Book review: ‘Year of the Monkey’ by Patti Smith

‘Year of the Monkey’ by Patti Smith

Year of the Monkey is the third volume in Patti Smith’s loosely joined memoirs, which began with Just Kids, and continued with M Train.

I very much enjoy Smith’s quirky, often humorous, writing, and this latest volume continues in a familiar vein. There are moving sections concerning the loss of friends, and impromptu musings and excursions, but Year of the Monkey falls short of its two predecessors.

A big problem for me were the dream sequences. Although similar sequences occur in M Train, they are far more intrusive in Year of the Monkey. So intrusive, in fact, that it often becomes confusing about which events are part of a dream-sequence, and which are real. I’m sure this is entirely deliberate, and the segues from dream-sequence to reality (and back again) are cleverly handled. But it felt over-confusing and unnecessary to this reader.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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