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Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobainby Charles R. Cross
Synopses & Reviews
Published on the 10th anniversary of Nirvana's landmark album Nevermind, the first in-depth biography of the troubled genius, including new information from over 400 interviews and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries.
Although the tragic circumstances of Kurt Cobain's suicide are well known, the facts of his life and the influence of his artistry remain largely unexamined. Now 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Based on more than 400 interviews, four years of research, exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, and a wealth of documentation, Heavier Than Heaven traces Cobain's life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington,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. Cross reveals the familial turmoil that fueled Cobain's creativity, the generational history that forged his character, and the unusual love story that shaped his relationship with wife Courtney Love. Drawing from medical and police reports, and Cobain's own private writings, Cross also reveals the truth about Cobain's health struggles and his tragic final days.
More than the history of a rock and roll star, Heavier Than Heaven is a portrait of creative genius and the will to turn pain into art.
"Written with a journalist's eye for riveting detail and a fan's heartfelt appreciation for Nirvana's music, Charles R. Cross's Heavier Then Heaven stage-dives headfirst into the heart, soul, and torment of one of rock's most galvanizing figures. Revelatory and moving, it's as essential to any rock-history bookshelf as Nevermind is to any CD cabinet." David Browne, author, Dream Brother: The Lives & Music of Jeff & Tim Buckley
"Music journalist Cross treats the short, strange, unhappy life of musician Kurt Cobain with intelligence and an insider's perceptiveness." Kirkus Reviews
"Cobain's story...sounds wholly ordinary....The many unenlightening observations are often painted thick with sensationalism; other times, Cross trawls the bottom for sources whose credibility and relevance are dubious at best." Publishers Weekly
"Probably too reverent for Nirvana nonfans, this is still a standout among rock bios and deserves its place in pop-culture collections." Mike Tribby, Booklist
"The sordid details of Cobain's addiction and suicide and Cross's occasionally over-the-top dramatics are sometimes more than the reader can stomach, but ultimately this is a carefully crafted and compelling tragedy that serves as a necessary foil to Michael Azerrad's authorized Nirvana biography, Come As You Are." Library Journal
It has been twenty years since 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 four hundred interviews; four years of research; exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos; and a wealth of documentation, 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. Charles Cross has written a preface for this new edition, in which he recounts some of the events regarding Kurt Cobain and this book in the past two decades since his death.
About the Author
From 1986 to 2000 Charles R. Cross was editor of The Rocket, the Northwest's highly regarded music and entertainment magazine and the first magazine to put Nirvana on its cover. He is the author/coauthor of three other books: Backstreets: Springsteen, the Man and His Music; Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell; and Nevermind: The Classic Album. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, Guitar World, and Spy, among many other publications. He lives in Seattle.
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