Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography Of Kurt Cobain

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Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography Of Kurt Cobain

by Charles R. Cross

Hyperion | August 21, 2002 | Trade Paperback

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography Of Kurt Cobain is rated 4.6286 out of 5 by 35.
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 Based on more than four hundred interviews; four years of research; exclusive access to Cobain''s unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos; and a wealth of documentation, Heavier Than Heaven traces Cobain''s life from his early days in a double-wide trailer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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 400 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.12 in

Published: August 21, 2002

Publisher: Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786884029

ISBN - 13: 9780786884025

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sooo Good I would recommend this book to any fan of Kurt Cobain. Such an emotional book. I have never read any biography that I have enjoyed as much as this one.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Distressing Story of a Lost Soul This is a very good book, in my opinion. There are two aspects of this book that I think are important to comment on. First the writing style: Charles Cross is very factual in his presentation of the events that he reported on in this biography. As such, it is very easy to read. Very much like a journal - a reporting of the events and people, etc. In this part, I thought that Cross wrote about what he thought were Cobain's issues, for example - abandonment, much like these were also facts, instead of merely his speculation. However, I think that Cross was probably quite right in much of what he thought and wrote. This leads me to the second aspect of this book - the very heartbreaking story of Kurt Cobain and how all of the tragedy came to be. I found reading this story to be difficult. I love biographies, but there is so much frustration and anger that I experienced reading the book, because of the audacity of how Cobain appears to have been let down, by all the people that were supposed to take care of him. From his early years - his cheerful smiling boyishness, all the way to the days when he was a big rock star. No one seemed to step up for Kurt, at any time in his life, to take care of him. So reading the story of Kurt, and about all the people in his life who did not accept him for himself, and others who wanted to exploit him and ignore important signals that his life was going very wrong, was difficult. I really loved this book, but it was a book that I was happy to finish, because it takes its toll emotionally on the reader. I find myself thinking about this man now that I finished the book, and that to me, is a sign that this was a really great book. Good job!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I was absolutely engrossed in this book! It deserves its status as the definitive biography of Kurt´s life. I went in with a working knowledge of Nirvana´s influence & controversy, aswell as personal affection for the music. This book illuminated the tortured life behind these things in vivid and frightening detail. As a biography, it´s rock solid; the prose is tight and mounted on a stockpile of research. Charles Cross is careful to be the dispassionate author as he recounts some pretty unusual events, but he makes some affection (and a morsel of judgement) for his subject obvious all the while, (a good mix). The descriptions of Kurt´s inconsistencies and character flaws (for want of a better term) made me feel like I was reading something authentic. I was glad the journal entires were used judiciously. (I imagine few biographers have this luxry and the temptation to cram in mountains of their content was wisely resisted) . I found this book maintained my interest because it made me reflective about the nature of celebrity aswell as because it took me unapologetically to the depth of drug addiction. I found myself closing the book every so often to look into the eyes of the image on the cover while pondering these two things. I did enjoy that Cross revealed the stories behind many of the images and lyrics that I remember from my youth, but I was glad he did this sparingly, so that getting to know Kurt was kept the focus. The anticipation of the suicide (we all know how the story ends, right?), is skilfully managed by the structure Cross adopts in revealing the information. Cross abandons the biographer´s regard for chronology by firstly following those searching for Kurt, then recounts an overlapping time-period from a priviliged (and principally imagined) vantage point at Kurt´s side in his last moments. The latter seems based enough on forensic evidence and interviews to maintain credibility. I thought this was a unique and effective ending for a biography. I also found it very eerie having recently made a small pilgrimage myself to the Lakeside house where the gruesome events transpired.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The New Testement I have quite a few Kurt Cobain/Nirvana books and while "Come As You Are" still holds up I have to say that if it is the "bible of alternative rock" then it would be the "old testement". The "new testement" being "Heavier Then Heaven". Now dont get me wrong you need to read both, with "Come As You Are" first and you need to combine information from both to get the most complete story that it is possible to get. So I recommend that you read "Come As You Are" and then "Heavier Then Heaven" and you will know all that could ever want to know.
