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The Year of The Monkey by Patti Smith (2019)

Updated: Apr 12

Finished: 9/21/20


Grade: ?


The Year of The Monkey is a dream-infused memoir of Patti Smith’s journey to San Francisco after the death of a close friend. The novel treats dreamed events with the same weight as the real events of 2016, and leads you with the calm wisdom of an elder through a stressful and confusing world. I bought this book at the Seattle airport and read most of it in a sleepless daze while I was waiting for my red-eye back to Chicago. As such, I’m not sure if I really “read” the book, but still, the message was clear:

“Hal. Your uncomfortable travel situation is not annoying. It is romantic. If you can’t fall asleep on the plane, don’t complain. Use that diffuse attention to see the world from a different perspective.”


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