Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Club: Just Kids

Now that my reading schedule is no longer clogged with school-related required reading I'm slowly making my way through the ever-growing booklist I keep at the back of my slingshot. I had put Just Kids by Patti Smith on the list after hearing all the buzz about it and it did not disappoint.

It actually took me a while to get hold of a copy from the library, and once it finally came in it took me a while to pick it up because I had some things going on, but once I had a decent chunk of time to devote to it I was hooked.

I think what struck me most about the book, aside from Smith's descriptions of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, were her descriptions of the Chelsea Hotel and of her early years in New York. To someone with plans of relocating to New York in the relatively near future, maybe her tales of hunger and near homelessness as she struggled to 'make it' should have been more off-putting, but they aren't at all. I'm mesmerized by fleeting moments in time when tons of artists gathered together; Gertrude Stein's Parisian salon, the Beats in San Francisco, the Chelsea Hotel. If anything, Just Kids made me wish I was in New York right now, experiencing the magic for myself.

As for the relationship between Patti and Robert, I don't think I've ever read such a beautiful account of a friendship. 

If you have yet to read Just Kids, definitely get on that.


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