Date published: 2014-04-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good Read. Yet Very Suspicious This is a very good tail of the legend himeself. Written out like a story you feel as though you can see the events like a movie. Although this is a very good book, it has been speculated about the stories in this book. Paricularily the end of his life. As Cross mentions many times how Kurt was a story teller, the same can be said for Courtney Love, one of Cross's main sources. A compelling story but do not believe everthing you read. It may or may not be entirely true.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good Read. Yet Very Suspicious This is a very good tail of the legend himeself. Written out like a story you feel as though you can see the events like a movie. Although this is a very good book, it has been speculated about the stories in this book. Paricularily the end of his life. As Cross mentions many times how Kurt was a story teller, the same can be said for Courtney Love, one of Cross's main sources. A compelling story but do not believe everthing you read. It may or may not be entirely true.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very good read. Yet very suspicious. This is a very good tail of the legend himeself. Written out like a story you feel as though you can see the events like a movie. Although this is a very good book, it has been speculated about the stories in this book. Paricularily the end of his life. As Cross mentions many times how Kurt was a story teller, the same can be said for Courtney Love, one of Cross's main sources. A compelling story but do not believe everthing you read. It may or may not be entirely true.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! I just finished reading this book and it left me completely awe struck. Charles Cross did such a wonderful job in writing this book that you felt you were there in the shadows watching Kurt develop and grow into the man we came to adore and worship. I was completely moved by the words and experiences and was brought to tears during the last chapter. I strongley recomend this book whether you are a Kurt Cobain fan or not. Not only does it give you a glimpse into the life of Cobain, but it gives you an insight to topics such as divorce, depression, addiction and suicide. It is a must read!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "For never was a story of more woe" This book is a draining experience. You'll be hooked on it, and unable to put it down until its tragic end. I'm not one to get caught up in the pop culture hype that surrounds Kurt Cobain's suicide, but this book made me cry. If you doubt Cobain's genius, the snippets of him in conversation will confirm it. Even when not writing songs, the clever wordplay and the speed of his mind is fully shown here through the memories of his friends, which Charles Cross has faithfully represented. The book reads like a Shakespearean tragedy (which Kurt seems to have anticipated, as he spoke about being like Hamlet toward the end of his life.) A poet and composer of monumental genius, the most luminous musician of his era, ( who "doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus") slowly succumbs to a heroin addiction and kills himself. All the fame and glory he craved wasn't enough. You'll have to put the book down, and cry, and listen to the Nirvana MTV Unplugged album over and over. (To respond to a previous review: Charles Cross includes an extensive list of sources that includes his over four hundred hours of interviews with all those close to Kurt Cobain. While it would be a little less heartbreaking if Kurt hadn't destroyed himself, if he had in fact been murdered, the conspiracy theory doesn't hold water.)
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Voice of a Generation I fully enjoyed reading this biography of Kurt Cobain "Heavier Than Heaven" by Charles Cross. I am a very big Nirvana fan, and I found Kurt Cobain to be a very interesting person. This book explored the depths of a rockstar's life, but not just any rockstar. Kurt Cobain - the godfather of grunge music and the voice of a generation. This book almost allowed you to get into Kurt's mind and soul. I really loved the way this book was written, and I learned so much about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, as did many others I'm sure. It was a very emotional book at times, but also very inspiring. I recommend it to all Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fans out there, and even those who are not fans. It's just an all-together amazing book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More than I could imagine Everything you think you know or knew about Kurt Cobain can be thrown out the window. Heavier than Heaven takes you deep into the tormented and saddened mind of Kurt Cobain. An unbelievable read that left me in tears by the end of the last chapter. Thank you Charles Cross for an unforgetable experience.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING impact I read this book knowing only a little about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain but enough that I thought it may be interesting. Throughout the book I became more and more of a Nirvana fan as I was listening to the music I was reading about. Unlike other biographys it drew me into this world that ended so tragically and I don't believe any book has had the impact this has upon me. I can only imagine reading it again (which I plan to) as the avid Nirvana fan I have become. I don't believe this is just a must have for those avid Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fans out there, I believe anyone even slightly interested in Music or the band will love and maybe get something out of the way I have, discovering my favorite band.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing read. I started listening to Nirvana in the summer of 2004, and became immideatley attatched. This book has uncovered so many details, and which I doubt are all lies. I was defiant to the fact of suicide, but after this read, there's just an aura that can point to it. The last chapter is very sad and tearful, and for any Nirvana fan, or anyone who appreciates reading, definitley pick it up. Heavier Than Heaven is the best and only true biography of Kurt. My favourite read yet.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sweetness is Here Kurt Cobain is a god along with nirvana and the grunge seen. I loved this book
