Michael Phillips's Reviews > Just Kids

Just Kids by Patti Smith
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Jul 04, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012 — I own a copy

This book continues to surprise me. Just moments ago I had to edit this review after someone pointed out that Patti Smith wasn't a member of The Pretenders. Further, I'd never heard the name Robert Mapplethorpe before - but it's evident that this book is an homage to him, and the connection the two once shared as 20-something youth. First as lovers, later as intimate friends.

At times I was annoyed by the hipster lifestyle and idealist romances portrayed - perhaps the stories inadvertently taunted my own flirtation and failure with rock'n'roll success. At other times the story reminded me of the plethora of Rust Belt transplants that have descended upon my neighborhood with their packs of scooters, cliques, mustaches, ironic politics - but as I journeyed further into the book I saw some of myself in the characters portrayed and felt a connection. We're all "Just Kids" at some point in our lives.

Not only was this book a more personal and intimate look at a so-called celebrity - but it was a portrait of a famous person on a human level that you rarely access in such an honest manner.

I recommend this book because it opens a window into youth, reminded me personally of what it feels like to experience a deep connection with someone, and is a beautiful story of young lovers and friends.
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