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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on March 26, 2011
Although I knew very little about Patti Smith or the punk rock scene in New York City of the 1970s, I decided to buy this book on the strength of its reviews. Just Kids is not a story about Patti Smith the Legend, but about Patti Smith, a girl from New Jersey who came to New York to find herself. And what a fascinating story it is. With poetic prose, humour and nakedness, Smith recalls her early years in New York City and how, with the mutual love and respect of Robert Mapplethorpe, the foundations of their futures were laid down.

Part of the beauty of her writing is that although we know she will become Patti Smith the Legend, she never conveys a certainty that she will "make it". Rather, she focuses on her and Mapplethorpe's hunger to create and to define themselves and their crafts.

Equally fascinating as Smith's personal story, is the story of New York City in the 1970s. How I would have loved to have been there during that time! She vividly describes the vibrant energy of the blossoming cultural movement and the people who made it and recalls colourful anecdotes of neighbourhoods that have long become gentrified.

I highly recommend this book and I hope it will touch you as it touched me.
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on July 12, 2013
Patti wows with her humility, compassion, and mastery of words that leaves you daydreaming, crying, and craving a genre of art and music that you never cared for before.
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on April 17, 2016
I had read Patti Smiths newer book M Train knowing nothing about Patti Smith and really enjoyed that book. So i decided to read this one. Its such a beautiful book. I love her poetic writing and honesty. Its not your typical rock n roll bio by any means. Its about a young girl who met a young boy who no matter what would always be there for one another and champion each other's artistic work. It reads like great fiction but blows you away that it was her young life. All the rockers and poets she met and historic moments with them she was there for while becoming the icon she would eventually be...amazing!!
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on July 7, 2015
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, considering the artistic sensibility of Smith and Mapplethorpe and the time in which they came of age in New York. Also, so many memoirs are sensationalistic tell-all accounts that trade precious what are often precious memories for book sales. What I found instead with Just Kids was a clear-eyed, warm and sensitively written account of two struggling artists in New York who were always true to each other and their aesthetic vision -- even at their lowest periods. It was beautifully written, full of integrity, and always hopeful.
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on August 11, 2011
Patti Smith has been many artists in her life. This is the story of how she gave herself to art as her life's purpose, and how that commitment was shared by what can only be described as her everlasting best friend, and fellow artist, Robert Mapplethorpe. The book covers the period largely from 1967 to 1973 for Smith, the period she spent with her sometime lover, sometime partner, but always spiritual muse, Robert M. Stylistically, Smith is still at the top her gave. She is a masterful story teller, taking all shock value out of the seedy life in the "artist village" of New York in the late 1960' to early 1970's. The beauty of her descriptive language and tenderness of approach strips away the culture of some considerable decadence to show each and every "person" for what they represent best in lift, not the worst. Though the worst of characters are most certainly well populated in the book. I truly loved this book. Smith has let us share in her intimate life story of this period; such a wonderful valentine for Robert Mapplethorpe and the "artists" life.
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on March 3, 2010
A fascinating time, the ferment of the late 60s and early 70s; and in New York the gawky kid arrives from New Jersey, with her waitress uniform... but, through chance, meets Robert Mapplethorpe, a lovely young god, and they fall in together. Through their life pass numerous icons - Dali, Hendrix, Warhol, the Velvet Underground (Cale produces her first album), Blue Oyster Cult... with reveries of Rimbaud, and a clear view of the great pretender, Jim Morrison, Smith begins to conceive of the persona she will become. Robert discovers his homosexuality and Patti and he eventually cease being lovers but remain confidantes and support for one another - of course, they both go on to fame. A fascinating story, ably told by Smith. Ambition, luck, contacts, and, last, talent lead to success. The artistic milieu is reproduced well and interestingly, along with its politics and both good- and ill-will, and the NYC scene is captured in little verbal photographs. Beautiful.Just Kids
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on February 28, 2016
Was expecting a different read than what I got. Was expecting more rock stories and got more on what living and breathing artists are really all about along with a painful thoughtful story on true love in it's most rawest and honest form
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on April 20, 2012
Touching, inspiring
A must read, even for those who don't know the legendary Patricia Lee Smith. One of the best book I've read so far.
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on November 27, 2015
A poetic journey right back to the magical romance of these two young lovers, and their period of artistic growth at The Chelsea Hotel.
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on January 7, 2016
Beautifully written and touching. Smith's voice is pitch-perfect, sincere and unpretentious. A must-read before delving into M Train.
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