“Just Kids” by Patti Smith

I’d only heard a few Patti Smith songs before reading this book (after it was endlessly recommended to me). Covering her friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in boho 60’s and 70’s New York, it’s a story of dependence and the inevitable forks in the road laid by success. Smith has such an exquisite, knowledgeable mind that her constant allusions can begin to seem esoteric or even pretentious, but it’s nothing that a quick google search didn’t amend. The very ink is riven with her love for Mapplethorpe, rendering a story of two friends into a moving epic with cameos by the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Allen Ginsberg, Sam Shepard, and others.

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