Chelsea Horror Hotel: A Novel

Book Reviews | Nov 15th, 2006

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Author: Dee Dee Ramone
Publisher: Thunder’s Mouth Press
Genre: Fiction/Punk
Pages: 252
Retail Price: 9.99
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If William Burroughs had a drugged-out nightmare involving Bret Easton Ellis’ gory scenes from American Psycho, and it was all transcribed by an 11-year old, it might read something like Chelsea Horror Hotel.

This short novel (generous use of line spacing, margins and font size make this 250+ pager a light one-hour read) centers around Dee Dee Ramone, his sexy young wife, and their talking dog, as they score drugs and violently torture and kill just about all the residents in the rundown, bad vibe-packed Chelsea Hotel.

The book is one long freaky and disgusting hallucination, that could be used as a lesson for kids to not do drugs. People turn into demons, cockroaches crawl around by the millions, dirty toilet water gets injected, eyeballs go flying, Satan worshippers toss junkies into piranha-filled bathtubs, and Sid Vicious and Johnny Thunders haunt Dee Dee like junkie Obi-Wans. It’s not a good book by any means – thematically or grammatically – but it’s by Dee Dee so it’s still pretty amusing (sort of like his horrendous yet ironically cool rap album). Gotta love Dee Dee.

But it’s not all bad. If you bother wading through all the gore, you might get some insight into his feelings toward his mother and wife, the fame of being a Ramone, and his love-hate relationship with the 70’s rockstar/addict life. The last page is probably the best and really sums it all up – Dee Dee, trying to keep clean and positive throughout the book, greedily injects his last hit into his skull while singing “Chinese Rocks” with Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, and Stiv Bators, as he slips down into Hell where the rest of the original Ramones lineup awaits.

In the end, it’s easy to begin to empathize with Dee Dee (although that’s what he blatantly wants). It’s a screwed-up book by a screwed-up guy and you sort of hope he’ll figure himself out someday, preferably before he OD’s like his other angels and demons.*

*Note: He OD’d and died a few months after this review was written. RIP Dee Dee.

Bottom Line: Punky gorefest.
Favorite Part(s): Just the fact that it’s by Dee Dee.
Overall Rating:


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