Just Kids (Unabridged)
by Patti Smith
Open iTunes to Buy
National Book Award, Nonfiction, 2010 It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation. Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to 42nd Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous - the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years. Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.
Brilliant. I read the book - couldn't stop reading the book - read it all the way through without stopping (and I'm a busy person.) Afterwards, I sat in silence for a long, long time. Patti's voice is deeply longing. Like her greatest mentor, Rimbaud, she walks through life observing the deeper view of life. Reading her words gave me her voice and yet, it wasn't enough. I wanted to know her soul. Not having access to Ms. Smith in three D form, I downloaded Just Kids. Narrating her words in her own voice brought to me a new awareness of this author - reminding me in so many ways of the Horses song track when her words blend with her words in what today we think of as Rap. Voice on Voice, I love this book. I love the words, I love the voice and I love the Voice. If you are like me, always searching for the shadow behind the figure, download Just Kids and buy the book besides. A slice of poetry for an era full of grit, determination and beauty. Yes. I love this. Wish I knew Patti Smith. I would call her "Kindred." I would call her "Friend." Since that is not possible, I will simply call her "Brilliant" and say a prayer for her soul. Thank you for bringing this story to my heart. Kerrin Winter-Churchill
I love Patti Smith, but she reads her own writing like it was written by someone else. Great book! Poor audiobook.