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Extended Audio Sample Just Kids Audiobook, by Patti Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00001747978085 out of 54.00001747978085 out of 54.00001747978085 out of 54.00001747978085 out of 54.00001747978085 out of 5 4.00 (38,330 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Patti Smith Narrator: Patti Smith Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9780062111678
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In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Patti Smith has graced us with a poetic masterpiece, a rare and privileged invitation to unlatch a treasure chest never before breached.”

    Johnny Depp

  • “Last Christmas, driving from LA to San Francisco, I listened to Patti Smith’s Just Kids. It was a revelation. Or rather, she was. What is it about her voice? The way she uses her words and makes them sing? Her pace? Slow. Captivating. Patti and I are the same age. We both lived in New York during those early years of our careers. Yet without her book on tape I could never have imagined New York or the people she knew, or her beautiful mind. It was the sound of her voice coming through loud and clear, but quiet and compelling.”

    Diane Keaton

  • “Reminds us that innocence, utopian ideals, beauty, and revolt are enlightenment’s guiding stars in the human journey. Her book recalls, without blinking or faltering, a collective memory—one that guides them through the present and into the future.”

    Michael Stipe, frontman of REM

  • “One of the best things I’ve read in my life.”

    Don Imus

  • “This book is so honest and pure as to count as true rapture.”

    Joan Didion, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Reading rocker Smith’s account of her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, it’s hard not to believe in fate. How else to explain the chance encounter that threw them together, allowing both to blossom? Quirky and spellbinding.”

    People (Top 10 Books of 2010)

  • “The most spellbinding and diverting portrait of funky-but-chic New York in the late ’60s and early ’70s that any alumnus has yet committed to print. The tone is at once flinty and hilarious, which figures: [Smith’s] always been both tough and funny, two real saving graces in an artist this prone to excess. What’s sure to make her account a cornucopia for cultural historians, however, is that the atmosphere, personalities, and mores of the time are so astutely observed…This enchanting book is a reminder that not all youthful vainglory is silly; sometimes it’s preparation. Few artists ever proved it like these two.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “More than just a 1970s bohemian rhapsody, Just Kids is one of the best books ever written on becoming an artist—not the race for online celebrity and corporate sponsorship that often passes for artistic success these days, but the far more powerful, often difficult journey toward the ecstatic experience of capturing radiance of imagination on a page or stage or photographic paper.”

    Washington Post

  • “Astonishing on many levels, most notably for Smith’s lapidary prose…Simply one of the best memoirs to be published in recent years: inspiring, sad, wise, and beautifully written.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Words bob and weave as if set to music, and Smith transforms her prose into a series of entrancing sounds—as interesting for their rhythms as their meaning. Using shifts in cadence and pregnant pauses, she allows silence to convey as much as words. Even phrases that clanged on the page sound perfect when Smith reads them herself. She writes of her youth and young womanhood, and something of those long-gone days emerges in the tone of her voice.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred audio review)

  • Winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, January 2010
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A #1 Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2010 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • An Indie Next Notable Title, February 2010
  • A 2010 ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2011 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Best Audiobook
  • A 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for Autobiography
  • A 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff Littrell | 2/12/2014

    " Great account of rock and roll and the bohemian art scene in New York City in the 1970's and 1980's. Smith was a burgeoning rock singer/ poet and her roommate, Robert Mapplethorpe, was a controversial artist and photographer, whose work was banned due to it's depiction of nudity and homosexuality. The changing morals of the time were affected by the changing art scene. Big fan of Patti's music and poetry and this is well-written and informative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Faughnan | 2/12/2014

    " Oh how I loved this book! She's a wonderful soul who expresses things so evocatively. I was curious about mapplethorp. Loved him, too. Reminded me of the 70's in NY and I'm sorry, but despite the gentrification of today, it was so much more interesting back then when I was in college and Smith's music was a part of my life. Also, this book really brought home to me how much we've lost becasue of AIDS which decimated a whole community of the most creative people of the time. Sad, sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 2/9/2014

    " What a fantastic human Patti Smith is. I dare anyone to read this and not wish they had lived in New York in the 70s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 1/30/2014

    " I think I missed a lot here. There were so many names and people who I think I was suppose to recognize that, well, I didn't. It made the story sound more like a series of name dropping references with the inevitable, and then we did this, and then this happened, and then we did that of an autobiographical piece. Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendricks, Andy Warhol all played cameo roles. For someone so deeply artistic I thought I would come away from the book with a sense of who Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe were. It felt shroud in gauze. Her transition from poet to singer seemed glossed over. The love and shared artistic connection comes through. At the end, when Patti Smith articulates how she came to write this book - that it was written as a promise to Robert as he lay dying, that I understood. This book is Patti's reluctant telling of a love story that has a very solemn ending. That aching sadness and confusion of 'how did we get here?" meaning become famous artists illuminates and uncovers the story finally. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/26/2014

