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M Train

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  24,522 ratings  ·  2,525 reviews
National Best Seller 

From the National Book Award–winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, r
Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Vintage
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Jeaninne Escallier Kato Writing for me is the process of switching to my Reptilian brain. Once my fingers start moving, I have no idea what will appear; however, I can direct…moreWriting for me is the process of switching to my Reptilian brain. Once my fingers start moving, I have no idea what will appear; however, I can direct my thoughts once they start flowing into a chronology that makes sense to me.(less)
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,522 ratings  ·  2,525 reviews

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Kelsey Landhuis
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I can't believe Patti Smith wrote a book about drinking black coffee and watching serial crime dramas and it's the best thing I've ever read.
"Life is at the bottom of things and belief at the top, while the creative impulse, dwelling in the center, informs all."

- Patti Smith, M Train


My second Patti Smith memoir. This one was more experimental and nonlinear than Just Kids (which still wasn't exactly linear). It was filled with dreams, detective shows, talismans, cats, constant travels, coffee, more coffee, missing things, memories, loose threads, graveyards, hotels, photographs, and miles and miles of beautiful, lyrical Patti Smith p
Elyse Walters
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listen to Patti Smith's audible. The very first thing I notice was her
voice. Her raspy eastern accent was mesmerizing.

As I was walking, I could picture Patti in the cafe she sat drinking coffee.
She says..."It's not so easy writing about nothing".
Easy or not ...I had a warm smile on my face listening to everything she had to say - at times aching -and soooo loving this woman.

There is a mystery about Patti Smith... which adds to her beauty.
Her mind is fascinating. A coffee drinker, loner,
Diane S ☔
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the right book finds us at the right time. For me this was the book. No linear, no plot to speak of, just musings and meanderings of a creative woman. Search for the perfect coffee, cafés, Hurricane Sandy, her obsession with detective shows and the way she enters into the lives of authors and novels. At times her writing is poetic, at others very poignant, especially when thinking or remembering her husband, Fred and her children when they were young. Her photography, travels, conferen ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my life I have had various musical periods where I would want to listen to one artist exclusively for a period of time, exhausting myself on listening over and over again to all the media I could get. There was a long Led Zeppelin period back in HS, also a Doors period and The Police. In college I had a REM period and U2. At other times, sporadically over the years I have experienced this binge listening and I always enjoy the time, its like meeting a new friend and wanting to spend all of yo ...more
Julie Christine
Reading the lovely Proustian interlude that is M Train, I felt like a shadow-angel trailing Patti Smith, from Café 'Ino down the block from her New York apartment to the far-flung places in her past and present that twirl like ribbons in her poetry, her songs, her art. M Train is a meditation on this artist's life, more kaleidoscope than memoir, a shifting wonder that spills pieces of colored glass memories.

The clarity of Patti Smith's language, the fragility of her voice, made me want to wrap
Filmmaker Jim Jarmusch once said in an interview that if all culture breaks down, he's following Patti Smith. Much of the pleasure of reading Smith's nostalgic M Train is that it offers fascinating insights into her interior life, her dreams, her quixotic travel adventures, her literary obsessions (listed in my Comment below), and her minimalist, bohemian tastes for such things as black coffee, brown bread with olive oil, Polaroids, word games, moleskines, detective stories, and her favorite bla ...more
What's the point of reading books? Do they really help? Sometimes – compulsively turning pages to lift your mood – you have to wonder. I think often of a line I read once in an Orhan Pamuk novel: ‘Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow.’ That hurts so much that you feel there must be something to it.

It's been quite some time now since the fascination and joy I get from books could be ascribed to youthful enthusiasm, but I still worry that I'll reach some older, wis
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punk-rock, biography
M-Train by Patti Smith is a collection of stories by the poet laureate of punk rock. Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.

To be honest, I have been a Patti Smith fan since 1978. I have all her albums, seen her in concert, and own several of her books including number 86 of 100 of WIIT. I was really surprised at how well received and the
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 2nd audiobook and it was Patti Smith again... I just love listening to her.
We are taken around the globe 🌎 in her memories and reflections of the past and I especially enjoyed the memories of her husband Fred Sonic Smith and her life here in Michigan.
I thrived on this one as she shared how she was influenced by certain books that I favor and suceeded in engaging me on surprising adventures and missions, even ones I would I never consider for myself. She believes in details of writings and specific places as portals that allow one to channel people one cares about. That was a thrill when it came to elements of books I loved like Bolano’s “2666” and Murakami’s “Windup Bird Chronicle” and appetizing for others not yet read, like Bulgakov’s “Mas ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very quiet, elegiac book, memories linked one to the next--that's the train, the M train. In tone it reminded me more of the works of W.G. Sebald than of her earlier book Just Kids. It has none of the exuberance of that memoir of youth--in which she recaptured the tone, the feeling, of youth. This is the voice, the mind, of an older person looking back through a tangible scrim of loss. And yet, her memories are very much a child showing you the contents of his pockets, his array of child-treas ...more
In M Train, Patti Smith creates something deeply personal and lyrically beautiful, but not something that will necessarily resonate with a wide audience.

