Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain Paperback – August 21, 2002
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Thorough, definitive."―The New York Times
"Heavier Than Heaven sets a high, new standard."―Rolling Stone
"As engrossing as a good novel. A remarkable portrait."―Entertainment Weekly
"Definitive...Cross untangles the soul of a man."―USA Today
"Charles R. Cross' definitive biography of Cobain traces his life story via more than 400 interviews, and intimate access to the Nirvana frontman's private journals and lyrics."―Entertainment Weekly, Your Complete Kurt Cobain Reading Guide
About the Author
- ASIN : 0786884029
- Publisher : Hyperion; Later Printing Used edition (August 21, 2002)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780786884025
- ISBN-13 : 978-0786884025
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Grade level : 8 and up
- Item Weight : 13 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #644,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The most egregious lies come from Courtney Love. Her account of Kurt's lost days after his final "escape" is contradicted, on tape, by recordings Tom Grant keeps posted on his site. Courtney knew Kurt's whereabouts when he was in Los Angeles, even though she claims in the book that she did not. She also admitted to Tom Grant that she staged a fake overdose during her "hotel detox" on the day before Kurt's body was found. Her account of how and when she met Kurt has been debunked on the record by friends and journalists who were there at their first meeting. (It would belabor the point to provide more examples.). Regardless of why you think she might have done it, it's clear that Courtney has deliberately misled journalists, the public, and law enforcement on the subject of her late husband. If Charles Cross had any integrity, he would question her reliability as a source now--if he didn't when he wrote this.
Moreover, this entire book reads like a loaded thesis on the subject of why Kurt Cobain committed suicide. Cross loads the deck almost from the first sentence, framing the entire narrative with a sense of the inevitable that would have made a diehard fatalist like Thomas Hardy feel the need for a little levity. No doubt Kurt was a sensitive boy whose broken home left terrible scars that he explored in his music. But Kurt was more than the sum of his miseries: his sense of humor--juvenile and sarcastic but also surreal and uplifting--was part of what made Nirvana unique. You can hear the goofball humor that comes from small-town boredom in Kurt's interviews if you listen to him talk or watch him and Krist misbehave on camera. Charles Cross never once asks what may be the most important question a rock biographer should ask: what was it about this person that all these people loved so much? One answer I can give, from experience, was that we felt like he was one of us. I can't speak for everyone, but my friends and I loved him for the weird little in-jokes built into Nirvana's gnomic public appearances. Kurt was winking at us--sometimes very, VERY broadly. Cross ignores this aspect of Kurt's personality entirely, and the result is a sadly one-dimensional portrait of a person who was much more complex than this book indicates. (This narrative also absolutely serves the theory that Kurt could not have died any other was besides suicide, but I leave it up to the reader to decide whether she or he wants to explore other theories on that subject.)
Finally, there's the writing itself. So much of what is in this book is blatantly unsupported. It's terrible, lazy writing. There's the infamous last chapter, but there are plenty of other examples. Who says Buzz Osbourne was a tyrant? Who outlined the "rules" or "laws" of punk rock that Cross refers to several times in the book? (I'm a cranky old punk, and I don't buy all of them). Where did stuff like this come from? All this subjective stuff is so weird. But the worst, really, is the way that Cross jumps into Kurt's head at the beginning of the book, and doesn't get out. It's presumptious at the least, and dishonest at the worst.
If you read this book, please read some other books about Kurt and Seattle in the 90s, too. Please read Tom Grant's most recent book. Please read a good oral history of Sub Pop records. Please spend some time learning about more than just Kurt, because there's more to this story than this.
By jmcdonald01 on October 14, 2018
Top reviews from other countries
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. I hope that you read this book and enjoy it as I have, but much more importantly, you understand that this was a troubled mind and talent that exploded with such force, he changed the world. Anyone who says he did not is a bare faced liar.
If he was here today, I really wonder what he would make of music today. Would he still be relevant? Would music be different or would NIrvana still be together? I feel that they probably would not and Dave Grohl may never have formed the Foo's. Im just happy I was alive when Nirvana and Kurt were around. It is the music of my youth and Heavier than Heaven takes me back to that time each time I read it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2019