Synopses & Reviews
There's a current that courses through the old Chelsea Hotel, an electricity that drives people relentlessly to create. It's an energy that longtime resident and creator of "Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog" Ed Hamilton will tell you often drives inhabitants to madness. In a series of linked cyanide capsules, Legends of the Chelsea Hotel tells the odd, funny, and often tragic truth of the writers, artists, and musicians the famous and the obscure alike who have fallen prey to the Chelsea. Readers enter one of Dee Dee Ramone's flashbacks; meet the ghost of author Thomas Wolfe; learn of movie star Ethan Hawke's mystical powers over women; see the ungodly acts allegedly being perpetrated in the basement club Serena's; and feel the dark aura of Room 100, where punk rocker Sid Vicious killed his girlfriend Nancy. Other Chelsea residents past and present who will be included: Ryan Adams, club kid/murderer Michael Alig, Sarah Bernhardt, the Warhol Factory's Richard Bernstein, Victor Bockris, Charles Bukowski, Leonard Cohen, Lesbian activist Storme DeLarverie, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, Janis Joplin, Jack Kerouac, Madonna, Edgar Lee Masters, Arthur Miller, Edie Sedgwick, Sam Shepard, Patti Smith, Dylan Thomas, and Rufus Wainwright.
"Short story author Hamilton (in the Journal of Kentucky Studies, SoMa Literary Review, etc.) 'became consumed in writing [his neighbors'] darkly humorous and often tragic stories' after many years of living at New York's infamous Chelsea Hotel. Arrayed here are 68 of his columns for ''Living with Legends,' the Hotel Chelsea blog (www.hotelchelseablog.com). Hamilton skillfully interweaves his memories of residents with a history of the 23rd Street hotel, longtime proprietor Stanley Bard (who stepped down reluctantly this year) and the neighboring restaurant, El Quijote. Built in 1883, the Chelsea became a residential hotel for theater luminaries in 1905. Tenants since then have run the gamut from O. Henry and Dylan Thomas to Kerouac and Madonna. Famed books have been written at the Chelsea, including William Burroughs's Naked Lunch, but the establishment has also attracted a great many eccentrics, hustlers and crazies. Recent management changes and the Chelsea's uncertain future make this nostalgic portrait of the hotel's 'fabled madness' all the more poignant. Photos not seen by PW." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Kansas City’s Pitch Weekly blog, 2/11/10
“I recommend picking up Ed Hamilton’s Legends of the Chelsea Hotel, which has many more stories of the famous landmark where Smith, Mapplethorpe, and many other renowned writers, musicians, and artists stayed.”
About the Author
Ed Hamiltons fiction has appeared in Modern Drunkard, The River Walk Journal, SoMa Literary Review, The Journal of Kentucky Studies, Exquisite Corpse, Southern Ocean Review, Limestone: A Journal of Art and Literature, Lumpen Times, and Best College Stories. Ed contributes the weekly Slice of Life” column to Living with Legends: Hotel Chelsea Blog” (www.hotelchelseablog.com). He has lived at the Chelsea Hotel for nearly 10 years.