Just Kids

Just Kids

Book - 2010
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WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.



Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-Second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous, the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.



Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2010.
Edition: 1st Ecco pbk. ed.
ISBN: 9780060936228
0060936223
Characteristics: xii, 288 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.

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r
rlbeekman
Apr 05, 2019

For a life and relationships of such inherent interest, this memoir is surprisingly flat and boring in the telling.

sclibrary_Rachelgail Mar 15, 2019

Loved this love story of a beautiful friendship. It was fun to grow up with Patti Smith and learn about her deepest influences.

t
tweedim32
Jan 25, 2019

I enjoyed this quite a bit. I thought it was a real love story, though not in a conventional sense. I later bought copies for two friends who love music and the arts. Quick warning it does have some lurid scenes - they didn't bother me, as i was expecting from an arts and rock n roll book set in the 70s/80s - but it may not be for everyone. It was impressive that Patti Smith "really" wrote it without a ghost writer, but with that said it wasn't Shakespeare.

m
mclarjh
Aug 01, 2018

Good (but not very good) writing; little self awareness; mostly a homage to Robert; for fans.

h
HARFANGORIA
Jul 03, 2018

This book will genuinely transport you to its time and place. To love the book, you need to give a hoot about life for a tortured genius pair, one proto-punk and one emergent gay icon, in the deliciously seedy NYC of the late '60s thru mid '70s. If this is up your alley, you just might plow through this little bible again and again.

b
booknrrd
Apr 25, 2018

Patti Smith's memoir of her life with Robert Mapplethorpe beginning in 1967 and ending around the time that her debut album came out in 1975. She covers her relationship with Mapplethorpe after that period but the focus is on the years that they lived together first in Brooklyn, then in Manhattan.

I knew next to nothing about Smith prior to reading this, so I found myself spending a lot of time doing additional reading. Smith has a gift for writing. Her background in poetry really shines through and her love for Mapplethorpe.

DBRL_IdaF Mar 14, 2018

Fascinating. I'm a long-time fan of Patti Smith's music. I had very little knowledge of Robert Mapplethorpe, except to know his work was controversial. It was interesting reading about the development of their two artistic visions and the relationship between them as friends and as artists.

seeknofurther Jan 10, 2017

A sublime and moving account of her early days with Robert Mapplethorpe. Beautifully written with many of their experiences in their gradual journey to notoriety and fame.

Pippi_L Jan 03, 2017

A fascinating story.

n
nannerl
Oct 18, 2016

Interesting from a rock history perspective, and a peek at the New York scene in the late 70s. However, I found the author to be irritatingly pretentious and desperate to be regarded as intelligentsia, lest we think she's just a punk rocker. Also, she emphasizes throughout the book about how much Mapplethorpe loved her. I have no reason to doubt it, but I wondered why she went on and on about it, enough already. No real insight into what really made Mapplethorpe tick. I'd like to know more about his early life.

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