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

James Saint James, Author, James St James, Author Simon & Schuster $23 (288p) ISBN 978-0-684-85764-0
When suspected drug dealer Angel Melendez disappeared in March 1996, the arrest of party promoter Michael Alig, impresario of the debaucherous ""club-kid"" scene of the early 1990s, sent shock waves through the New York City club scene. Alig and his roommate were later convicted of the grisly murder and dismemberment of Melendez. According to St. James, who describes himself as ""a rather needy diva"" and Alig's ""best friend,"" the conviction was no surprise: days after the murder, Alig had confessed to him while they did drugs together in Alig's apartment. St. James's account of the rise and fall of Michael Alig is a most unconventional contribution to the body of true crime. Mixing dish on the outrageous exploits of club queens with ""the running commentary of a babbling drug addict--me,"" St. James fuses the unrepentant humor and narcotic gusto of Hunter S. Thompson with pure camp--and the result is a flamboyant and engrossing first-person narrative. But while St. James's flashy approach is artful and engaging, it ultimately serves to solidify the tabloid nature of his tale. St. James has no sympathy for the victim of the crime. The closest thing to emotion on display is St. James's obsessive need to document the highs and lows of life with the maddening Alig and his own self-pity at the end of his carousing days with Alig. ""How superficial to say that because of a murder, I didn't feel like dressing up anymore!"" Yes, and how. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
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