Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Review: Disco Bloodbath (aka: Party Monster)

**spoilers ahead**

A few months ago a rabbit hole of internet searching lead me to look into the movie Party Monster, which lead me to this book, that the movie was based on. Not sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but I enjoy true crime stories so I thought I'd give it a try.

The author, James St. James, a NYC celebutante in the mid 80's, was a cofounder of the Club Kids, a group of young clubgoers, with his friend Michael Alig, and is still in the news sometimes and was on a few seasons of America's Next Top Model. Though I gave a spoiler alert, the main plot point is spilled in the first few pages of the book. One day, Michael tells James that, under the influence of drugs, he, along with his friend, Freeze, murdered Angel Melendez. It supposedly happened during an arguments over a long-standing drug debt.

The story, told often in stream of consciousness, then goes back in time to tell of the arrival of Michael to the NYC party scene. James gives us a window into the inner workings of the club scene, how to get yourself known, and how to best work room. He introduces us to the who's who of NYC in the late 80's to mid 90's and presents the key players of the crime that unfolds.

What's really fascinating is what happens between the time of the murder and when Michael and Freeze actually get arrested. Slowly gossip columns and news articles start leaking the story of a missing drug dealer and hinting at who may be involved. Angel's brother comes to town looking for him, and eventually, eight months later, the body is found. The police, who have been accused of not caring about the death of a drug dealer, eventually arrest Michael Alig and Freeze, leading to their convictions.

One great thing about true stories is that you can actually watch the shows they reference in the book, so if you are interested in learning more, you can watch the Club Kids on the Donahue Show. Also, there is a Documentary, Party Monster: The Shockumentary, and the feature film Party Monster, based on this book.

While not a deep novel, it was facinating, and easy to read.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Review: 3 out of 5

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