Just Kids Paperback – 4 Jan 2011
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'The most beautiful, incredible autobiography - it will make you ache for a time and a place that you probably never knew, New York in the 1970s' (Nick Hornby)
'A sharp, elegiac and finely crafted tribute to their childlike, pre-fame romance, set against the thrilling back drop of New York's countercultural blast' (Sunday Times)
'Terrifically evocative ... The most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late '60s and '70s that any alumnus has committed to print' (New York Times)
'A tender, harrowing, often hilarious portrait of young lovers forging their paths in an eccentric milieu of Beat poets, Warhol socialites, and transvestites, rock stars and artists ... Much has been written about that time, but Just Kids offers new insight' (Vogue)
Winner of the 2010 Non-Fiction National Book Award Patti Smith's evocative, honest and moving coming-of-age story of her extraordinary relationship with the artist Robert MapplethorpeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book beautifully evokes New York with characters from many forms of the arts including painters, poets, fashion designers and musicians - as well as just the beautiful.
I personally really liked the space given to Harry Smith (who lived in the Chelsea Hotel at the same time as PS and RM), who I had previously only known as the enigmatic creator of the important and highly influential collection of field recordings of American folk.
Highly readable, and recommended.
PS I write short reviews to try and help people decide quickly whether an item might be of interest. If you mark this review "unhelpful" (not simply that you disagree with me), then a short comment explaining why would be appreciated.
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe will know
that this story cannot have a happy ending.
Mr Mapplethorpe's death from AIDS-related illness
in 1989 drew a sad line underneath a unique
friendship. 'Just Kids' is Mme Smith's memoir of
that extraordinary relationship.
That they were kindred spirits from the start is evident
in Smith's affectionate prose. The energy that held them
together, in love and in adversity, contributed immeasurably
to their respective artistic achievements.
I had not realised how intertwined their creative paths
had been until reading this beautifully written book.
The 'High Priestess Of Punk' is a surprisingly gentle
and sensitive narrator. Starting with tender and vivid
reflections of her childhood in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
we quickly see that she will not linger there for long.
That she was an outsider (albeit a somewhat timid one)
from the start made her eventual pilgrimage to the dark
beating heart of culture in New York City inevitable.
She and Mapplethorpe fell into each others lives as much by
chance as by design. The descriptions of their early struggles
to establish a place for their art are unsentimentally drawn.
Her tales from the bowels of the Hotel Chelsea and accounts of
the brutal pecking order of bohemian wannabes at clubs like
Max's Kansas City are littered with the names of iconic
characters from this colourful period of the city's history.
It is as much a story of a time and place as it is an
excavation of her own emotional and creative trajectory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is such a lovely book in so many ways written by such a sensitive and intelligent writer. A real delight to readPublished 22 days ago by PJ
This makes for an interesting read, even for someone like myself who has not previously been a fan of Patti Smith and would not necessarily have chosen this book to read. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Was really interested in reading this but became quickly baffled by the hype. It reads like the diary of a tedious hipster including gems like what kind of hotdogs she used to eat... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Hawk eye
Enthralling memoir. New York in the 70's - the time, the place, the people. Beautifully written. Loved it.Published 5 months ago by Mary McCluskey