Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chelsea Horror Hotel, by Dee Dee Ramone

(pb; 2001)

From the back cover:

"Dee Dee Ramone doesn't quite know what he's getting himself into when he and his wife Barbara move into the Chelsea Hotel with their dog Banfield. The room he's been been staying in might be the very room where his old friend Sid stabbed Nancy. Dee spends most of his time trying to score drugs and walking Banfield, with whom he can magically communicate. Meanwhile, he can't stand his neighbors and though he shies away from violence, he wishes everyone were six feet under. Dee Dee gets involved with the transvestite lover of one of his gay fellow addicts. When Barbara finds out, things get out of hand. All the while Dee Dee is tormented by the living and dead demons that plague the hotel, with the ghosts of his old dead punk rock friends Sid Vicious, Johnny Thunders and Stiv Bators. And that's when the Devil himself decides to join the party. . ."


Chatty, dark, quirky first-person narrative from Ramone, with semi-autobiographical bits thrown into this odd, charming Abbadonian mix: I laughed a lot, even related to, much of what Ramone wrote in this novel.

The end-section is a crazy, kitschy rambling of violence, Satanism and drug addiction. Tone- character- and theme-wise it fits, but Ramone's seemingly-unchecked diarrhea-of-the-brain dulls the edge of the writing that preceded it.

That said, it's still a worthwhile read, that may induce evil chuckles from certain readers, like myself.

Check it out.

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