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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
The Last Party is Anthony Haden-Guest’s account of Studio 54 and the legendary New York nightlife scene of the ‘70s and ‘80s, now available as an IconIt Classic.Vivid, nonstop, and revealing, The Last Party is as packed with as much sparkle, scandal, and celebrity as Studio itself.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published December 8th 2009 by It Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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I would like to begin my review by stating that I'm a huge fan of Studio 54. I've watched dosens of documentaries featuring the club and the disco era in general, read plenty of articles, i even collect rare photos from within the club and its most notable patrons, so i was so excited when i stumbled upon this book on Netgalley.

My excitement though, was sadly and pretty early on, dissipated. Although i enjoyed many aspects of the book, like the intriguing and highly detailed stories and the 2009
Jan 21, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled, “Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night,” this is a new edition of a previously published book, with a new introduction. Although Studio 54 is central to the book, it is also about the nightlife of New York in the 1970’s and 1980’s generally. There is, obviously, a lot about the excesses which took place, celebrity culture and the characters involved; including Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, who spent time in prison after raids on the club.

If you are looking simply for stories
Jun 10, 2008 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in clubbing
Recommended to Beth by: VH1
I picked up this book because I have an interest in nightlife, gay culture, the 1970s, and disco. Okay, really, I'm a nerd. I've wanted to read this book for a long time, and I have to say, I was actually disappointed with it. I couldn't tell what the author's point was in writing the book: was it an elegy for the nightlife that Studio 54 ushered in, a condemnation of an oversexed, overindulged, celebrity class, was it a mixture of the two? The title is misleading; it really should be something ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Although there are many of my generation who will heartily deny any association with disco, I must say that it was a formative part of my early adulthood and that I loved it, and still listen to the songs. And though trapped in the far hinterlands distant from the Nightlife of New York, in Tampa, and the mecca of Studio 54, I often pined to one day witness the chaos that was described. I would never have been admitted however. So I have learned of the shenanigans that went on there in documentar ...more
May 10, 2015 Kathryn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Second reading, May 2015

The Last Party was originally published in 1997. By coincidence, it came out around the same time filming of 54 with Michael Myers began, but one did not beget the other. I read the book when it first came out, and eighteen years later I'm transferring entries on my hand-written book log to Goodreads. Now, the log had four stars on this entry, but after some digging I found what I had written on Amazon all those years ago:

I admit it was the subject matter that prompted me
Jan 16, 2015 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC for review.

This book was originally published in 1987, when the Michael Alig/Club Kid murder was still big news this book covers a time frame of the Nightlife(trust me, you get used to the capital letter) from the early 1970s to the late 1990s, which is a LOT to cover adequately in just one book, especially because the title leads one to believe that the book will be about Studio 54 but actually covers so much more (I had only read 35% of the book when Steve Rubell was sent to prison, which
Sara Habein
May 13, 2015 Sara Habein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
I got this book from Net Galley, and I'm not sure if it was an e-ARC or what, but there are a lot of typos throughout. I haven't seen the finished edition, but it's worth noting.

Besides that, this is an interesting journey through New York nightlife from the late 60s to the mid-90s, primarily centered around Studio 54 (understandable, considering their massive presence for a long time and how they changed things), but there are lots of interviews and a handy "Cast of Characters" at the back of t
Dec 21, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting look at New York nightlife

Studio 54 was a legend in the 80s. This book gives a lot of the inside story and puts it into the context of the bigger club scene. Studio 54 was #1, but there were many more well patronized clubs in that time and place.

I gave it five stars because it's a fun read, lots of gossip. But it has two drawbacks. It slows down considerably in the second part, post-Studio 54. And there are no photos in the Kindle version, not sure about the print edition. If ever a
Studio 54: the Roman Empire of NYC Nightlife

New York City and the 1970s: a dysfunctional marriage that spawned a myriad of cultural icons; one of them being Studio 54. With THE LAST PARTY, Anthony Haden-Guest details the “perfect storm” scenario that allowed Studio 54 to become the patriarch of the city’s competitive social scene until it imploded … a victim of owner self-indulgence and arrogance. While the book’s intention is to highlight the zeal of the nightclub scene in NYC from the disco er
Feb 18, 2013 Abbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book felt like it took me ages to read.

