Just Kids by Patti Smith is a rich journey into the relationship between Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. More than that, though, the book takes me through a fascinating period of time in New York, when Warhol's Factory was on the wane and the glamor of those days turned to pastel. Even in pastel, the color and excitement jumps off the page. Amphetamines fade and are replaced by pure, natural adrenaline. Hendricks, Joplin and Morrison each sing a tune and flash a smile before joining (or maybe founding) the 27 club. Many more ghosts join the permanent residents of the Chelsea Hotel.
I get to see Smith and Mapplethorpe go through years of being broke. They rise from homelessness to obscurity and eventually to fame.
I wish I knew whether Smith utilized a ghost writer for this memoir. The writing is crisp and full of flavor.