Just Kids - Patti Smith

Just Kids

By Patti Smith

  • Release Date: 2010-04-20
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 983 Ratings


WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 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 Forty-Second 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 sixties and seventies 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.


  • I have to pay for it again an I already own it

    By stephaine baumann
    Not good butt good book
  • Immortal Words

    By kittylandandsea
    Patti Smith definitely found the voice and the immortal words to tell the spellbinding story of an everlasting friendship, the bonds of which many of us will never experience to such a degree.
  • Patti Smith

    By Ceceilcreeps
    I’m glad you guys enjoyed my book.
  • Excellent

    By Holidaybecket
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading.
  • You must read this book.

    By Mads123
    This is the most touching, inspiring, and beautiful story. You must read this book.
  • Just Kids

    By Astroboy6791
    I can honestly say that this book has brought out emotions/feelings in me that I thought were lost a long time ago. It is truly enlightening. I have always admired Robert Mapplethorp's art and have just recently discovered Patti Smith's work. I have always been aware of her through the years, but I was not mentally mature enough to "get" her. This book is one of those books that I know for a fact I will enjoy over and over through the years.
  • An unexpected delight

    By CARRN
    I only new Patti Smith as the singer -- until this book, I didn't realize she was such a gifted writer. Another review described her "economy writing" style and I think this is a very good description. Clean. To the point. Lyrical. Until this book, I didn't know she and Mapplethorpe had a relationship, much less one as lasting as it was. Don't expect a sensational tell-all autobiohtsphy. Smith is extremely respectful and protective of Mapplethorpe and their relationship. You get the sense there was so much more she could share but wouldn't. This book gives readers insight into both of their art. And the chaos of NYC in the '70s. Fantastic read.
  • Totally Captivated

    By Daftpunkisplayingatmyhouse
    I haven't read a book in a long time, maybe ever, that had such a profound effect on me as Just Kids did. I was completely immersed in the story of Patti Smith's life and hung on to every detail. She took romantic to an entirely new level. I am completely fascinated and deeply touched by the lifestyle of her and Robert Mappelthorpe. It's difficult to explain, but this book has made me appreciate life more and all of the wonderful things that are possible and the extent of human emotion. I appreciated Patti Smith's realness. She wasn't fueled by drugs, but rather by the beauty of life. The relationship that formed between Patti and Robert was truly inspiring. To witness first hand that soul mates do exist. It was sometimes hard to believe that I was reading about someone's real life because that is how interesting the events were. As far as portraying the times and the characters during which the events of the story unfolded, I couldn't imagine a better presentation. I was deeply moved by Just Kids and sad at the end, not only because of the tragic nature of the story, but that I had no more of the wonderful tale to read.
  • Just Kids

    By Jessicatography
    While in Paris this February I was sick and convalescing in our apartment. My boyfriend went to a cafe to meet a friend and sitting next to him was Patti Smith. I never really knew why I was so distraught at missing this moment in time, but as an artist myself I knew that something big happened and I wasn't a part of it. A friend told me about Just Kids and I downloaded the book to have for another time. I soaked this book up like a sponge in less than a week. It was written in such a beautiful hand that I now feel I carry with me part of this beautiful love affair between artist and muse. Highly recommend.
  • Eh

    By Spongebabe897
    After doing somewhat extensive research on Robert Mapplethorne, I realized that Smith sugar-coated majority of the book. If you're looking for something either highly romantic or something primarily about Mapplethorne, I suggest you look elsewhere. This book mostly just boasts about how they both became "iconic" which I never subscribed to any of that. Patti Smith wasn't a legendary singer and Robert was no Picasso. The most fascinating parts of the book were about Robert but you don't get to enjoy it because again, she sugar-coated everything. Blah!