes
“If we're all going to hell in a handbasket, we might as well make it a party on the way down” 39 likes
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