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on October 28, 1999
I read this book, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana, awhile ago, and reread it again because of my enjoyment of it the first time, and it didn't let me down the second time around. The book kept my interest and gave me a new perspective on a few parts of Nirvana and Kurt. I have read other books, such as "Who Killed Kurt Cobain?" and "Kurt Cobain" and a few other shorter biographies and compiled books. I know a great amount about our legeng, Kurt Donald Cobain, and yet I still love reading his biographies over and over, especially Come As You Are. CAYA takes you through Kurt's life, starting with Day 1. It leads you right through about 1993, very early 1994, and the new editions have an after-chapter about his death, although not nearly as much about the ending as we would have liked. A good thing about the book is the quotes. The biographer wrote the book based on a series of many interviews with Kurt, so Kurt says a lot. A possibilty of biasism is because of one theory. A bad review was written about Kurt and Courtney in Vanity Fair magazine, leading to trials about custody and having their new baby, Frances Bean, taken temporarily away from them, and making them turn in weekly urine tests. Kurt wanted to quickly create a "good, nice" buzz about him so the aftermath of the article would vanish. They wanted to protect Courtney's name, so they hired a biographer. The book may try to make Courtney seem better than she is. Read "Who Killed Kurt Cobain?" afterwards and compare the Courtney in each book. For new Kurt fans, or un-Kurt-ly-educated fans, I would suggest this book, it is simple to read and extremely captivating.
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on August 19, 2001
Nirvana was a great band. This book is almost as good as the band itself. It is literally perfect when it comes to Nirvana.
Now, recently, another Kurt Cobain biography was released, "Heavier Than Heaven", by Charles R. Cross. While the book is good, it was written after Kurt's death, and most of the people paint a negative portrait of him, which is unfair, since Kurt cannot speak for himself. Also, most of that book seems to be the "Courtney Love is a wonderful person" story, as the author time and time again paints a wonderful picture of her. Is it any coincidence that Courtney was one of the main people interviewed for the book? Hmmmm......
With that aside, here is why, if you seek information on Kurt and Nirvana, that you should read this book and not "Heavier Than Heaven." It's real simple. It was written with Kurt. Whereas HTH was written with people who knew Kurt (who could make him any type of person they wanted to) CAYA is written with interviews with the man himself. That alone makes this the Ultimate Nirvana/Cobain book.
Aside from that, the book is very thorough and leaves few details out. It's probably the best bio on a musical group I've ever read. Intimate, up front, and candid. You can't ask for much more than that.
So, to sum it all up, if you're looking for a biography on Kurt Cobain, this is the book. If you're looking for information on Nirvana, this is the book. If you're simply looking for a good book to read, THIS IS THE BOOK!
I don't think I can recommend it any more than I have already.
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on August 23, 2005
Come As You Are is a valuable source of information on Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, not only for its in-depth coverage of the band's rise and early years of fame, but because it lacks the tone of hero worship and tragedy present in virtually all other post-1994 books about this group. Where later books never seem to step entirely away from the cloud Cobain's death at age twenty-seven cast over the short history of Nirvana, Come As You Are is often funny, always descriptive, and slants toward what looked at the time of its publication, to be an influential future for this ground-breaking trio. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about the roots of the best band of the Grunge era.
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on May 2, 2001
Come as You Are was written before Kurt Cobain's death in 1994, so it isn't focused on the tragedy of it, rather on his life leading up to the event. Its a very candid look at his happy beginnings and how his life at home deteriorated and the refuge he found in music. Nirvana went though many drummers and musicians before finally settling on Dave Grohl. This book portrays Kurt like he was: a pained musician who didn't want nor know how to handle his sudden fame. Come As You Are is personal, funny, and intriguing. After reading it, I started thinking more about their music and the impact they made on the industry. Any fans of the band would probably love this, or even if you're not, it has an up close look at the music world of record labels, fame, fortune, touring, and all the work that goes into the production. Definitely worth reading. It also has some good photos.
