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Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Scepte 21's) by [Cross, Charles R.]
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Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Scepte 21's) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Amazon Review

The art of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was all about his private life, but written in a code as obscure as TS Eliot's. In Heavier than Heaven Charles Cross has cracked the code, and this definitive biography is an all-access pass to Cobain's heart and mind. It reveals many secrets, thanks to 400-plus interviews, and even quotes Cobain's diaries and suicide notes revealing an unreleased Nirvana masterpiece. At last we know how he created, how lies helped him die, how his family and love life entwined with his art--plus, what the heck "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really means. (It was graffiti by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna after a double date with Dave Grohl, Cobain, and the "over-bored and self-assured" Tobi Vail, who wore Teen Spirit perfume; Hanna wrote it to taunt the emotionally clingy Cobain for wearing Vail's scent after sex--a violation of the no-strings-attached dating ethos of the Olympia, Washington, "outcast teen" underground. Cobain 's stomach-churning passion for Vail erupted in six or so hit tunes like "Aneurysm" and "Drain You".) Cross uncovers plenty of news, mostly grim and gripping. As a teenager, Cobain said he had "suicide genes" and his clan was peculiarly defiant: one of his suicidal relatives stabbed his own belly in front of his family, then ripped apart the wound in the hospital. Cobain was contradictory: a sweet, popular teenage athlete and sinister berserker, a kid who rescued injured pigeons and laughingly killed a cat, a talented yet astoundingly morbid visual artist. He grew up to be a millionaire who slept in cars (and stole one), a fiercely loyal man who ruthlessly screwed his oldest, best friends. Cross, the co-author of Nervmind: Nirvana, the definitive book about the making of the classic album, puts numerous Cobain-generated myths to rest. (Cobain never lived under a bridge--that Aberdeen bridge immortalised in the 12th song on Nevermind was a tidal slough, so nobody could sleep under it). He gives the fullest account yet of what it was like to be, or love, Kurt Cobain. Heavier than Heaven outshines the also indispensable Come As You Are. It's the deepest book about pop's darkest falling star. --Tim Appelo


"One of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star."--The Los Angeles Times The Los Angeles Times, ""HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN sets a high, new standard."--Rolling Stone""

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 617 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre; New Ed edition (22 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009W32WR0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #89,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Charles Cross's popular biography of Kurt Cobain is alarming reading. I read Michael Azzerad's Come As You Are back in '94 and remember an acutely different tale. Azzerad was fortunate enough to have had extensive interviews with Cobain, unlike Cross, and his book is strikingly disimilar to this.
Ultimately, I think Cross's account is the more accurate of the two. It is also somewhat different in tone, being a biography of Kurt Cobain, not Nirvana. Cross pulls no punches, and his book is the better for it.
Cobain's duplicity as recorded here is astonishing. This is a compelling account of a man who desparately sought fame and recognition, who invented a history for himself barely worse than his actual past and, inevitably, this is a story of serious drug abuse.
The second half of the book - detailing the years 1991 to 1994 - is overwhelmingly concerned with Cobain's addiction to heroin. Contrary to popular belief, the singer was rarely clean for more than a few weeks during the last three years of his life. This is not light reading; it is the painful account of a young man's weakness and mental decay.
Throughout the book, Courtney Love is respectfully portrayed by Cross as a loving wife and supporter of Cobain. No doubt this is true in some respects, but you get the impression Cross backed-off detailing much of Love's character. In return she provided him with access to Kurt's diaries, some entries from which are published here. It was a reasonable trade-off, I suppose, but not terrific journalism.
Interesting and often horrific, Heavier Than Heaven is a valuable biography for its honesty, and the only essential piece of writing on Cobain so far. Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book around 6 months ago, just to have something to read. Being a casual reader, my attention span is short when reading. However reading "Heavier than Heaven", I got thinking "maybe i should read alot more".

Kurt Cobain is one of my favourite musicians. Maybe for the music he made or maybe for the legend he left behind but he is my generations icon. This is a fantastic book which I am pleased to have read. From Kurts humble beginnings (which proved testing times for him personally and in his family) to his shocking suicide, the story just pulled my heart strings to a point I have never felt before. After finishing reading it many months ago, certain words and remarks from the book stick with me, especially the poignant ones which gives me a lump in my throat to this day. Charles R Cross has wrote this exceptionally well and each chapter has been crafted with great care. I was expecting some scathing remarks about Kurt, his family and friends but the author creates a very real telling of the events that Jurt went through. (Being the huge Kurt fan I am, I have watched, read, seen and researched as much as I could on him, so I feel confident with my statement)

There are certain things in this book that once you read them will go straight over your head such as the drug usuage and the way Courtney Love was racking her brains trying to find where Kurt had gone in his last few days. its when you put the book down and you just try to understand it more about the feelings and the torture of not knowing what has happened to Kurt. I guess you could say being in their shoes. It is a horrific thought to have to go through such pain but with the way the author described the scenes of anguish (and the joys) you truly feel as if you were the one it was happening to.
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Format: Paperback
Where this book really scores is in the portrayal of Cobain's troubled early life and his years before fame. The seeds were sown for what was to follow, his inability to come to terms with almost overnight mega stardom. In being terrified by being regarded as the spokesperson for a generation there are obvious comparisons with Dylan, almost 30 years earlier. But unlike Dylan, the disturbed Cobain lacking mental strength and a stable background, was unable to ride out the storm. Coupled with undiagnosed health problems, heroin addiction preceded his suicide.

My reservations concerning the latter part of the book result from the major input of Courtney Love. It is very tainted. With all of her own demons she could not have provided the support Cobain so desperately required. This does not come through in the book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was very informative, and I learnt a lot of things about Kurt Cobain that I never knew before. It was sad to read about how he felt like he didn't belong anywhere, and had a lot of turmoil involving his family. It brought a smile to my face when I read that Kurt used to like sledding down a hill near his home as a child, but as the book went on it became sadder and sadder because of his downwards spiral in life. The suicide was written in such deal and with such care that upon finishing the book I was in tears, and I wasn't the only one - so was one of my friends who has also read the book. I would recommend this book to anybody who has an interest in Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, or just music in general as it is a fascinating insight into what made him the legend that he is today. A fitting tribute to a man who changed the face of music forever.
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