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Self indulgent name-dropping scam
on November 16, 2012
Having grown up in the time period this book covers, and listening to Patti Smith's music, and being familiar with the notoriety of Mapplethorpe's work, I was looking forward to this biography. And I did enjoy it for the first sixty pages or so, until it started to sink in: this book is going nowhere. It really amounts to no more than shameless name dropping and ego stroking on the part of the author. I must confess I had a hard time even figuring out what her "art" was given all the self indulgent self serving typing that passes as ...it's hard to say what. The book is ultimately a waste of time. There is no explanation whatsoever of what took her from cashier to performer and songstress, and we have no idea what drew Mapplethorpe to her. We get a list of influences (and more self serving name dropping...oh how impressive that she read Rimbaud and Genet) but no narrative whatsoever on how she developed as an artist. Actual events, seminal events in a person's life which usually make up a biography, aren't covered. Instead we hear what someone wore or ate, or how stoned they were. Not exactly edifying or worth repeating. She did not write her story or Mapplethorpe's story. Instead, she types ad nauseum that everyone apparently found her fascinating, or funny, or that she had witty banter, but never, ever, does she show us any examples of her wit or talent or what attracted people to her. The whole story is rather seedy and pathetic delivered in a screeching look-at-me shrill.