Not quite a follow-up to her 2010 National Book Award winning memoir, Just Kids, M Train is Smith's ode to coffee, art, travel, Haruki Murakami, her late husband, growing old, Rockaway Beach, The Killing and other surprisingly disjointed facets of her life. Her fascinations are endless, and she lives quite like you'd expect an artist to live;
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poetic, Meandering Meditation on Loneliness, Love, and Loss

Patti Smith's latest memoir, M Train, is more rambling and poetic, less coherent and focused than "Just Kids". Yet, I found it almost as moving, but in an entirely different way. "Just Kids" was an emotional tribute to a beautiful connection between two twin souls, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. "M Train" covers wider ground.

The M train actually exists in the NY City subway. I'd forgotten it. I may have ridden it once (if ever). It
I remember this tv commercial where a guy comes down the stairs, he is dressed and has his luggage in hand. He stops in the foyer, picks up a dart and throws it at a map of the world on the wall. The idea being that he has the time and resources to travel anywhere at any time. Well, that's Patti Smith, but instead of darts she uses random thoughts, or passages from books, or memories. She is always on the move, both physically and spiritually, seemingly trying to soothe her battered and tortured ...more
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"M Train" is perhaps one of the most romantic books of being a writer, and those who likes to read. What can be better than reading and writing in a small hip cafe, and watching the world go by. And on top of that, visit every cool writer's grave site - from Europe to Japan. Patti Smith is not a hard person to figure out. She conveys the spirit of being a book nerd as well as a rock n' roll lunatic. In many ways, it's a very simple image of a writer/artist. Yet it is the simple aspect of it that ...more
Vicky "phenkos"
Patti Smith is precious. She is not a writer - but she's also a writer. She's a rock star but of an unusual kind. She's a poet but also a photographer and visual artist. She's that person that elides all these categories revealing possibilities that eschew the usual "she's this or that". Patti Smith is this and that, and many other things besides. More importantly, she's this and that (girl but also tomboy, woman but also an androgynous person) without being someome out there that has nothing to ...more
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writing this review is difficult because it's hard to explain in words the effect Patti Smith has on me. She is one of the few artists who never let me down. She has this incredible way of turning even the most unpoetic things in life into beautiful prose. In this book of shorts she shares with us memories from her travels, her family and what inspires her creativity.

Her stories and stunning prose would be enough to make this a fantastic read for me, but her words always go well beyond that. Eve
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I’ve been staring at a blank review box for like ten minutes, trying to figure out how to summarize Patti Smith’s M Train, and I still have no idea what to say. For one thing, there’s not really a plot. It’s just Patti Smith, talking about authors who have influenced her and describing the trips she took to visit their past homes, or their workspaces, but most often their graves. She also tells you about coffee shops she’s visited and worked in. Also she buys a house on Rockaway Beach that’s des ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Slightly more than one year ago, the beginning of June, I read Patti Smith’s Just Kids and I fell in love with the writing, the story of her early years with Robert Mapplethorpe and then later on her music career, and her marriage to Fred “Sonic” Smith.

”It’s not so easy writing about nothing.
“That’s what a cowpoke was saying as I entered the frame of a dream. Vaguely handsome, intensely laconic, he was balancing on a folding chair, leaning backwards, his Stetson brushing the edge of the dun-
Özlem Güzelharcan
Hiçbir şey hakkında yazmak kolay değildir. Böyle başlıyor söze bu kez Patti Smith. Hiçbir şey; gittiği cafeler, ziyaret ettiği mezarlar, gördüğü rüyalar, hayalleri, polaroid makinasıyla çektiği siyah beyaz fotoğraflar.. Şairlerle gezginlerin bir tımarhanenin sadeliğini bulabileceği ufak bir sığınak.

Çoluk Çocuk'tan farklı bir kitap bu, ama onun kadar lirik, iç acıtan bir anlatımı var. Farkına varmadan hafif ama daimi bir keyifsizliğin içine sürükleniyorum. Depresyon değil bu, daha çok melankoliye
Makis Dionis
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bourbon, malt
Η Patti Smith ( η οποία μπορεί να κάνει ποίηση ακόμα και τα ψώνια στο σούπερ μάρκετ) πίνει black coffee, ταΐζει τις γάτες της, μηρυκαζει τον κόσμο κ συνομιλεί με τα φαντάσματα του παρελθόντος, του παρόντος κ του μέλλοντος.