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from magnificent,tearful...more than a simple biography I needed to read a book for my english class, and I thought Kurt Cobain was a great subejct. But back in the day, in my head,I didn't believe he commited suicide, until one day a friend of mine convinced me to read it and tells me I'll never think of his death as a murder again. I start reading it and find myself crying so many times. It is beautyfully written, and it appears to me that Charles Cross put more than a whole life effort to give us that book. The biography is excellent, even defiant, and when you read it it doesn't feel as if it's a biography, it feels so unreal, just like an imaginary twisted life. It is impossible to put it down after you started reading it and in the last chapter you will cry your heart out, just as I did. So, only one thing to say on this wonderful book : even though you are not a Kurt Cobain fan, read it. It's worth more than you can possibly ever imagine.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Kurt's bio is awsome This was an excellent bio about Kurt Cobain. I just started to listen to Nirvana and I got more and more interested into Kurt's life. So I bought the bio and I loved it. I had to do a bio project on anyone, and I chose to do it on Kurt and it gave me a passing mark of 98%. Because of that well written book about Kurt Cobain I passed my year and made it to grade 9. I recomend this book to anyone who is CRAZY about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!! This was an incredible read. For any fan of Kurt's looking to know more about one of music's greatest icons. When it comes to learning about his childhood life Charles Cross does an amazing job at bringing the reader into Kurt's life. BUT BE CAREFUL, when the book reaches the later years of Kurt's life, not everything is as it seems. Remember that this book was written with the permission and stories of Courtney Love, a lot of which turned out to be false or distorted. So while it is still a great book and mostly true, I would recommend reading Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain as well.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Great Book This is one of the first books I have read about Kurt Cobain and overall, it is a good book. It told me a lot about his childhood and how he grew up which gave me a better understanding to why he lived his life the way he did. By reading this book you get to know more about his feelings and thoughts. In my opinion, some of the facts (closer to his death) that are presented in this book are maybe a little questionable. Certain things that were said puzzled me because I've read otherwise. I'm still debating whether i trust Charles R. Cross's research for this book. I am big Nirvana fan and overall this book taught me lot about the band. I still want to read more about his life to fully understand the cause of his death. R.I.P Kurt... Nirvana Rocks!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from # 1 fan, #1 book. This Book Heavier than Heaven by Charles Cross... Is unexplainably great. The detail and suspence kept me reading and reading. I am a huge KURT COBAIN/NIRVANA fan. I believe that even if I hadn't of known of him, the book would have still of been emaculate. I suggest you read this, it provides a lot of information about Kurt and It can be a real tearjerker :) peace love empathy ;) Justine.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best Cobain Biography Period! This book was one of the best books ever written about a man who was the hero of a generation, a man who changed the face of music forever. Every page of this book was incredible, it just kept me wanting to go on. There wasn't a part in the book where it would be considered boring. Charles Cross has done an excellent job. This is the definate Kurt Biography. It was emotional and sad. One of the best books ever.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of the most inspiring books ever written I have always had a lingering intrest in the life of Kurt Cobain. Although I myself was more of a Pearl Jam fan, I had a great respect for Nirvana. When I read this book last year, I was intsantly inspired. The stories and experiences the Charles Cross has captured are remarkable. While after a while, Cross' writing becomes riducolously repetitive (Kurt would say that (x) would happen to him, but (y) actually happened to him) its still a great book. My favorite parts are at the genesis of Nirvana, when they played small parties. The best line is when a girl asks Kurt to play some Besatie Boys. He responds with Beastiality Boys? ! Genius!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LONG LIVE KURT COBAIN this book is great. it opened up the world of a great musician. r.i.p. kurt, remember you will always be missed. your my hero thank for all the great music
