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Bar Mitzvah Disco: The Music May Have Stopped, but the Party's Never Over Hardcover – November 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400080444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080441
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #650,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Jewish rite of passage into adulthood is more than simply a ritual, according to Bennett, Shell and Kroll. The bar and bat mitzvahs of their youth evoke reminiscences that had been "left to languish in suburban rec rooms and the darker recesses of our memories—the unmistakable smell of the smoke machine... and the sound of Lionel Richie." This collection of essays and photos is the offshoot of their Web site of the same name, on which they solicited photos from the late 1960s through the 1980s displaying the peculiarities of their times. The book is structured as a professionally photographed bar mitzvah album, starting with awkward portraits and ending with the requisite "waving good-bye" shot. In between, the authors give short, humorous recollections of each aspect of the event, from the elaborately designed sign-in board to the chair-lift tradition. Well-known contributors, such as author Jonathan Safran Foer, comedian Sarah Silverman and Will & Grace creator David Kohan, add what seem to be hastily crafted but amusing short commentaries. While deeper observations would've made this more sustaining fare, the photographs alone make it a delicious bite of pop culture.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A collection of more than 30 photographs culled from bar and bat mitzvahs from the 70s to the early 90s with essays by friends of the authors like Sarah Silverman and A.J. Jacobs, Bar Mitzvah Disco…is at first glance a nostalgia tour through an era of unprecedented bourgeois tackiness. But…it is also a cultural history, albeit one with a Duran Duran backbeat." —New York Times Styles

"For a delicious buffet of glitzy, pubescent ostentation, check out Bar Mitzvah Disco." —HEEB Magazine

"Bar Mitzvah Disco puts on a brand-new suit and congalines through that sometimes wild religious rite of passage. Manhood never looked so pubescent. Or fun." —GQ

"An entertaining collection of personal essays and anecdotes about the coming-of-age celebrations." —Esquire

"There is a very special place where the chosen people and The Village People braid together like a half-baked challah, and that place is Bar Mitzvah Disco. More than a nostalgic romp through an ill-defined time, BMD isolates and stares in blushing wonderment at the fashions, rituals, and music of an era that looked at feathered hair and rhinestone scrunchies and thought, Awesome." —Blackbook Magazine

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Great concept and well written.
Little Miss Cutey
I was going to bar/bat mitvahs in the early eighties and throughly enjoyed this book.
Rachael
This is one of the best books I have come across in a long time.
A. Antonius

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By B. Robins on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to resist opening this book when considering the cover shot. All serious Bar Mitzvah-goers know that there are many stories, pictures and musings that are simply too important not to share. It's a smart and hilarious book of basically everything Bar Mitzvah. The writers have obviously scoured the earth for the BEST shots of the NOT-SO-BEST of 70's & 80's dress, hair, makeup & shiny new braces. It will definitely make you laugh.

It takes you back to a time of Michael Jackson, Reeboks, hair gel & hours spent in temple.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Antonius on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have come across in a long time. The pictures will resonate with everyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s...Jewish or not. Hard to believe we were all so sophisticated and such snazzy dressers! And the book is extremely well put together with texts from people like Sarah Silverman. This book is going to be the gift I give to my friends this holiday season. It is smart, sharp, witty, and very funny and will bring back a lot of fun memories.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Meryl K. Evans on December 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
(...)The authors tell the story of a generation through collections of Bar and Bat Mitzvah pictures and stories from friends, families, and strangers.

The people who wrote the Foreword are perfect for the job. They've probably played a part in every Bar or Bat Mitzvah since the '70s: The Village People, the group behind "Y.M.C.A." Though short, the Foreword kicks off the book nicely.

Those embarrassed by their Bar or Bat Mitzvah pictures will feel better and maybe even proud after flipping through Bar Mitzvah Disco's hilarious photo album as the book represents "every Jewish teen" who hit puberty in the '70s, '80s, or early '90s.

Anyone wishing to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah that reflects one of these decades has a great source in this book. If not for inspiration, the reader will get plenty of ideas of "what not to do" in party planning and those famous bar and bat mitzvah photo poses.

Be prepared for poofy dresses, high hair, Benetton, Vuarnet glasses, Day-Glo necklaces, dancing with a crush, boys shorter than girls, boys in fancy suits, sign-in boards, socks, food, giant shoulder pads, DJs, the money machine, lines from '80s songs, and break dancing.

Whether or not you've gone through the Jewish rite of passage, if you've attended a Bar or Bat Mitzvah between the '70s and early '90s, expect to flash to the past and laugh as you see the infamous styles from those decades and memorable moments.

The book comes with photos from over 90 bar and bat mitzvahs, commentary from the teens behind the pictures, short essays from celebrities and the unknown, and photos with the famous and infamous including O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and a few cheesy impersonators.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Billings on January 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome - it perfectly captures this bizarre subculture of over-the-top celebrations of puberty among Jews in the 1980s, primarily in the New York metro area. If you are one of the chosen people that celebrated Bar and Bat Mitzvahs during that time, you will laugh until it hurts reading this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rachael on December 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just received this book for the holidays. I was going to bar/bat mitvahs in the early eighties and throughly enjoyed this book. Then came the photo. I graduated junior high with the entire table!!!

There are no words to describe how happy I am with this book, except to say that reading it was pure enjoyment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on January 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a funny funny book this is. It's classic. Great concept and well written. It brings back so many memories - both painful and funny and many people can relate. The clothes, the music, the friends and the parties themselves. It's weird enough looking back at your own Bat Mitzvah photos let alone many other peoples Bar/Bat Mitzvah pics. Some of these earlier ones are hillarious but getting into the 80's (the era mine was in) is getting rediculously funny. This is the perfect gift for someone else or yourself. It will have you in stitches reading the stories and looking at the pictures. I love this book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
You found it !!! The absolute perfect gift for everyone on your list. Alotta bang for your buck. You could knock a ganglian cyst from here to tomorrow with this baby. Beautifully bound, this is one hefty book filled with stunning images and brilliant writing. Bar Mitzvah Disco would be the star goody in a 'Member of the Tribe Gift Basket' consisting of this book, the latest issue of Heeb Magazine, the LeeVees Hanukkah Rocks CD and of course The Hebrew Hammer DVD. Support Jewish Indie Pop Culture and order yours now!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Kober on May 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an entertaining book, but I think the editors should have curbed the use of the word "wigger." The use of that word isn't working for me. Besides that, I enjoyed the book.
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