    " I really enjoyed Patti Smith's account of her and Mapplethorpe's rise as artists, especially the portrait of their relationship. I also really appreciated that she often sits down to work and nothing comes out! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 1/19/2014

    " Interesting autobiography by Patti Smith about her relationship with Robert Maplethorpe. Mostly about two struggling artists in NYC in the 60s. Enjoyed the section on when they lived in the Chelsea Hotel. Significant name dropping by the end as she broke into music. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenna Siegel | 1/15/2014

    " Loved the book. It was cool hearing about places that I go to in NY- and the difference in generations and what Washington Sq. park was like now and then "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Blair | 1/10/2014

    " Didn't expect to enjoy this memoir as much as I did. Her experiences in NYC during the 60's and 70's, the artists and her extraordinary love and relationship with Robert Mapplethorp were thoroughly interesting and her writing style flowing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Arlene Sokolow | 12/20/2013

    " I loved this book. It was well written and full of emotion. I love Patti Smith! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelby | 11/29/2013

    " Loved it! I now listen to Patti Smith's music differently because it gave me insight into how she wrote her songs. Loved the connections between the different celebrities she and Robert came across. Great book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Loraine M. | 9/7/2013

    " The best memoir I have read by an artist I've loved for years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 KR | 8/2/2013

    " Beautifully written autobiography of Patti Smith and her friend Robert Mapplethorpe. Their years in 1960s and 70s New York, poverty, all the famous people they meet and their own growing fame. Amazing work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adriana Citlali | 5/21/2013

    " Patty Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe --a memoir beautifully written by Patty Smith. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kathryn | 4/6/2013

    " Emotionless chronicle; primary purpose seems to be to catalog all the famous or quasi-famous people she has met over the years. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thombeau | 2/2/2013

    " Wrapped in a veritable Who's Who of New York Hipness is a beautifully written, poetic love letter to a time, a place, and the special relationship between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 1/17/2013

    " I know I always say this, but this is probably my favorite book. For real this time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat Reyes | 10/20/2012

    " Was amazing. The way Patti Smith write is as though she is sitting down with you for a cup of coffee telling you how it is. A very good read for anyone, especially young creatives looking for their stride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew Cotto | 8/14/2012

    " A little dull at times, but, overall, a great read for anyone interested in life as an artist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vince | 6/23/2012

    " What a beautifully poetic love story. How wonderful it is, at 51, to still discover one of my favorite books of all time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 11/17/2011

    " Well written, but slow-paced. Not an era I know much about, in fact I had no idea who Patti Smith or Robert Maplethorpe were. Some of the stories were interesting, but overall not a subject matter that I normally enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 11/8/2011

    " I love reading about people who have no idea what they are going to do with their lives, but follow their loves instead...and in this case, so many types of loves. Artistic, friendship, music, etc. A good read for a glimpse into a subset of life in NY in the '60's & '70's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexis | 11/6/2011

    " I love the way Patti Smith writes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 11/6/2011

    " Poignant story of the relationship between Robert Mapplethorp and Patti Smith in the 60's and 70's art, music, drug and anything goes scene in New York City--and in particular as centered at the Chelsea Hotel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarahjane | 11/6/2011

    " If you think the book will disappoint after all the hype, as I did, jump in and read it anyway. The beautiful parts are beautiful, and the unnecessary ones are short. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 11/1/2011

    " Who knew Patti Smith could write (or remember) so well. Fascinating view of their lives, the times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 10/31/2011

    " I finished this in 2 days. Just an absolutely riveting book and so thoughtfully written. I haven't been so moved by a book in a long time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 10/31/2011

    " I loved my twenties, but I wish I lived in NY. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gosia | 10/25/2011

    " Oh what a beauty. Oh Patti... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karenemouritsen | 10/23/2011

    " Patti Smith's and Robert Maplethrope. I didn't finish the book because I know how it ends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leanna | 10/22/2011

    " What a touching and fascinating insight into the life and passion of artists. And of course to learn about the creative hotbed of New York in the late 60's and 70's is a real treat. I loved this book! "

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About the Author
Author Patti Smith

Patti Smith is a poet, performer, visual artist, and author of the National Book Award–winning memoir Just Kids. She has released twelve albums, has had numerous gallery shows, and continues to give concerts of her music and poetry. Her books include Early Work, The Coral Sea, Babel, Auguries of Innocence, Woolgathering, and many others. She lives in New York.