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Just Kids by Patti Smith

Just Kids

by Patti Smith

Other authors: Robert Mapplethorpe (Photographer)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (171)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Just Kids is a beautifully written memoir about the friendship between Patti Smith and Robert Maplethorpe who met in New York City in the 1960s. They were friends, lovers (until Maplethorpe figured out that he preferred men) and true soul mates who maintained a special friendship until Maplethorpe's death in the late 1980s. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Apr 11, 2019 |
Although I like some of Patti Smith's music, I knew nothing about her personal life. I didn't even know of her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. This book changed that.

Early in the book, I was surprised that she remembered horse-drawn ice trucks. She is less than two years older than I, but perhaps that is the difference between her east coast and my west coast. I was also surprised when she said there was “no available birth control” in 1966. But those were only minor examples of how different her life was from mine.
This book mentioned lots of people I probably should recognize but don't. It got a bit boring, a bit repetitious for me. There was so much detail I just couldn't care about as much as I should have. Lots of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, to use a cliché. With all that, what bothered me more than it should have was the author's casual mention of theft when she didn't have enough money, when theft was the convenient way to get what she wanted. The theft didn't bother me as much as the casual attitude toward it.

I admit that Robert Mapplethorpe was a good artist, but I only knew him for his controversial work, specifically the controversy and publicity over his photo of a crucifix in a glass of piss. I did find some of the looks into his life interesting, and I Googled some of his art. While he was very talented and some of his photography is sublime, much of it is just too raw and too brutal for me.

I listened to the audio edition of this book, and the author did a good job of reading her own work, although her occasional pronunciation caught me off guard: piano became piana, yellow became yella.

While this was an interesting look at the author's life, it's not a favorite of mine. Still, I think it will appeal to fans of Patti Smith. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Feb 9, 2019 |
Sweet and fascinating. Heart-wrenching at the end. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
Cried on a bench in public when I finished this book. Granted, not the first time I've cried in public, but the first time I've cried at the completion of a piece of writing. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Her words are pure poetry. Her writing is ephemeral, and beautifully composed. She transports me to another time. ( )
  SarahStroud | Jan 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
The reader knows who Smith and Mapplethorpe will become, so it is intriguing to read about his continued attempts to encourage her to become a musician, while she urges him to delve into photography.
“Just Kids” is the most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late ’60s and early ’70s that any alumnus has committed to print. The tone is at once flinty and hilarious, which figures: she’s always been both tough and funny, two real saving graces in an artist this prone to excess. What’s sure to make her account a cornucopia for cultural historians, however, is that the atmosphere, personalities and mores of the time are so astutely observed.
It’s possible to come away from “Just Kids” with an intact image of the title’s childlike kindred spirits who listened to Tim Hardin’s delicate love songs, wondered if they could afford the extra 10 cents for chocolate milk and treasured each geode, tambourine or silver skull they shared, never wanting what they couldn’t have or unduly caring what the future might bring. If it sometimes sounds like a fairy tale, it also conveys a heartbreakingly clear idea of why Ms. Smith is entitled to tell one.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Pattiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mapplethorpe, RobertPhotographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rutten, KathleenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Speaker, Mary AustinDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Much has been said about Robert, and more will be added. Young men will adopt his gait. Young girls will wear white dresses and mourn his curls. He will be condemned and adored. His excesses damned or romanticized. In the end, truth will be found in his work, the corporeal body of the artist. It will not fall away. Man cannot judge it. For art sings of God, and ultimately belongs to him.
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I was asleep when he died.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Mapplethorpe and she
Meet in their pre-famous days
And forge lasting bonds
Starts broke in New York
Becomes "Mother of Punk". She's
Now music legend

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this memoir, singer-songwriter Patti Smith shares tales of New York City : the denizens of Max's Kansas City, the Hotel Chelsea, Scribner's, Brentano's and Strand bookstores and her new life in Brooklyn with a young man named Robert Mapplethorpe--the man who changed her life with his love, friendship, and genius.… (more)

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