- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 54 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: July 26, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005EJFVHY
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Just Kids Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Just Kids doesn't inundate the reader with biographical details about Mapplethorpe or too many of Smith, it`s not a diarists memoir but more of an impressionistic one. Smith writes like her prose is poetry, it flows easily over the page, and flows easily from scene to scene as she and Mapplethorpe struggle to define themselves and their art. What it does give is a sense of the person Mapplethorpe was, a person who cared about Smith, and she about him. Her insight into Mapplethorpe is both sympathetic and empathetic, without seeming to have the forced perspective of hindsight. It may be, but Smith's understanding and acceptance of Mapplethorpe's dualities seem contemporaneous to the moment. We're witness to the portentous moment Mapplethorpe is given his first camera, and when Smith was releasing her first album, Horses, she knew no one else but Mapplethorpe could do the cover photograph. Just Kids is interspersed with Mapplethorpe's photographs of Smith.
Smith has a good sense of humor about herself in this period, living at the Chelsea Hotel, Allen Ginsburg tried to pick her up because he thought she a good looking young man. Or how no one in her and Mapplethorpe's circle believed she was neither a heroin addict nor a lesbian.
Smith who claims among her influences, Rimbaud and Baudelaire, is firmly in the romantic vein, down to the presentation of the book with rough hewn page cuts and sepia wash, all combine to the nostalgic feel of the book. If someone were to write a memoir for me, this is what I would wish it to be.
The strongest part of the memoir is the beginning, when she talks about the kind of person she was as a child, and about the magic she felt upon meeting Mapplethorpe. Soon, her story dissolves into endless details about what she is wearing and who was at Max's as well as a surfeit of random French references that come off as insufferably pretentious. She didn't like a film because it "wasn't French enough."
If you want to get a real window into Smith, just listen to her beautiful Memorial Song for Mapplethorpe. That will tell you more about her than this book.