Book Review: Just Kids by Patti Smith


ashley | I’ve been pretty obsessed with Patti Smith these days, getting into her music a bit late, but awestruck nonetheless. I couldn’t wait to pick up Just Kids and get a closer glimpse into her life. I’m usually wary of memoirs, especially when I’m a huge fan, but I didn’t know much at all about Patti’s upbringing so this was a great fact-filled read, but written with Patti’s beautiful prose so it’s far more than just a book of facts.

From a woman who is a pretty iconic poet, it was interesting to read the prose. At times it did read like poetry, there was definitely a lot of imagery and description to her writing. I loved how she described a lot of her feelings but also gave a description of a lot of the situations also as an outsider observing.

I also loved how this opened me up to other artists or music that I didn’t know before. I am definitely the type of reader who sees a name dropped in a book and then wants to immediately know everything about this person who inspired the author.

This book gave me an epiphany. I finally figured out why I’m so drawn to this era of music and culture. This book is full of struggling artists, all who are trying to master their craft and trying to find a little taste of fame. That can be said for today, too. But the beauty of that era is the community, the people who are willing to help each other out, support someone’s vision, instead of seeing them as competition and looking out only for themselves. There is so much community in this book, so many people who banded together and were a little piece of getting Patti Smith to where she is today and I think that idea, that life, is so beautiful.

I loved everything about this book, the dark and the light, I loved how open Patti was, though she never seemed to act like she felt at all exposed by revealing some of these personal details. Her and Robert’s story was one that deserved to be written and I feel honoured that I had the opportunity to have a little peek into their lives.


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january 19, 2010