Just Kids by Patti Smith

Just Kids

In Just Kids, Patti Smith's first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work--from he...


Details Just Kids

TitleJust Kids
ISBN9780066211312
Author
Release DateJan 19th, 2010
PublisherEcco
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Music, Biography, Art
Rating

Reviews Just Kids

  • Eddie Watkins
    2010-02-23
    I never thought much about Patti Smith. The images I saw of her never attracted me, and what I knew of her Rimbaud fixation turned me off. I always had a problem with the Beat and Punk appropriation of Rimbaud as more a figure of rebellion than a sophisticated poet. For me poetry is a phenomenon of the page, not an outfit you wear down the street. I also never got into Punk Rock. Going to college in the fall of 1983 I had probably only heard of T...
  • Will Byrnes
    2010-11-25
    Hi Ho, the artistic life. I had very divergent feelings about Just Kids, Patti Smith's National-Book-Award-winning memoir about her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. There were times that I felt moved by the beauty of her writing, and others in which I found her to be nothing more than another spoiled, entitled kid who got where she got to, talented or not, because of connections. It is not that Smith arrived in NYC with a list of names and nu...
  • B0nnie
    2012-01-19
    ♪Stayin’ up for days in the Chelsea Hotel...♫ Just Kids makes me feel so damn left out. If only I had been able to show up at the Chelsea in the early 1970s. I coulda been a contender, I could have lived for art. Oh yes, I would have been very naïve just like Patti had been at first. I totally get that. I don’t think I could have been as brave tho'. Art is a harsh mistress. Suddenly [Robert] looked up and said, “Patti, did art get us?...
  • Ian
    2011-03-11
    Looking For You (I Was)I can see why some reviews detect white-washing or sugar-coating in "Just Kids", but I wanted desperately to believe the story Patti Smith was telling about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.Glitter in Their EyesPatti admits to her naivete, but I don't think she was trying to hide stuff from her kids or anything.Nor do I think she closed off her emotions about her past.Ultimately, the book is a love story, only the ...
  • Nicholas
    2010-12-21
    There are some moments of real poignancy here and some very deft turns of phrase, but I was also just bored stiff for most of it. Clearly Smith has led a really interesting life, but she's just not a great writer. The great bulk of the book was a long series of "Then this happened. Then that happened. Then Robert did this. Then I did that." And while there is a lot of reflection about art, there is very little on the subject of her relationship w...
  • William2
    2011-05-23
    I admire this woman. She writes a deft, deeply felt prose. She has a peerless memory. She remembers gestures, apparel worn thirty years ago, favorite objects, facial expressions, stretches of dialog. She can reanimate for us moments of deep emotional complexity. This was clearly a labor of love. The character study of Robert Mapplethorpe is disturbing, shattering. We watch Smith living with him as a veil is lifted from her awareness, as her empat...
  • karen
    2018-04-22
    fulfilling book riot's 2018 read harder challenge task #12: a celebrity memoirextry points given to me, by me, for choosing a book that i have owned for more than a year. super-extry points for selfishly using the opportunity to interview nancy pearl for my own personal readers' advisory needs, to suggest a celebrity memoir that wasn't gonna waste my time. thanks, nancy pearl!review to come!review is now!my tepid reaction to this book is in no wa...
  • Patrick Brown
    2010-12-21
    This book is remarkably easy to parody. Here, I'll try:"I was crossing Tompkins Square Park when I ran into a young man wearing a gabardine vest. He smiled at me and called me "Sister." It was a young George Carlin. Robert hated him because he frequently had flakes of rye bread in his beard, but I loved how he could make me laugh with his impressions of Mick Jagger. On this morning, though, we wept together at the news that Paul McCartney would h...
  • Cheri
    2017-06-10
    4.5 Stars”It was the summer Coltrane died. The summer of “Crystal Ship.” Flower children raised their empty arms and China exploded the H-bomb. Jimi Hendrix set his guitar in flames in Monterey. AM radio played “Ode to Billie Joe.” There were riots in Newark, Milwaukee, and Detroit. It was the summer of Elvira Madigan, the summer of love. And in this shifting, inhospitable atmosphere, a chance encounter change the course of my life.”I...
  • PorshaJo
    2016-10-12
