Tosh's Reviews > Just Kids

Just Kids by Patti Smith
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's review
Jan 10, 2010

it was amazing

Superb memoir by an iconic figure. I would rate this highly with Bob Dylan's excellent memoir. Patti Smith focuses on her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 60's and early to mid 70's - just before she made her first album "Horses."

Again, it is not always the narrative that pulls you through, but the writing itself, and Smith is a fantastic writer. Also life in the Chelsea Hotel really comes to life in her hands. I can smell the front entrance just by her writing of the location, time, and the essence of 7th Ave and West 23rd Street. This is also a beautiful
portrait of Manhattan in its last grasp of importance to American culture - which I believe is the re-birth of punk rock and the budding start of hip-hop.

I don't think Patti Smith likes to think of herself as a rock n' roll writer for say, but nevertheless she is part of a generation of artists who came from the music world and have merged into literature with no push or pain. Dylan of course comes to mind, but also Richard Hell's novels are fantastic as well. Not only is this a classic rock n' roll memoir of sorts, but it is without the image of rock - and this is a classic piece of work that I think will be seen as a great American memoir.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 10, 2010 – Shelved
January 10, 2010 –
page 23
January 10, 2010 –
page 125
January 10, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Larry So I just picked up my copy from the library and just getting past childhood and I am already loving her descriptive writing and personal commentary, she really brings me into her world and her perceptions, I can see this is going to be love at first read, thanks for turning me onto this.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

After reading this and Richard Hell's Tramp I was reflecting that there really has been no so-called bohemian movement since 1970s New York. Do you have any thoughts on this? Has there been any actual bohemian movement that you could give a name to (punk, beat, hippie, dada) since then? Certainly grunge does not count.

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