Book Review:M Train by Patti Smith

Book Review: M Train By Patti Smith


M Train is singer,songwriter,National award-winning novelist Patti Smith’s self-written memoir.Set in eighteen “stations” all around the globe from Europe,Asia to South America.

As Smith sets on expeditions to find the headstones of artists such as writers Osamu Dazai,Sylvia Plath,and director Akira Kurosawa among other ventures like her travel to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico City,in Mexico. While taking coffee breaks to write and snap photos for what’s to become of this story.

 A story which is not a continuation to 2010, Just Kids ,Smith’s first self-written memoir,as many would have expected.Just Kids was set an earlier time frame between  ‘1960s to early ’70s at the upcoming of Smith’s career and generalization as an artist.A novel dedicated to early lover and friend and artist Robert Mapplethorpe.The story is set in New York, at a time Beat writers influenced a whole new generation of lower class artists such as  Bob Dylan and Smith to became the aspirational artists they are today.

M Train is a big time lapse between her upbringing as New York ,Beat artist to that which Smith has evolved to on this new recollection of dead poets and capital city names. M-Train is a continuation of Smith’s life as an artist ,yet it takes a new dynamic as it remembers her husband , Fred “Sonic” Smith member of rock n’ roll band MC5.

The story only manages to recall family affairs poorly as she only briefly recounts of now grown children and deceased husband,  establishing a tone of alienation and deprived grief for those she has lost.

M Train is a lot like it’s namesake metaphorically,a train recounting Smith’s transitional memorable destination terminals,as well as time span that is briefly reminiscent of the Smith’s past, life periods. The tone is told in a sedimentary ,and poetically manner of prose that makes reading her daily routines admirable.

A novel that holds a theme of lost and redemption of even the dearest material needs which in turn internalize the author’s realization of a deep reconciliation  with what really is of matter in this life.

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