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Confessions from the Velvet Ropes: The Glamorous, Grueling Life of Thomas Onorato, New York's Top Club Doorman Paperback – July 11, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312354592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312354596
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Belverio follows Thomas Onorato, a Manhattan club doorman, night after night, event after event, punctuated only here and there with glimpses of his personal life. Journalist Belverio put in considerable time gathering his material, interviewing and apparently hanging out with his subject because the narrative has an immediate vividness. The deluge of up-to-the-minute detail (in this context meaning proper names, from designers to mashup bands to celebrities whom most haven't yet heard of) matches the gossip-column commotion a doorman is trying to create, or avoid. The focus occasionally shifts to other doormen around New York, and the book includes sidebars on subjects like "Bad Party People" (the promoter and the disgruntled reject) and "Myths of Studio 54" ("Marc Benecke didn't let Cher into Studio") The result is the literary equivalent of a Bravo reality show or a dinner composed entirely of chocolate: gimmicky yet entertaining; irresistible yet containing little nutritional value. Though this chronicle becomes tiresome at points, it could become a quirky hit, along the lines of The Original Preppy Handbook. (July)
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Review

"Glenn Belverio has a devastatingly urban eye. An ultra-hip arbiter of style, he commands the fine line between fashion and flash. He is a superb guide to the underworld of earthly delights." --Bestselling author and Culture Critic Camille Paglia
"Belverio's corrosive humor cuts to the quick of the social body. He has Wildean wit and a superb sense of the absurd. His wry, entertaining writing style puts you right at the center of any V.I.P. event. This is gonzo journalism at its most compelling, full of celebration and sharp insight." --Bruce Benderson, author of The Romanian: Story of an Obsession and User
"Imagine a literary cocktail composed of equal parts Suzy Menkes, Truman Capote and Jacqueline Susann, then add a twist of New York street smarts and the result is Glenn Belverio. If David Sedaris wasn't a virgin, he might write something like Belverio." --Bruce LaBruce, filmmaker and author of The Reluctant Pornographer

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Looking forward to Glenn's next book.
Diane Pernet
Like 20th century anthropologist Margaret Meade, writer Glenn Belverio plunges into the primeval world of Manhattan nightlife with notebook and pen in hand.
Corey W. Sabourin
The book has hysterically funny moments.
Position

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gayle on July 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love to read NYC celebrity gossip columns mainly because I love to imagine all the excitement going on in the Big Apple. I've heard about nightclub line ups and doormen and the horror of rejection. This book not only made me feel like I was standing next to the doorman getting an insider's view, but by the end of the book, I felt like I really knew Thomas and that I really had been there. I can't think of another book that's been able to make me forget I was reading a book. I laughed out loud - this book made me laugh out loud. It made me see that anyone can feel like a star - the glamor is in the attitude not the pocketbook. Confessions of the Velvet Ropes is like a guidebook to cutting edge NYC nightlife complete with tips on how to pull off a look, to get into the club and how to have a wild time without getting hung up on being an outcast from NJ. It was a thoroughly fun book to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aric Chen on July 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book will be a great read for anyone with even a passing interest in the frenetic worlds of nightlife, popular culture and downtown shenanigans. Others have made much of Belverio's penetrating wit and keen observations, and they're right to do so: he captures the drama, excitement and star-studded absurdity of New York nightlife in a way that deliciously satisfies one's darker cravings for gossip while at the same time shedding light on what it all means. It's entertaining yet thoughtful, funny yet smart--and, most of all, shows Belverio to be a truly great storyteller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Position on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I dipped into the first page of this book, thinking I'd scan it for gossip. But I got totally caught up in Belverio's sharp, sardonic view of New York night life and couldn't put it down. The book has hysterically funny moments. It also updated me about what's happening NOW in the New York night scene. I've been going to clubs all my adult life but I never understood what makes a doorman tick as clearly as I do now. This was a fascinating read.The author has a finely honed wit and a great eye for detail.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Bruce on August 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
The author of this book has a keen observational eye for the details of New York nightlife and its denizens. He takes what might first appear as a frivolous or superficial subject and manages to extract some real anthropological significance from it. But you can still read it at the beach.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Louttit on August 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you want to know first hand the inner-workings of New York's most famous parties and the people who make them happen (along with the clubgoers that help make them famous) go read "Confessions from the Velvet Ropes" now. This raw telling weaves significant and interesting nightlife history, including interviews with the people who lived it, with tales of current scenes and connects them to give readers an untainted view of the underground world of NYC parties, fashion, social change and the fabulously outrageous characters that embody them. Along with colorful personal anecdotes and fun, sarcastic sidebars with topics like "Thomas's Top Ten Tips for Getting Past the Ropes," Glenn Belverio with the help of personal commentary from famed doorman, Thomas Onorato, makes this book a must-read for anyone interested in NYC history, social scenes and celebrity gossip. Whether you're from NYC, just moved there or follow the scene with a curious eye from afar - you will not be able to put down "Confessions from the Velvet Ropes" until you have devoured all the edgy and eccentric pages in their entirety. And you will be thirsty for more...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mina Estevez on July 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
are probably pretty unexpected adjectives for a book profiling someone known, not always affectionately, as "Door Bitch." But Belverio humanizes his subject with a behind-the-"behind-the-velvet-ropes" look at Onorato's decidedly unglamorous daily grind. Though the book has plenty of entertaining anecdotes and gossip, what I found most interesting were the details about the "day life" that supports NYC's nightlife. And Belverio's mini-history of famous doormen of the ages, people like Mark Benecke, Kenny Kenny and Derek Neen, also gives his book a fascinating historical perspective.
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