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Heavier than Heaven Audiobook

Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

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Based on more than 400 interviews, four years of research, and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos, Heavier than Heaven traces Cobain's life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to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

4.4 (398 )
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4.4 (289 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dave 10-12-15
    Dave 10-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Oh man, that was intense..."

    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....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Katherine 08-01-15
    Katherine 08-01-15
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    "Loved it ..... Huge Kurt fan"

    Was great. Good story and also well read. Would totally recommend this read to anyone who is a Nirvana or Kurt fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    true britty Minnesota 08-01-15
    true britty Minnesota 08-01-15 Member Since 2016

    just one more book lover

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    "Don't be afraid of this book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Medford, NJ, United States 07-31-15
    Michele Medford, NJ, United States 07-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Sad but beautiful story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    J. Simpson 07-05-15
    J. Simpson 07-05-15
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    "It's an emotional ride."

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Sean D. Monzet 06-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Solid listen"

    Great listen - voice of narrator not a great fit for the content imo, but still a worthwhile, easily digested audio book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Norm 03-10-15
    Norm 03-10-15
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    "Over emotional teenage girl lol"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jenna 02-03-15
    Jenna 02-03-15
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    "the end is a tear jerker"

    I loved it because it was about my idol kurt,but somethings weren't true,but Still an awesome read,the end made me cry like a baby,poor kurt,poor poor Kurt Donald Cobain!! :'(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jennifer W. Weyler Central Massachusetts 08-04-14
    Jennifer W. Weyler Central Massachusetts 08-04-14 Member Since 2012

    smiley

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    "Meh"
    Would you try another book from Charles R. Cross and/or Lloyd James?

    Probably not by Charles Cross. Lloyd James was a decent narrator, but it was not great material.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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?


    What else would you have wanted to know about Charles R. Cross’s life?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Red Emma Seattle, WA USA 12-27-13
    Red Emma Seattle, WA USA 12-27-13 Member Since 2009
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    "I cried like a baby . . ."
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent book. Excellent narration. Very detailed. Cried at the end. We all miss you, Kurt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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