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Just Kids

by Patti Smith

Other authors: Robert Mapplethorpe (Photographer)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,8942191,913 (4.14)331
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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» See also 331 mentions

English (211)  French (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Czech (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (219)
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
As another reviewer has put it, this book is a “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman” set in New York in the late sixties and early seventies. I recognised few of the names mentioned as coming into Smith’s life, but this didn’t lessen my enjoyment and appreciation of the book, so don’t be put off by unfamiliarity with the perceived subject matter; the subject is artistic growth which is fascinatingly, and beautifully, projected.
Smith has a way with words - just, enjoy. ( )
  CarltonC | Oct 30, 2022 |
Horses by Patti Smith is one of my favourite albums and her version of Gloria, from it, may well be my all-time favourite song, charged with energy, iconoclasm and a woman lusting after another woman (in the mid-70s!) while creating a rock and roll persona not far from Jim Morrison’s.

And this book was often recommended. I approached it with a certain trepidatious reverence. I was not disappointed.

It is essentially about creating art, and the commitment to art that it takes, to make yourself known.

Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe are the “kids” here. They supported each other’s artistic development, they were lovers for a while, they were friends for life.

Described as a “prelude to fame,” Patti narrates her own work in the audiobook version, which is interesting, even intriguing, and occasionally annoying.

Her Jersey accent appears when she drops her “g” in most words ending in “ing”. Thankfully, it does not go so far as “Joisey.”

Peculiarly, when she speaks of her drawings, it sounds like “drawlings,” so much so that I thought she meant what I heard her to say and looked it up as a compound of drawing and scrawling. Cannot find it.

I love her story about her first meeting Alan Ginsberg, which I found strangely moving.

Writing of two talented drag queens, she said of them that “they were ahead of their time. They did not live to see the time they were ahead of.” And later, she closes that loop.

She participates in a few plays, but does not see herself as an actor.

Her first public poetry performance is as a support act to another poet, and what to me is her famous opening line to her wonderful version of Gloria, is uttered and unremarked upon. She knows what she did there.

Her story continues to forming a band and recording THAT album, Horses. And then, telescoping beyond, mainly tracing her relationship with Mapplethorpe.


It ends sadly. ( )
  Tutaref | Aug 11, 2022 |
very impressing
i read it in a local bookstore summer 2019(?) ( )
  ruit | Aug 9, 2022 |
Un libro muy interesante aunque no seas fan de Patti Smith ( )
  juanjov | Jun 28, 2022 |
I am not an artist. ( )
  quavmo | Jun 26, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 211 (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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

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Book description
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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