Κ η πρόζα της είναι απλά υπέροχη, όπου και αν την έχω πετύχει
‘I’m sure I could write endlessly about nothing. If only I had nothing to say.’

Patti Smith carries us through her esoteric stories of the past and present in this short story/essay collection. M Train reads like an internal journey, a solo exploration. She recalls cafes visited all around the world, writing or simply sitting and reminiscing while drinking an insane amount of coffee that makes my own addiction to caffeine seem laughable. While Smith seems completely content with her own company
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
"Captivating . . . rich, varied. How to mourn for what’s lost without allowing loss to take over? While leaving space for what’s lost to return in an old or new form? These are the questions at the heart of M Train, [which] takes us on a journey through the 'stuff’ of Smith’s bookshelves and suitcases, as well as of her mind and memory . . . M Train embraces the fragment—moments of reverie [that] arise from the mundane. Integrated into the text are Polaroid photographs [that are] in productive t ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Υπάρχουν πολλά πράγματα που μου άρεσαν σε αυτό το βιβλίο. Η γραφή της Patti Smith, για αρχή, ήταν μία αποκάλυψη. Ακόμα κι αν γράφει «για το τίποτα» όπως η ίδια αναφέρει συχνά, σου μεταφέρει εικόνες και συναισθήματα που τα ρουφάς και μένουν μέσα σου. Η καθημερινή της ρουτίνα μου δημιούργησε ένα αίσθημα ζεστασιάς και οικειότητας και μία τρομερή διάθεση για καφέ (όσοι το διαβάσουν θα καταλάβουν).
Ωστόσο άλλο ήταν το στοιχείο που με έκανε να αγαπήσω αυτό το βιβλίο. Η Patti Smith έχοντας βιώσει κάποιε
Eirini Proikaki
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Καφές,όνειρα,ταξίδια, καφές,βιβλία,φαντάσματα αγαπημένων προσώπων,φαντάσματα αγαπημένων συγγραφέων,κι άλλος καφές,τηλεοπτικές σειρές,γάτες,νεκροταφεία,πολλές φωτογραφίες και...καφές!
Αυτά είναι μερικά απο τα συστατικά αυτού του πολύ όμορφου μελαγχολικού βιβλίου απο την αγαπημένη Πάτι Σμιθ.
Της Πάτι που αγαπάει τον Μουρακάμι,τις βόλτες στην παραλία,τα καφέ,που μπορεί να κάνει ένα ολόκληρο ταξιδι για να επισκεφθεί τον τάφο ενός συγγραφέα,που της λείπει ο άντρας της,που μοιράζεται μαζί μας τις αναμνή
Patti Smith wrote a book about nothing and I am less than enchanted.

I admit to knowing hardly anything about Patti Smith. She has always been a fascinating figure to me, so when I saw this audio book available at my local library, I put a hold on it, because I wanted to learn more about her and her life. Unfortunately, I didn't learn as much as I thought.

I discovered her love for her husband, Fred, and that she lost him while he was still relatively young. I learned that she has two children. I
Scott Adams
Nov 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read "Just Kids" and thought, "Wow, this is amazing! Why am I not a huge Patti Smith fan?" Then I read "M Train" and realized, "Oh yeah. Now I remember."
Jolanta Da
Patti Smith wrote: “It’s not so easy writing about nothing” and I thought, ok, it’s going to be not easy to read about nothing … Her stories, however, not about nothing. As Patti Smith says, this book is ,,a roadmap to my life”. I'm truly enjoyed hers stories.
One more thing! I listened to this book and what a drug is her voice! Highly recommend an audio version!
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, g-não-ficção, 5e
Não estando muito confiante de que apreciaria este livro — por ignorância, pensava que uma cantora só escreveria sobre a sua vida de cantigas — acabei totalmente deslumbrada com Patti Smith.

Não é assim tão fácil escrever sobre coisa nenhuma é a frase com que Patricia inicia este livro no qual relata momentos da sua vida, do passado e do presente, os seus gostos e sentires, e se nos revela como uma pessoa maravilhosa, que me encantou e emocionou com:
a sua solidão feliz;
alguns dos seus gostos — c
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PATTI SMITH is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. She has released twelve albums, including Horses, which has been hailed as one of the top one hundred albums of all time by Rolling Stone.

Smith had her first exhibit of drawings at the Gotham Book Mart in 1973 and has been represented by the Robert Miller Ga
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“Nothing can be truly replicated. Not a love, not a jewel, not a single line.” 53 likes
“How is it that we never completely comprehend our love for someone until they’re gone?” 51 likes
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