So, as it turns out, I am just too much of a linear person to appreciate M Train. I learned more about the author Patti Smith from the description on the dust jacket than I did from the book. This book consisted of a bunch of short stories that described Smith’s different life experiences. I wouldn’t even go as far as to call them short stories because some of them made no sense at all, and many seemed like a fleeting memory or thought put to paper.
As an example, Smith spent several pages describing the day a woman with an expensive purse sat at her usual table in a coffee shop and spoke loudly on her cell phone. Okay. So what? Other chapters told quirky and interesting tales, like meeting Bobby Fisher and his bodyguards, but when the encounter had no impact, I wondered what I was supposed to take away from the story.
There were photos throughout the book that were totally weird. They reminded me of the odd pictures included in the Miss Peregrine novels. Pictures of a bear, a bed with two pillows, and an angel headstone were just a few of the baffling photos, and added to the oddity that was this book.
The one thing I did learn about Smith was that she liked coffee and drank a lot of it! She even purchased her own coffee house at one point, but gave it up. There were moments when she had deep and emotional thoughts about life and a person’s existence, but I had to wade through quite a bit to find those tidbits. She obviously led an extraordinary life and traveled the world, but this was just a hard book for me to get into given the format and absolute lack of cohesion between each chapter. The word that comes to mind on this one is: odd.