M Train by Patti Smith (255 pages)

A powerful and profoundly emotional insight into the life of an incredible multi-platform artist.
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M Train by Patti Smith (255 pages)

Through the Rabbit Hole with M Train 

Shifting from current reality to dream-state escapades, M Train unfolds and drags you into Patti Smith’s life, feeling like you are alongside her as she orders her coffee. It is a dramatic read, scattered with despair and hope, combining her love of literature, travel, detective shows, and coffee. 

Organized and logical in some aspects – her morning ritual of black coffee, toast, and olive oil, for example – her life is also diverse and haphazard. With a membership to the exclusive Continental Drift Club in-hand, Smith introduces you to an eclectic mix of literature, TV detectives, and polar and marine research. From Mikhail Bulgakov, Jean Genet, and Haruki Murakami to Bobby Fischer, Sarah Lund, and Cracker.

If you don’t recognize some of these names, don’t be put off — that is the attraction of this book. You need to dig into subjects that you may have no knowledge of whatsoever. When you have finished the book be prepared to set aside ample time to explore further the notes you have made – and the journey continues. 

A Sure Fire Page Turner that had me Gripped to the Final Page

Once in a while, I am blown away by a book that has me compelled to read and re-read at any cost, ensuring that I absorb every magical detail. This is such a book. I’d heard of Patti Smith but knew very little about her. But as I read further into the book, I quickly became captivated by her magnetizing writing and the fascinating and intricate details of her life. If you love to walk around in another person’s skin and feel what life is like for them, then this is the perfect book. 

Along the route, you will be transported to New York City, Berlin, and Tangier, amongst other places, and be introduced to the likes of Alfred Wegener, Diego Rivera, and Sylvia Plath. You will also learn a thing or two about Scandic noir. An educational and thrilling adventure awaits you. In my opinion, it is best read on an electronic device, as you will need access to a mass of information to satisfy your quest for more knowledge. Failing that, if you have a hardcopy, grab a pencil and mark-up the borders with references to explore at a later date.

The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars

Make yourself a pot of strong coffee, plonk yourself a quiet corner (choosing both the corner and your seat carefully) and be prepared to put your life on hold for a couple of days. An incredible insight into the life of a genuinely fascinating multi-platform artist and individual. 

Expand your reading, expand your world. Follow The Journal on BooknBrunch for more exciting book reviews.  

Jacqui Hodges

With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.

A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for  industry publications.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli


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