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Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain | [Charles R. Cross]

Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

When Kurt Cobain died by his own hand in April 1994, it was an act of will that typified his short, angry, inspired life. Veteran music journalist Charles R. Cross fuses his intimate knowledge of the Seattle music scene with his deep compassion for his subject in this extraordinary story of artistic brilliance and the pain that extinguished it.
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Publisher's Summary

When Kurt Cobain died by his own hand in April 1994, it was an act of will that typified his short, angry, inspired life. Veteran music journalist Charles R. Cross fuses his intimate knowledge of the Seattle music scene with his deep compassion for his subject in this extraordinary story of artistic brilliance and the pain that extinguished it.

Based on more than 400 interviews, four years of research, and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos, Heavier than Heaven traces Cobain's life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (214 )
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4.3 (121 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Doug P. 10-24-12
    Doug P. 10-24-12

    I've been addicted to reading since high school. I started with pulp novels, switched to great literature in college and now read everything

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great subject, flawed book"

    I was interested and entertained throughout this entire audio book. The reason for this was mostly the fascinating subject - Cobain and Nirvana - rather than the writing. Many of the author's anecdotes were frustrating. He often describes odd behavior - how could he not when the subject is Cobain and the people around him? - but the author often does not explain or even speculate about why the people behave as they do. I'm referring mainly to small things - not suicide, drug addiction, depression, etc. For example, Cobain tackles and wrestles with Courtney Love in public shortly after they meet. Does he do this playfully, or as a result of his social awkwardness? Or are they both just wasted? The author doesn't say or speculate. There are lots of sloppy flaws like this in the book, which can be distracting and frustrating. If a real biographer (not a rock journalist) wrote a book about Cobain, it would move to the top of my list immediately. For now, "Heaver than Heaven" appears to be the best book available about Cobain and Nirvana.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 10-20-12
    Bob Watson Sapulpa, OK 10-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Wow captivating book!"
    What did you love best about Heavier than Heaven?

    I loved the authors approach. It seemed even more accurate than an autobiography. I loved,loved,loved it.


    What other book might you compare Heavier than Heaven to and why?

    Nothing compares!


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd James – was your favorite?

    Kurt Cobain


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both


    Any additional comments?

    I grew up with Nirvana so I was captivated from the beginning to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christa United States 12-07-11
    christa United States 12-07-11

    karma69usa

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    "Blew me away"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Heavier than Heaven to be better than the print version?

    Listening, vs, reading, helped me to digest this incredible and moving story of a man who would grow up to make the impact that changed the musical taste of my generation. I could actually place myself in the world of the characters. I would have loved to be able to see pictures though.


    What other book might you compare Heavier than Heaven to and why?

    I can't actually say which book it would be, but after reading several biographies of Jim Morrison, I would have to say that I can see some similarities between the two artists. Not so much their childhoods, but how both of them having these deep insecurities and not realizing the talent that lay within their souls and the effect they had on people. Both artists were game changers but maybe failed to see this.


    Which character – as performed by Lloyd James – was your favorite?

    Of course Kurt Cobain was my favorite character, however, I could really relate to Tracy, I was a girlfriend of a musician, who was a good bit like Kurt, when I was young and I remember how sensitive he was as well as his constant need for my support of his art.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had an EXTREMELY strong reaction on so many personal levels. My son, due to my youth (pregnant and married my senior year) and inexperience, had some of Kurt's pain. He was a product of a divorce and the having to go from one house to another. I don't have addiction issues, but was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in his teens and is an addict. My son grew up hearing me listening to Nirvana and taught himself to play and sing their songs. I think many artists, such as Kurt, are very sensitive creatures, who need the outlet, that music provides, as a form of therapy. There were MANY parts of this book that brought tears to my eyes and after finishing it, I called my son to say


    Any additional comments?

    As soon as I downloaded the Audible app, Heavier than Heaven was the first book I searched for, I was elated that you had it in stock.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abe Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 11-28-11
    Abe Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 11-28-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Couldn't stop listening..."

    Great artist, great book. Couldn't put it down. The haunting thing about reading a bio of a popular artist like Cobain, is the ability to follow chronologically with his music, videos, and YouTube snippets of his life on camera to supplement the story. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed New Bern, NC, United States 01-20-11
    Ed New Bern, NC, United States 01-20-11 Member Since 2005
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    "All Nirvana fans will love this book"

    I greatly enjoyed this book. It is well researched and clearly presented. It paints a very clear picture of a man who was talented, but flawed, and gives all of the dirty details of his life with as much ferver as the great times and achievements of Kurt Cobain's life. I can only say I am sorry that he did not seek treatment for his depression. Too many people are not able to survive its ugly head.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Columbus, OH, United States 10-06-10
    Brooke Columbus, OH, United States 10-06-10
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    "so so"

    I loved this book the first time I read it, and wasn't impressed by Lloyd James' reading. He sounds a little out of touch to be reading a book involving punk rock, junkies and the Seattle grunge scene.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JORDAN North Las vegas, NV, United States 08-25-10
    JORDAN North Las vegas, NV, United States 08-25-10
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    "Love this!"

    I loved this book. I was a avreage fan of kurt and nirvana and was not looking for a book of my hero. If your thinking about getting this book just stop and get it. I could and wanted to listen for hours at a time. This book goes into amazing hounest detail of this mans extremley intresting life. Its a must have for a fan or just some one curious of why he was so famous or popular.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. McMullen Designs Yoakum, Texas United States 11-04-09
    C. McMullen Designs Yoakum, Texas United States 11-04-09
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    "Well done!"

    Great bio on Cobain. Well read and easy to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anatolie Illinois 01-07-13
    Anatolie Illinois 01-07-13

    toladze

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    "Cross and courtney dramatic novel more than a bio"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles R. Cross again?

    After watching and reading some interviews with Cross - No, this guy doesn't know how to do a good job all the way, strong opinions and inflexibility are present in his work


    How could the performance have been better?

    All the kids will eat it up/ if its packaged properly...


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    This book has some good stories but then also lots of exaggeration fiction and lies.


    Any additional comments?


    The author contradicts the very close friends of Kurt, like band mates, ignores a lot of well known and documented facts which are important and had to be in the book, in fact, is replaced by fiction like "he took one more sip of root beer and then the took the shells from his pocket and loaded the shotgun" like the author knew exactly every detail of what happened in the end.. And in general I think the author doesn't know much about what he's writing but tries hard to make look real .. And watch MTV unplugged and then try to see if the stories in the book about it make sense.. Really?Waiting for a much better biography, and there's no doubt that one will be out.. Only how much Novoselic, Grohl and Grant would say..

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ulrich NORMAL, IL, United States 06-27-12
    Ulrich NORMAL, IL, United States 06-27-12 Member Since 2011

    Ulrich

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I enjoyed this book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes.

    This book gives the reader information on Kurt Cobain.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Unmoved


    Which scene was your favorite?

    His introversion.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    To me the author comes off as a passive aggressive little f--k. That thought lurked in the back of my mind at times during the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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