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from kurt! before i read this book, i hardly had a clue as to who kurt really was. id always been told to disregard the dark parts of rock, but now i cant take my eyes off of it. after reading the book, i actually grieved for kurt, and felt kinda depressed for a little while after. even after reading one account of his life, i felt attached to kurt. i have researched about him and read other points of view on him and he still remains one of my truest idols. his courage throught his career and life is an inspiration.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's a very emotional book When i read this book it brought me to tears many times,it dug deep into the core of Kurt's life.I notice that when i was done the book it left me with a lot of unanswered questions.I think this book reflects on a lot of Courtney's side of the story,which may or may not be accurate or true.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very interesting This book is backed up by great research. A very very interesting story, but very tragic. I would have liked to see more use of the unpublished journals. Well written. Could have been more detailed near the end of his life.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Want to go for a ride? This books allows you to sit on the shoulder of a brilliant man and witness his entire life through the words of an amazing story teller. Charles Cross through detail and extensive research, assembles broken pieces of Kurt Cobain's life and places them into one amazing work of art. This is not only a biography of a great mind but the world surrounding the music created by Nirvana and the struggles and pain that made the music so powerful. You will never listen to another Nirvana song the same way again.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heavier Than Heaven I have a hard time finding a book i like and when i went into the book store and saw this book i had to have it. I like Nirvana so i wanted it. and I have never read a book so Amazingly written or so in depth in my life...I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Lies, lies, lies... This book is GARBAGE! nothing in it is truthful, the author mainly credits Courtney Love for the information & all other sources are an unnamed source, even professional critics have given this book two thumbs down and were disgusted by the lies. Spend your money on that new Nirvana c.d. or ANY OTHER book but not this! or you'll just be feed garbage and become another victim of the media.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a wonderful book I am a Kurt Cobain fan, I have always been and always will be. Although I may not agree with the term suicide, the book captivated and explained Kurt's life in detail.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally Unforgetable!!! this is the best book that i have ever read! u will never forget this book, it is so graphic in detail, about his life, from the moment he was born to his first record label, to sleeping in his car, and being the biggest rockstar of his time, and of course his tragic death. if you love nirvava, or kurt cobain then you better read this book! you won't be able to put it down.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A story of a troubled and beautiful man When I started reading this book, I never really thought about what exactly I was reading. I thought it would just be a very light, detailed telling of Cobain's life. This, however, is not true. This book closely examines Kurt's life, and death. It talk about his dreams, feelings, triumphs, and defeats. It is a love story about him and Courtney Love, and a tragedy about him and heroin. It speaks right to the core of the reader, touching on every emotion. When I read the chapter about Kurt's death, there were tears in my eyes. When I finished, I grieved for Kurt Cobain. This is an amazing book, about an amzing man.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cobain lives on... Very good book, well written.... Really gives a lot of insight for the fans that really care. The end is really eerie.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very enlightning Richard Cross has done a great job telling the story of Kurt Cobain's life and music and the interaction between them. Even a Niravana fan (Like me) would find new and interesting insights and suddenly realize a few things about Kurt and the circumstances that led him to do the things he did. But most of all, at least for my part, it made me finally realize what was it about Kurt Cobain that made me love him so much. Wanna know more? Read this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from reduced me to tears This book is beautifully sad & tragic, gives a lot more info then a lot of other books about Kurt. It's beautifully written & tells all the things that we as fans left behind by his death want to know. Kurt was an inspiration, a teacher, a poet, & of course as we all are, human. Beautiful book, a must read for all Kurt Cobain fans.
Date published: 2013-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from brilliantly done This book was really enciteful to Cobains life and legacy that was left behind. I have never been an avid reader but once i picked this up it was hard to put down. It was interesting to read all the diary entrys from kurt, all the notes and love letters. anyone who is interested in kurt's life should definitely read this.
Date published: 2013-10-25

– More About This Product –

Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography Of Kurt Cobain

by Charles R. Cross

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 400 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1.12 in

Published: August 21, 2002

Publisher: Hyperion

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786884029

ISBN - 13: 9780786884025

From the Publisher

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

CHARLES R. CROSS was editor of The Rocket, the Northwest''s highly regarded music and entertainment magazine and the first publication to do a cover story on Nirvana. He is also the author of Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix; Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell; Backstreets: Springsteen, the Man and his Music; Nevermind: The Classic Album; and Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, and Spy, among many other publications. He lives in Seattle.

Editorial Reviews

"One of the most moving and revealing books ever written about a rock star."--The Los Angeles Times-The Los Angeles Times, "HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN sets a high, new standard."--Rolling Stone
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