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Just Kids by Patti Smith

Just Kids (edition 2010)

by Patti Smith

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English (148)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (156)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
I didn't think I was going to like this at first, but once Smith gets into her stride and talks about her life with Mapplethorpe in late 60s/early 70s New York, it is fascinating. What an incredible time to be an artist, learning from those who blazed a trail before them and inventing something new for themselves. Smith was in love with Mapplethorpe, and that affects her story telling, but the tough existence they had still comes through. I didn't know much about either of them as people before I read this book, although I admired her as an artist. I warmed to her as a person. ( )
  missizicks | Oct 24, 2016 |
Just kids is a memoir written by the American punk rock singer Patti Smith about the period in her early career when she lived together with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. It is a very readable book that gives a very warm and fuzzy peek into the 1960s and 1970s. As the title suggests, the memoir focusses on the innocent side of their lives. Hardly any mention is made of Mapplethorpe's homosexuality, to the extent that the reader is led to believe that Smith and Mapplethorpe were not just room-mates, but de facto lovers. It does not become clear whether this was a part of deceit on Mapplethorpe's side or Smith's delusion. It seems the innocence of the memoir seems a ploy to prolong the naivete and illusion that they were more than just room-mates. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 7, 2016 |
“Patti, no!”

There are so many places throughout this book where Robert affectionately scolds Patti for something or other, and it’s so incredibly endearing.

I started Just Kids back in winter, but was too busy to finish it, but not before a coworker told me she’d been reading it too. I recently borrowed her copy to finally reach the end. She also admitted to me that she couldn’t bring herself to finish the last several pages, which, admittedly, are very depressing. Beautiful, but depressing.

Smith and Mapplethorpe have an interesting and sometimes arduous journey, but they are truly manna to one another. They took care of each other, oftentimes in ways that no one else could understand.

I’ve loved Smith’s music for a long time, but after reading this book, I feel like I’m discovering it all for the first time. ( )
  christina.h | Sep 22, 2016 |
This book provided a wonderful snap-shot(!) of New York in 60s and 70s. The writing is excellent, full of insights and powerful descriptions. I got a bit muddled with the large cast of characters and kept thinking I should have known all these people because they all seemed so important. As it was, I knew many of them but just let the rest flow along with the story. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Aug 26, 2016 |
Had to move this book to the couldn't get through it shelf. The incessant name dropping of the most obscure people made it impossible for me to stay interested and engaged in this book. The story of the friendship between Smith and Mapplethorpe was mired in Smith's obession with Rimbaud and Genet. What a shame as i was really looking forward to reading this book. Yes....on this particular book I am a quitter. :( ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (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 (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Smith, Pattiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mapplethorpe, RobertPhotographersecondary authorall 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

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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)

(summary from another edition)

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