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Clublife: Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs Hardcover – August 14, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this behind-the-velvet-rope memoir, anonymous blogger Rob the Bouncer (identity to be revealed "on publication") details his adventures working security at "Axis," a dizzying composite of real-life New York nightclubs. Spending grungy nights working the "Nightmare Square" of club-choked West Chelsea, antagonized by feuding bosses and berated by the downgrading clientele, Rob has plenty of material for his misanthropic observations. He spends most nights playing God to a line-up of bankers, club kids and mobsters, ogling his bartender girlfriend and babysitting the VIP room for pocket cash. Rob is a likable, identifiable narrator, an average working guy dreaming of something better, genuinely aggrieved to be trading barbs with women drunk enough to chuck tampons at him. Though structural tics can grate-like his use of second person and too-frequent shifts into screenplay-style dialogue-a handful of sidebars reveal useful tips for getting in: pack a fistful of twenties and never bark, "All my friends are inside!" And, a must-read for anyone with a tendency toward belligerence, instructions on how to leave without getting hurt ("Don't touch the bouncers on the way out"). Though the tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold routine feels familiar, club-goers will find Rob's dispatches entertaining and informative.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Robert "Rob the Bouncer" Fitzgerald is the author of the Clublife blog. He lives on Long Island, New York.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment; 1st edition (August 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061123889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061123887
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,429,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Final thought, if you hate it so much, dont work there!
Kerryn H.
Like most folks who have bought this book in it's first week of publication I've been a fan of the Clublife blog for quite a while.
Martin Fisher
Having read Rob The Bouncer's blog for the last several years, I'd been anxiously awaiting the book since it was first mentioned.
Larry R

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Just Frank on January 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I'm going to unleash some criticism, so let me start thing off first by stating that Rob definitely has writing talent and I enjoyed his book. He does an excellent job portraying the nightclub world as he saw it. The writing is good and sometimes even funny. If you are a guido, a thuggish form of Italian male that Rob definitely despises, then you will either hate this book or love that it puts you and your kind in a momentary limelight.

My main criticism is that I found Rob's stories to be lacking. Or maybe I just bought this book with too high of expectations. I mean come on, you worked in the biggest baddest nightclubs in New York City and these are your best stories? I have friends who work as bouncers and bartenders in some dive bars around the city and they can tell me better stories about the fights and the freaks that they encounter every night. There was also not much dirt spilled about the people around him. A book with nightlife subject matter should have been filled with this kind of juicy stuff. It seemed like Rob was giving us the PG13 rated version of what he really saw. Maybe he didn't want to throw anyone under the bus or maybe the publisher wanted to produce a tame story. Oh yeah, the lists Rob puts together about things like "How you should approach a bouncer" were also kind of lame.

But all in all, it was a good book that I enjoyed. Maybe now that Rob is a published author he can do a sequel that is not so tame.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By NaughtiLiterati VINE VOICE on August 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I finished the last page of this book, I actually sat it down and APPLAUDED.

Those of you familiar with the popular blog Clublife already know what a terrific and funny writer Rob is, and those who don't can get a sneak peek and some laughs by going there and seeing for yourself.

Clublife details two years of Rob's bouncing in a popular Manhattan nightclub, its inner workings, decline, and the ultimate disgust he has with it all. Whoever called it the Kitchen Confidential of the nightlife scene was on point, for it is just as well-written and entertaining. Not only is his assessment of the club scene brutally honest but so is his opinion of himself, one of the most difficult things a person has to do.

You learn just how much the bouncers have to put up with (a former hardcore partier myself that now prefers being home with my books, it wasn't hard to convince me), how to behave yourself so you don't get strangled, and how not to behave. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and I found myself typing out several excerpts to share with friends. Once you start it, it's difficult to put down and is very much worth the wait endured since the book deal was first announced.

Now that I'm finished the book, I am buying a few copies for the bouncer friends of mine who I have terrorized on more than one occassion as thank-yous for always helping me out of my K-holes and never treating me like the fvcktard I was at the time. Hahahahahaha

I LOVE THIS BOOK! For another fascinating read on the club scene (much safer than going out and being a part of it), though more about the insane Peter Gatien era, check out Clubland by Frank Owen, the Village Voice reporter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack on October 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clublife is an enjoyable read that offers much more depth then one might expect from the typical "blog to book" hype. Clublife the book started out as Clublife the blog, a popular site where Rob the Bouncer details the antics of the clubgoing masses he contends with as a bouncer in New York's club scene. If you're worried that the book is nothing more than blog entries cobbled together in book form, relax. Rob pulled off a real novel that's worth reading.

The book covers a two year period of Rob's bouncing career, and provides a look at the rise and fall of the nightclub "Axis," as well as an autobiographical look at Rob's personal life, told in an unflinchingly honest style that is at times both touching and hilarious.

Here's what the author had to say about his book:

"I don't think it's long enough. There was a lot more I could have said, and parts of it, instead of contributing to the "plot," read like extended, self-indulgent bitch-fests. There's occasionally too much dialogue. It moves in spots, though, and I suppose that's what counts."

It's not a lengthy book, true; and it wouldn't have hurt anything if a bit of Rob's guido commenary had been trimmed back, but there's gold in Rob's ranting, and he's dead wrong about the dialogue. Rob captures conversation like nobody's business. He has an ear for it, and the conversations we get to "listen in" on are the book's strength.

Clublife is fun, candid, and very much worth reading.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rob S. VINE VOICE on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're here, chances are you're a reader of The Bouncer's blog ( If you enjoy Rob's style as much as I do, this will hook you just as quickly. I read the entire thing in one go and couldn't put it down.

At times I found myself wondering if this guy was for real; for all we know he could be sitting in his mother's basement making it up as he goes, right? My brother's bounced for years and reading Rob's stuff it sounds very similar so I tend to believe it. In the end, the authenticity didn't really matter. It's a great read with insight into a world I'll never experience.

Very much recommended.

p.s. I hope it worked out with 'Amanda' :)
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