Former English and drama major, bookaholic.
I just finished reading Just Kids and I have been touched. The story is fluid and full and the way that Patti Smith looks back on her life, her values changing over time, her art but mostly the chronicle of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe is inspiring. What comes across is a wonderful poignant love story of a deep, deep friendship. You also get a completely different view of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe than what the press would have us believe. This is the part that touched and surprised me. I still gravitate almost instantly to fiction but this was a wonderful ride.
YES. I liked the story and would most likely pick up something that I missed the first time.
When Robert saved Patti from a possible rape.
Robert's death but I was really impressed that Patti didn't exploit it. She could have turned the end into a sobfest, instead she treated his dying with respect.
I am too young (barely) to have lived their lives but it would have been interesting!
Even if Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe are peripheral or unknown to you, this history of the life and times of these two artists will overpower you with its richness, gentleness and authenticity. Smith is a true poet-storyeller and her resonant voice, her gift of language, her honesty, even her accent create a powerful remembrance. This is a perfect book to read by ear. It is one of the best I have ever heard.
avoiding road rage one book at a time...
Before I picked up this book, here is what I knew about Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe: she was an poet/one-hit wonder and he was a subversive photographer whose exhibition was banned from our local art museum. I wasn't until I heard Patti's interview with Howard Stern, did I learn the two had a connection. Based on that interview, my first real introduction to Patti, I thought her book would be interesting, but I did not know what to expect.
Here is what I got: a beautiful, (at times) haunting, poignant, dripping with ornate detail love story that grew from a chance meeting into a life-long connection. Most people don't get an opportunity to have the kind of relationship that Patti & Robert had. With this book, I gained a front-row seat to the play of their lives, which was packed with chance encounters and quickly formed friendships with some of the most ground-breaking writers, poets, artists & musicians... and the real story; the story of their devotion to one another, which will touch me for the rest of my life.
It took me a few chapters to get used to Patti's style. I am a non-fiction reader who like the facts without pomp & circumstance. Her detailed, poetic styling was a bit overwhelming, but I grew to love it because through her words, I could see. In these 300 pages I witnessed luck, bravery, love, careless abandon, determination, sadness, triumph and pain.
Not in a million years.
Not in a million years
Choose someone who can modulate their voice and express even a modicum of emotion.
The beginning, the middle and the end.
Get over yourself, Patti Smith. You name-dropped your way into a novel with a story that could have been told in 30 pages.
Oh yeah, it's a love story that also describes the art/poetry/music scene at the time, what's not to like?
Not one in particular, it was a series of threads in life that fit together beautifully
The end of the book made it all hit home
I had this in my library for some time and I was hemming and hawing about reading it and I now have a newfound appreciation for Patti and Robert. I wasn't so much into Patti prior but I loved Robert's work and this book explodes their partnership and Patti's poetry, which is the core of her essence. Wow, Patti, no one could not have written a better account than what you did and your vocal presence is incredible. You are now one of my favorite writer/poet/musicians!!!
Took me back.
Patti....loved her evolution as an individual.
All of it.
When they would draw together...so personal.
Over the weeks I keep coming back to moments in this book that were so personal and lovely and about their growing together and apart....also took me back to my early days as an artist.
I love listening to Patti Smiths fascinating life told by Patti herself. Her life was so interesting, like the epitome of an artist and rock and roller's life. love it.
If you are interested in the work or Robert Mapplethorpe, this provides a lot of insight into his work and how it emerged. Likewise for the career of Patti Smith and the unlikely path she took to be a singer.
Guttural, low-key, slow.
No, it's a bit slow in parts, so I was perfectly happy to break it up into pieces. The best parts are the ones in which she talks about Mapplethorpe and her relationship with him.
The prose is purple in parts, and this can come off as a somewhat irritating affectation in parts. But worth it to hear the story of Mapplethorpe and Smith straight from someone who lived it. The emotion in her voice in certain key parts is quite moving.
I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.
I would recommend it to anybody who cares about art, the artistic process or the artistic community in NY in the 1970's.
This is essentially a memoir of Patti's life during a specific time period, but it is so much more than just a historical description of her life. Instead it is story of young girl who needs to be an artist, and her process of discovery in becoming an artist. That alone would be fascinating but it occurs during a very vibrant time in NYC. The descriptions of Argosy Book Store, The Chelsea Hotel and other legendary landmarks read like a travel book. The people that populate her journey make this a snapshot of the era. Fascinating.
Her resiliency, dedication to her calling and single mindedness of purpose make Patti an inspirational character. But this is not a story of fame, or the famous people she meets. She comes across as a humble, truth seeking person who needs to create an understand the world of ideas.
Not sure a movie would need to be made. But I do have suggestion. Go back and listen to those first 3 records she put out in 1970's again. You will hear them with greater depth in terms of poetry and context. I would also suggest listening to her new materiel which shows that her searching is far from over.
A big component of the "punk"movement was that everybody could be a musician or artist, that it is within us and we should not be discouraged by lack of talent. All of us can create and realize a vision of art that is within us. This book captures that concept beautifully. It will inspire you to pursue your own muse not matter what it is. I thought it was the best audible book I have purchased yet. Humble and inspirational.