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on November 10, 2003
I finished reading this book just a couple of weeks ago, & I convinced myself that this would be the best book I would read on Nirvana (and/or K. Cobain). It was written before K's suicide in 1994, & he actually sat down with the band. It has quotes from several people affiliated with K, not just Courtney. It obviously didn't dwell on his suicide, but the final chapter was well written.
Being a fan of Courtney (and Hole), I am aware that she lies. & I recommend this book over HTH because the facts are given to you right then & there, & they don't drag out. The author obviously has a good sense of humour, like K did, & the book made me laugh.
I wanted to read a book on K that would give me details/facts about his life, but I also would rather be entertained with a smile, than trying to hold back tears.
In HTH, Cross makes K out to be only some kid from a rural town who was just miserable & a terrible influence. K was creative & intelligent... & CAYA depicts that.
If you read only one book on K, or even Nirvana in general... which Azzerad does a fine job of doing... this is it.
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on November 24, 2004
This book is buy the far the best book of Nirvana you can find. From starting out in Aberdeen Washington to the being the greatest band ever. Michael Azerrad (author) tells the true story of Nirvana through interviews, photos, and early lyrics sheets. The band themselves (even Kurt) read this book and liked it so that's how you can tell these facts are real. First Azerrad talks about the early day with Aaron Burckhard, Dan Peters, Chad Channing, Dale Crover, and then eventually Dave Grohl. He also talks about the difficult process it took to record Nevermind and In Utero. Through Kurt meeting Courtney, Krist meeting Shelli, to Dave meeting Kurt and Krist. This book got everything you need to know about Nirvana. This book now includes a new chapter about Kurt's death and where the book left off. The beauty of this book is that Michael didn't get this information from Courtney so you know that all of this is true. All the information is through interviews and the people who were really there. This book is the book you need for Nirvana. This book is better from Charles Cross's "heavier than heaven", or "Nirvana: the day-by-day eyewitness chronicle" by Carrie Borzillo. I haven't read the new book "The Chosen Rejects" by Troy Smith and Kurt Thomas, but I still know this book is way better than any of those books. For any Nirvana fan, you will not be disappointed.
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on February 4, 2015
Thoroughly enjoyable read about Nirvana's ride to fame. One of my favorite things about the book was that it was written before Kurt committed suicide, so you get a better picture of what things were like for those guys back then, without the colorization of this life-ending event. I believe another reviewer hit it on the bullseye when he said that other biographies paint Kurt too much as a tragic figure, instead of the relatively normal human that he was, because they see his life only through the lens of his suicide. There is a short afterward from the author that comments on the suicide.
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on August 19, 2007
As the owner of every book written on this subject Come As You Are stands out as the definitive Nirvana book. With the exception of the final chapter the entire thing was written before Kurt's death. This gives fans an honest objective view on Kurt and Nirvana that is absent in just about everything written since his suicide. The marketplace has been flooded with books focusing on sleaze and conspiracy theories instead of the man and their music. Here the writer stayed on course and gave us what truly matters while managing to keep this entertaining. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to learn about Kurt's life and his rise from troubled child to reluctant rock star.
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on November 4, 2013
This is a great read on Nirvana. I've read "Heavier than Heaven" and what's so good about "Come As You Are" is you get to read the quotes by people who weren't included much in Heavier than Heaven. For example, there are many quotes from Kurt's mom which are so good to read. Even Kurt's dad is quoted several times. I guess after Kurt's death, the family decided not to discuss Kurt or at least, go on the record. I can't blame them. I'd want my privacy as well and there's no telling what might happen. People could start accusing the family and you really don't want to open your mouth and set yourself up for trouble. If you want to know of Nirvana, I'd get this book because it is so very good. Great job, Michael.
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on December 22, 2000
Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana, by Michael Azzerad is the most comprehensive and honest book that I have ever read regarding Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Compared to others such as Kurt Cobain,Who Killed kurt Cobain,etc. CAYA, is by far the best. It shows Kurt in a way that the other books different it portrays him like he really was I think, and given that Kurt helped Azzerad with the writing of the book just makes it better. I never put the book down, i read it in the duration of about two days every time and loved every single page. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who wishes to accumulate more knowledge regarding the band or to someone who already knows a lot and simply just wants an excellent read.
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