Just Kids by Patti Smith

Before reading the memoir Just Kids my knowledge of Patti Smith was limited to the song Gloria and I'd vaguely heard of the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe but couldn't for the life of me recall any of his photos. These people didn't particularly interest me but I was in the mood for a memoir and this one beckoned. In spite of not knowing the protagonists I ended up loving this book about these two struggling and hungry artists in sixties and seventies New York City. I was captivated by their friendship, their love of art and their journey to find their mediums and themselves. It's a coming-of-age tale and a true one at that. 

At this point in her life Smith wasn't a singer or a musician and Mapplethorpe wasn't even interested in photography. Smith never thought she'd be a rock star. She just loved poetry and art and like Mapplethorpe she loved creating collages, necklaces and knick knacks. She became a rock star purely by accident and Mapplethorpe picked up photography when a friend gifted him with a Polaroid camera. It's actually incredible how these two found their niches when all the time they hungered for success they didn't even know what it was they were meant to do. 

Smith's passion for writing shows in Just Kids. The writing is wonderful, evocative and flows beautifully just like poetry. 



  1. I'm in the mood for memoir at the moment and this sounds just the thing. I'm not a huge fan of Patti Smith (although Ioved Because the Night!) but I've heard that this book is extremely well written. Thanks for your review!

    1. I always thought Because The Night was an original Ten Thousand Maniacs song and had no idea it was written and first sung by Patti Smith. Shows you what I knew before reading Just Kids.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts