M Train

M Train
National Best Seller 

From the National Book Award–winning author of Just Kids: an unforgettable odyssey of a legendary artist, told through the prism of the cafés and haunts she has worked in around the world. It is a book Patti Smith has described as “a roadmap to my life.”

M Train begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Through prose that shifts fluidly between dreams and reality, past and present, and across a landscape of creative aspirations and inspirations, we travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico; to a meeting of an Arctic explorer’s society in Berlin; to a ramshackle seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway that Smith acquires just before Hurricane Sandy hits; and to the graves of Genet, Plath, Rimbaud, and Mishima.

Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith.

Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M Train is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature, and coffee. It is a powerful, deeply moving book by one of the most remarkable multiplatform artists at work today.

Details M Train

Title M Train
AuthorPatti Smith
Release Date6th Oct 2015
FormatDeckle Edge
Pages272 pages

6 reviews on “M Train

  1. Niklas Pivic

    This book is poetic in itself. Patti circles her known ground, her home, while venturing to her local café and abroad, to places she has not visited before as well as those known by her. Her way of writing here is familiar to those who have read her seminal book of herself and Robert Mapplethorpe. Here, she writes much of her former husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith, who has died.Theirs is a story of love, friendship and travel; this entire book is focused on travel, and Patti writes well of it. Here is an example, from the start of the book:”IT’S NOT SO EASY writing about nothing. That’s what a cowpoke was saying as I entered the frame of a dream. Vaguely handsome, intensely laconic, he was balancing on a folding chair, leaning backwards, his Stetson brushing the edge of the dun-colored exterior of a lone café. I say lone, as there appeared to be nothing else around except an antiquated gas pump and a rusting trough ornamented with a necklace of horseflies slung above the last dregs o…

  2. Cheryl Mueller

    Patti Smith’s newest memoir engages the reader from the first page. Her breathtakingly beautiful prose about her life, her books, her travels, her relationships, and her innermost thoughts transports you to places you wish you’d shared with her. It’s a rare book that I know I will begin reading again and again as soon as I finish the last word. Like JUST KIDS and “Horses,” she captivates her audience.With her rich life and zest for intellectual searches and connections, I wish she were a personal friend. For a few hours, sharing her words in print, she can be. Don’t miss her latest gift to us!…

  3. Seth Rogovoy

    A quiet, solemn, introspective memoir. In some sense, it’s a writer’s journal about writing (and reading). It’s also a prayer and a hymn of grief and loss….

  4. Cheryl

    It disappoints me to write this because I really wanted to like this book, but it’s so far out of my league. I admit that I’m a casual reader, but I also loved Just Kids and was sure I’d love this as well. Unless you are a dedicated and studied writer and reader, the name dropping throughout this book along with her monotone voice blows over like a melancholy song playing in the background, not worth rewinding to see what was missed. Every so often, one of her escapades would grab my attention, then lapse into more of the same white noise. I’m half way through this audiobook and am undecided on whether I’ll finish or move on. I recognize her beautiful prose with three stars, but this book is not for everyone….

  5. sivyaleah

    Oh Patti, so disappointed in this book. I’ve been a fan of hers since the 1970’s. I loved “Just Kids” and have other books by her from over the years. I can’t agree with the glowing reviews of others. I feel like we read different books. What is offered is not so much a memoir of life with Fred which is how it was described, but the musings of the past (Fred a passing comment here and there), drinking coffee, life as a housewife, obscure references (at least to me), Hurricane Sandy and more coffee. SO much more coffee.Wanted to put it down out of boredom but plowed through hoping it would pick up, which it did 3/4 of the way through. Barely….

  6. L.K.

    I almost stopped halfway through. A good friend encouraged me to continue. “It gets better,” she said. I continued because of that and because I have loved and respected Patti Smith’s music and poetry since I was in my mid-teens. I was a charter member of her fan club in the mid-’70s. I also feel it’s my responsibility as a committed reader to finish a book that’s been written with grit and authenticity.It got a little better, but I continued to feel like I didn’t really know where she was or who she was talking about a lot of the time. There were a number of paragraphs I had to read over and over again to track where we were: the equivalent of talking to someone who’s speaking almost inaudibly or with a thick, unusual accent. I felt like I was squinting my eyes and craning my neck to track her conversation.There’s no doubt of her being a brilliant wordsmith and poet, and that she has shared her grief in a poetic and deep way.At the end of the story, I was disappointed that after all t…

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