But you know what? I really, really enjoyed it. And that's saying a LOT, seeing as I'm usually the last person to enjoy nonfiction. But this was, in many respects, extremely entertaining. It almost felt like reading one long gossip column, what with all of the celebrities who kept getting mentioned. (Of course, that was also disappointing to me, as it was a little sad to realize how pretty much everyone important at that time was a drug addict or some
Jul 15, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this five stars if Anthony Haden Guest had kept his narrative a bit more linear - he goes off on tangents that are rather confusing - but all in all he brought that era to life.
Bobbi Piles
Sep 26, 2016 Bobbi Piles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
I really enjoyed this! The author did a lot of research and interviews to detail a history of nightclubs in New York starting right before Studio 54. Of course, I could do with loads more pictures, but that's what I always think.
Apr 10, 2010 Caitlin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is a pretty good social history of the New York club scene, focusing primarily on Studio 54, but looking at other clubs, as well. The book works well when its author is telling stories of the clubs, their owners, and their denizens. It works less well when the author inserts himself into the narrative. In the end this book suffers a bit from the "I don't know what I want to be" syndrome. On the one hand it wants to be a social history, but on the other hand it kind of wants to be a memoir. ...more
May 07, 2014 Karolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining to read, but the author goes on about 40 different tangents that really have nothing to do with the main story.
Aug 17, 2010 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-york-city, camp
I've never met a book about tranny-cum-socialites that I didn't like. Mr. Haden-Guest is the MAN & very, very thorough: he hung out with & interviewed all the major Studio 54 glitterati, shot up heroin with the punks at CBGB's & even got Michael Alig to confess that he killed his drug dealer with Drano & dumped the body in the Hudson. the chapters on the last days of Steve Rubell are particularly heartbreaking. it's eerie to see the clear progression from Giorgio Moroder to the M ...more
Dan Taylor
Not bad.
Christine (AR)
Somewhat graphic recounting of the Studio 54 era. Completely fascinating. The parts that discussed how child-celebrities like Drew Barrymore were allowed in to party with adults made me ill, but the book doesn't flinch away from reality. The eventual down-slide and implosion of the disco-culture was just as interesting as the rise.

(I loved the author's comment that this was a hard book to write because most of the people who lived through this period first-hand don't remember it. )
May 03, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-culture
I've been looking for this book for a while because I always thought the idea of a Studio 54 existing I've always found fascinating. And this book was pretty interesting - it talked about the people in the "Nightworld", the clubs in the 70s and 80s and the general sense of freedom/liberation engendered by that whole culture as well as the progressive deflating of the party balloon due to legal restrictions, jail time, AIDs and the general end of living with no consequences.
Sep 23, 2012 Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting account of the New York City lifestyle in the 70's and early 80's from an author whose experiences were accounted into this book. The main focus of the book is on Studio 54 and its former owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. The book also mentioned other NYC hotspots at the time like Hurrah, The World, and others. If you're into retro pop culture, this may be an essential for your collection.
Jan 30, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: greta, kim, megan
well researched. a lot of attention is paid to the behind the scenes politics, moving and shaking, and wheelin' and dealin' that created both the rise and the fall of the club. nice photos.i wish the book had a little more detail on the characters, legends, and stories of the clubs. i wish i was around then with the inner strength and stability to be able to handle the scene majestically cause, damn it looks fun.
Muffy Kroha
Nov 15, 2007 Muffy Kroha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Discofabulous Party lovers
This guy was there! And , strangely enough, he is brother to Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap Fame- If you have an interest in the Halston heyday and how things degenerated from there, it is a page turning historical account of excess.
Diana McClure
Mar 14, 2015 Diana McClure rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written with a lot of energy and flamboyant wordplay to match the colorful revelry of the disco era! If you loved your nightlife days and/or dream of certain spots you missed, this is a feel good read. Covers 1970s-1990s...
Sep 26, 2007 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haden's perception of the night differ significantly from mine, but the book is great fun; I can depict the expressions on my old boss' face at the door... My favorite stories are of Chic and the horse for halloween ;-)
This was interesting, but SO long. After awhile I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over.
Kelsey Collier-wise
A comprehensive history of the New York club scene over almost 30 years.
Jun 15, 2009 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read for those interested in pop culture and nightlife
Apr 10, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read about the disco/Studio 54 era.
Apr 28, 2008 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of the famous club in its hey-day.
Jul 14, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book about the whole disco era.
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
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