    I loved this book. I did not want it to end. To be honest, I did not know much about Patti Smith other than her music. When the book initially came out, I heard so many wonderful things about it. I thought I should give it a shot. But frankly, I was a bit tired of the 'musician' bio books as some were just so dreadful. I was so wrong to think that and hold off on this book.I decided to go with the audio. I was immediately enthralled with it. The ...
  • Elizabeth Fleming
    2011-12-30
    I found this book incredibly boring. It started off ok, but after a bit her writing style began to get on my nerves (examples: using the word "for" instead of "because," as in "I went to the diner, for I was hungry" and "I hadn't any money" instead of "I didn't have any money" and "I lay upon the mattress" instead of the simpler, just fine, "I lay on," ugh. Pretentious). Then she goes on and on and ON about Rimbaud. Enough about Rimbaud already. ...
  • Janet
    2011-01-21
    This book will be added to "The Art Spirit" as an essential volume on my writer's "behind the desk" bookshelf, the story of two baby artists and how they grew. There's an oddly innocent tone to this all--for instance, the sexual relationship between the two of them is never really discussed, only accepted--when Patti gets the clap, we understand it's from him, but this is not a kiss and tell memoir. It's an opportunity to walk a mile in Patti Smi...
  • Maxwell
    2015-03-28
    I'm not sure how to do this book proper justice in a review. Just Kids is a book that enthralled me, surprised me, and ultimately, a book that I have fallen in love with. Not only is it one of the best books I've read this year, it is one of the best books I have ever read.Knowing very little about Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe going into reading this, I figured I would enjoy it but not quite appreciate it as much as someone who is a big fan...
  • Steven Godin
    2016-12-01
    Patti Smith's Just Kids is a rare little gem of perpetual bliss. This differs from other memoirs I have read, and it left me with deep feeling of simply being happy to exist in this world. Smith writes about her time living in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe while they were both shaking off the dull scraps of adolescence and trying to break out as artists. Strewn throughout the book are pictures of them as very young excitable artists-in-traini...
  • Warwick
    2017-02-16
    its dark no im wrong its dawn i have my shades on—‘Sleepless 66’Patti Smith writes to us out of the great and endless narcotic American night in a language inherited from the Beats and refined across a lifetime of lines scribbled on journals and diner napkins and hotel matchbooks, carving out her version of the truth. Despite all her awed talk of Mallarmé and Baudelaire, she is much more in sync with her compatriots like Paul Bowles and Hu...
  • Iris P
    2017-02-06
    Just Kids★★★ 3 Stars I am frankly pretty surprised that this popular memoir didn't quite click with me. Just Kids should've been a perfect match and yet somehow I could never completely connect with the world and the lives of the people it chronicles.Don't get me wrong, Smith's wordsmith is gorgeous and she is a wonderful storyteller. Her account of how she and her lover/collaborator/friend Robert Mapplethorpe, met and ended up right at the...
  • Esil
    2016-11-22
    Last year, I read Gloria Steinem's My Life on the Road. I didn't know much about Steinem, but her book made me see her in a whole new light -- not an icon, but a lovely dedicated generous person. I had a similar experience listening to the audio of Patti Smith's Just Kids. I didn't know much about her, but certainly wasn't expecting to be so charmed by her. The memoir focuses on her early adult years. She moved to New York, developed a complicate...
  • Melanie
    2014-01-16
    "What should we aspire to as we go on our road? When I was in my early 20s, I was lucky to have William Burroughs as a friend and mentor. When I was with him and I asked him this question: “what should I aspire to?” and he thought, and he said: “my dear, a gold American Express would be good.” but after that he said very thoughtfully, “build your name.” and I said, “William, my name is Smith.” and he said, “well, you’ll have t...
  • Nikoleta
    2016-02-03
    Γέμισα τρείς σελίδες τετραδίου μέχρι να αποφασίσω τι ταιριάζει ακριβώς να γράψω για το «Πάτι και Ρόμπερτ» και ο λόγος που δυσκολεύτηκα είναι το πόσο με εξέπληξε. Δεν είχα ιδέα για το ποια είναι η Πάτι Σμιθ, δεν είχα ιδέα για το έργο της, δεν είχα ιδ...
  • Darwin8u
    2015-10-02
    "Nothing is finished until you see it." - Robert Mapplethorpe, quoted in 'Just Kids'"Who can know the heart of youth but youth itself?" - Patti Smith, 'Just Kids'A memoir of images, people, and hopes 'Just Kids' explores the funky relationship of Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe as they began their unique relationship and struggled to emerge as artists. The power of this memoir is the way Patti Smith works the words to create a canvas broad ...
