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 in Financial Services and love History, 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.
Patti Smith pulled me into the world she shared and created with Robert Mapplethorpe.
Simply told, the story grew.
By the time she finished, I was trying to control my sobs, pedaling away on the bicycle at the gym, glad for 10 minutes of silence left in my workout to absorb the experience.
Teach only love, for that is what you are.
I am in the same age group as the author yet have lived a very different life. This opened up my experience to the rock music scene and the art world that I had mostly ignored while having babies and dealing with survival.
There were so many . . . moments of the great love between the author and Robert Mapplethorpe were touching and inspiring and although they parted ways as a couple, their love for each other stayed strong and solid. This book is a tribute to that love and Patti made it a beautiful one.
I loved both Patti and Robert equally for the truth in their work and staying true to it while supporting each other in the best type of friendship imaginable.
The moment Patti and Robert had to say goodbye when he was dying of AIDS was particularly moving, but there were many others.
I loved experiencing this time of my life in a whole new way. Patti was acquainted with so many famous musicians and artists of the era and helped me feel like I had met them as well.
Anybody but her
I found this account narcissistic, self-serving and solipsistic. I too lived through this era, and while I enjoyed the references to the events and people of the 60's and 70's I couldn't wait for this book to end. Her performance was great for insomniacs who want to be lulled to sleep, but it made for an incredibly long listen. I can't imagine how this was awarded the National Book Award. Maybe the committee was impressed by all her references to the great artists and her never ending name dropping of the great performers of this era.
I really wanted to like this book and enjoyed it for awhile, but by the end I was like, OK Robert, die, so that we can turn this thing off.
Sierra Vista, Arizona (Relocated for Retirement) Reading, Audible, Travel, Fishing & Boredom
A different voice. Being from the West it was difficult and even irritating to listen to
the dry, bland Brooklyn accent. This heroine doesn't get angry, happy, sad, thrilled, excited, furious .... the voice never changes. Irritating.
I assume this is someone's life story. The story is too dull not to be someone's life story...
The story is very typical of growing up in the 50's, surviving a full time stint as a hippie, even having a mate "come out". I know, I did it. And, basically that's Part 1.
The voice. There was no excitement, no surprise, no anger, no feeling. She finds out
her life partner (!) is gay and sleeping with men and it's just another day. It would have been really nice to know she was alive and living this life story.
The voice is most irritating, and it made me want to shake the heroine.
Reaction? Dull, bored.
And, this is just Part 1. I will grind through Part 2 simply because I cannot not finish a book, although I know the ending...
Patti Smith tells us the ending in the preface and first chapter.
Five stars for the beautiful engaging book itself. An extra blue star for Patti Smith's wonderful reading. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
Maybe. Anyone with interest in the late 60s and early 70s in NYC will enjoy this book as well as any fans of Patti or Bob Maplethorpe. Otherwise, not for everyone.
Yes. Most characters are seen through Patti's subjective experience and often not through the lens of broader culture, even for the mega-famous icons like Bob Dylan that seem to frequently come around.
Yes. See above.
Rock and Roll
Patti Smith - this is her story.
To hear her own words in that inimitable voice - awesome. I had already read the book, but listening to Patti read it was even better.