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Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland
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Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  7,648 ratings  ·  457 reviews
The author reveals the New York Club scene at its worst as he relates his involvement with Michael Alig, a Midwest nerd who became a leading club promoter and eventually found trouble after killing a drug dealer.
Hardcover, 286 pages
Published August 11th 1999 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 1999)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  7,648 ratings  ·  457 reviews


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Start your review of Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland
Barry Pierce
It's a story that everybody knows. Remember that time Michael Alig killed a guy? It's a tale told at every afterparty, an Aesopic fable about the dangers of excess - the final hurrah of the Club Kids.

In Party Monster (originally published as Disco Bloodbath), James St. James (one of the infamous Club Kids) recounts the murder of Angel Melendez whilst also spoiling us with many tales of the late 80s/early 90s New York club scene. This book is officially classified as true crime, but calling it a
...more
Jon Nakapalau
Great true crime story that takes place in the 'glitter-cone' of the New York City club scene of the early 90's. "Club-kids" played into the fears of the public; wanton, oversexed and on drugs. This book is a cautionary tale; the line between non conformity and crime can be crossed when drugs are involved - then the monsters in the party show their true faces.
Robyn
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
...more
Kristina
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Tess Taylor
3.5-
I mean... if a person commits a crime, and no one cares- can we all just adjust our lip liner?

Disco Bloodbath, aka Party Monster is the true (and highly opinionated) story of the late-80's NYC club kid movement and it's leader, Michael Alig. It is quite a conundrum of a book. This saga is told from St. James's perspective, who was at the center of it all. His catty and biased attitude makes him the perfect unreliable narrator- something I've rarely seen published in non-fiction. The murder
...more
Kevin Klehr
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Anita Dalton
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
...more
Ashley Scott
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jacqui
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Jennifer
Aug 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Anna
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Shayna Wieferich
Beautifully disgusting.
Lydia
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
...more
Haley Petre
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wowza.

I have been meaning to read this for so long! The movie has always fascinated me and I find James St. James terribly interesting. I always thought that Seth Green did an amazing job at portraying him and now after reading this, I'm so captivated by how well he captured James!
Anyway, on to the book....
I experienced so many emotions reading this. One moment I would e giggling and the next, I would be terrified. James St. James has such a way with words, it felt like
I was listening to him
...more
Christopher
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Luxia
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Maryann MJS1228
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime, fabulous
Club Kids. Meet the Club Kids.

They're the post discotheque family.
From the heart of downtown,
They're a homage to the Factory.

Let's hear about the drug dealer they killed
Unsolved, through NYPD's lassitude.

When you're with the Club Kids
you'll have a skrink-la-da time.
A slogger-do time.
You'll have a gay old time.

Never before have I felt the need to quote the Flintstones in order to properly review a book but then I've never read a book quite like Disco Bloodbath before. Which is a shame because
...more
Meredith
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FIVE STARS.

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
...more
CD
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
...more
Amanda
Apr 20, 2012 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,
...more
Faye
Jun 02, 2011 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 ...more
Cristina
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
...more
Peta Tron
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Fishface
A have-to-re-read-it-again favorite. On one level it's about a sordid little drug-related murder. On another it's a tell-all about the New York club kids scene. On another, it's a dreadful, true horror story that makes you laugh on almost every page. How can you ask for more out of any book?
Marla Shu
Jun 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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!!
Peter
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
funny, an interesting primary source, problematic
Holden Pumphrey
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best true-crime-beach-read ever.
AJ
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bert Z
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“If we’re going to hell in a hand basket we might as well make it a party on the way down.”

Wow, there’s a lot of drug taking in this book, so many drugs, it makes Requiem for a Dream look like child’s play. I loved how eccentrically written this book is, it’s a pretty crazy story and it’s told in an aptly crazy way. It’s also really funny, the humour is very tongue-in-cheek and self deprecating on James St James’ part. As a true-crime book detailing the murder of Angel Melendez, it pretty much
...more
Lindsey
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nyc, true-crime
Tonally this book is largely ironic, detached- really dissociative-, and mean. Which doesn’t hit the way it used to, for me or I think culture at large. But his is probably the perfect voice to capture that scene at that time, and boy does he ever.
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Globe Tuesday Boo...: Party Monster 1 3 Oct 09, 2018 04:59PM  
Party Monster, Shantay you Stay 1 4 Nov 01, 2017 10:40AM  
Party Monster, Shantay you Stay 2 11 Oct 29, 2017 06:38PM  
im not addicted to drugs im addicted to glamour 3 44 Jun 09, 2014 09:07AM  

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175 followers
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.
“Funny, that no matter where you are in the world, there's always someone eager to help you destroy yourself.” 56 likes
“If we're all going to hell in a handbasket, we might as well make it a party on the way down” 38 likes
More quotes…