  • Jeanette
    2010-02-03
    Smith writes with a poet's clear imagery and an economy of words all too rare in the memoir genre. Before Robert Mapplethorpe died, Patti Smith promised him that she would one day write the story of their years in New York City. Now, twenty years after his death, she has made good on that promise. This is the story of a beautiful, complex, demanding and ever-evolving friendship between two young, hopeful, actively unconventional creatives. They a...
  • Madeline
    2015-07-09
    "Why can't I write something that would awake the dead? That pursuit is what burns most deeply. I got over the loss of his desk and chair, but never the desire to produce a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Cortes. Yet I have a lock of his hair, a handful of his ashes, a box of his letters, a goatskin tambourine. And in that folds of faded violet tissue a necklace, two violet plaques etched in Arabic, strung with black and silver...
  • Karen
    2018-10-26
    My first audiobook and I chose a good one to listen to, love Patti’s speaking voice. I never knew much about her, she’s over a decade older then me and I wasn’t ever into punk music at all. This was very interesting though, how she met Mapplethorpe and how they got by in New York, their bohemian lifestyle, and the people who they spent time with. What a special relationship these two “kids” had!I will make sure to listen to M Train in 2...
  • Duane
    2016-02-29
    As he was dying Robert Mapplethorpe ask Patti Smith to write their story; "You have to he said, no one but you can write it". After reading this book I can understand why he said that. No biographer, other than Patti, could know, let alone describe, the level of trust and dependence they shared; and their singular kind of love that, even after reading this, is hard for the reader to fully understand.What capable hands he left that project in, I'm...
  • emily
    2012-05-11
    I didn't just hate this book. I cherished my hatred for this book. Luxuriated in it. Drank deeply of my hatred.I didn't just find the writing clunky, I found it odd, troubled by an overfamiliar relationship with the passive voice (lots of things "could be seen"), verbs (no one ever god damn says anything; they discourse, spiel, spin, regale, blah blah blah), and prepositions (why say "on" when you can add a syllable to get "upon"? why use the mun...
  • Calista
    2018-01-28
    I didn't know Patti Smith. I had seen some photos of Robert Mapplethorpes before. I didn't know they had this relationship. Patti Smith is a fantastic story teller. What a moment of providence when Robert walked up to her counter at the book store and bought that necklace. Also, when he ran into her after her bad date - this relationship was fate, a thing meant to happen. Two artist meeting in the night and forming a bond that both of them were s...
  • R.K. Gold
    2018-02-04
    oh go on, they're just kidsI'm still trying to collect my thoughts about this book. I know it made me feel something, I know I have every intention of re-reading it, and I know many anecdotes from it will come up in casual conversation with my friends when I try to convince them to read it. Still, I am not sure what the emotions are I feel when I think about it. There's obviously a feeling of loss and grief; not just for Robert Mapplethorpe and S...
  • Velvetink
    2010-07-06
    Did anyone think Patti was "whitewashing" her past in this? "longing. that desire. that tapeworm.a wordI hadn't learned".... (Seventh Heaven- "Longing")I really longed to LOVE "Just Kids", to go the whole hog with 5 stars. I had waited long enough to get hold of a copy & eventually when my library got it in some jerk kept it overdue 3 whole months and I was checking with them every 2nd day like a teenager. "Is it back yet". I wore out my welcome ...
  • christa
    2011-02-18
    I'll say this for Patti Smith: Homegirl certainly knows how to write lifestyle porn. Somewhere between the Chelsea Hotel and the insertion of a millionaire benefactor I closed her love letter to Robert Mapplethorpe, "Just Kids," bonked myself in the head and said "Knock it off." I needed to stop being dazzled and wooed and to start seeing through clear eyes or I'd wake up in a bus stop in Detroit clutching a one-way ticket to 1971.People do that....
  • Erik
    2011-08-17
    It is difficult for me to think of an artist who illuminates pure positive affect in the way that Patti Smith does. For someone who always had a special place in his heart for Patti's "Horses" record, I can safely say there are moments where her music and her words have taken my mind and my heart to places I would have never imagined. For me, the record has a similar effect to Allen Ginsberg's, "Howl," and Walt Whitman's, "Song of Myself." The pa...