Based on more than 400 interviews, four years of research, and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos, Heavier than Heaven traces Cobain's life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to his rise to fame, success, and the adulation of a generation.
©2001 Charles R. Cross; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Definitive...Cross untangles the soul of a man." (USA Today)
"Heavier than Heaven sets a high, new standard." (Rolling Stone)
"One of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star." (Los Angeles Times)
Still reeling from the ending. Cobain's final hours are pieced together into a narrative from physical evidence at the scene of his death. Author Charles Cross took a mountain of research and created something far deeper than just early 90's nostalgia. After this audio book I'd buy any work read by narrator Lloyd James. Wow....
just one more book lover
From a couple of the reviews, I thought Heavier than Heaven would be such a downer I'd have to lock the knife drawer. But it turns out there's more to Kurt Cobain than depression, heroin and a young death.
What made this book click for me from the get go was Cross's depiction of Aberdeen, WA, the lumber mill town that was Cobain's Liverpool and Hibbing. A blue collar backwater he needed to escape, but which haunted his memories.
What also makes this book a good listen is the depiction of the Northwest music scene of the '80s and '90s. It had its own look, influences and sound, which erupted in the early '90s when Grunge was the THING on college campuses.
We get to follow Cobain through his parents' divorce and that episode's lasting effect on his psyche, his misfit youth and his dual passion for drawing and music. Music won out, and with Krist Novaselic he co-founded Nirvana, which like the Beatles decades before had a helluva time finding a drummer. Ringo stuck for the Beatles. Dave Grohl stuck for Nirvana.
Courtney Love comes off much better in this book than she did in the press of the 1990s, when she was likened to Sid Vicious's caterwauling girlfriend Nancy Spungen. The comparison was inevitable. She had the dazed, smeared-makeup look of Spungen--and the howling presence. But Love had wit and heart, but was doomed when her addiction problems met Cobain's addiction problems.
Nirvana's rise to superstardom takes place as suddenly in the book as it probably did in real life. Yeah, dues were paid, but when "Teen Spirit" hit, Cobain's face and quotable quotes and attitude were everywhere.
He also had that stomach issue, which he used as a rationalization for his heroin use. (I had to Google to find out what the issue was. Lots of hits with physicians saying it was this or that, or that anyway it could've been treated with diet and meds today.)
The downward spiral was always twisting in Cobain's life. But fame and other things ramped it up. This part of the story didn't turn me off as much as I thought it would, because there was always something else going on to take off the edge and because the author seems to like Cobain and makes him an interesting, sympathetic figure.
What I wanted more of was more on the music--how it was made, all that--and the band. Novaselic and Grohl are there but they're background players in the bigger story of Cobain's dramatic descent, which ended with his suicide (and yes, there are OTHER theories) in 1994.
It's hard to imagine the desperation felt by Kurt. No matter how much adoration and love the people in his life had for him, not to mention the devotion of his huge fan base, his lack of love for himself ultimately led to his destruction. It's heartbreaking that someone with his uniquely incredible artistic talent never felt worthy of the recognition he so surely deserved.
I knew the story going in but still, listening to it was like sitting through a Greek tragedy. It's some pretty heavy emotional stuff and it's hard to take in, but mostly it just left me sad with regret. The book was good. Too good you might say. Just be prepared. If you're like me, the story, told in all the detail you could ask for, will break your heart.
This was so hard to read. The love of my life told me how this story changed his life when we first met. After experiencing the biggest heartbreak of my life from that supposed "love", I decided to sit down and read this biography. Many parts were hard to read, but I picked up many things and parts of Kurt's story that were reflected in my relationship. It wasn't until the end of the story I understood what *he* was talking about. This story touched my heart in a way that I don't understand. Be prepared to cry.
Probably not by Charles Cross. Lloyd James was a decent narrator, but it was not great material.
The mind-numbingly boring minutia of Cobain's life does NOT make for a good read. The best example I can give is when the author details an overly long list of the names of Cobain's favorite foods as a toddler. Really? WHO CARES?
I assume this means what else would I have wanted to know about Kurt Cobain's life? This was a detailed narrative. It was just a little dull.
Excellent book. Excellent narration. Very detailed. Cried at the end. We all miss you, Kurt.
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