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Kurt Cobain

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  986 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
The classic biography which explores the shocking drama of Kurt Cobain's troubled life
Published December 1st 2001 by Orion (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jamie Tirion
Jul 14, 2013 Jamie Tirion rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The description of Kurt Cobain in this book is absolute bullshit. Read this text by Jack Endino, who recorded with Kurt loads of times:

recently someone sent me a photocopy of just two (!) pages (106 and 107) from Chris Sandford’s book on Nirvana, entitled “Kurt Cobain”. In it he describes the sessions for Bleach from the point of view of “Endino’s engineer” and even an unnamed “second source at Reciprocal”; he describes Kurt putting lit matches in his mouth, spraying antiperspirant down his thro
Aug 02, 2012 Saptashwa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author should stick to sticking his tiny finger up his ass and smelling it periodically instead of trying to write about greats he has no fuckin' knowledge of!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Aug 07, 2008 Rob rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: music
makes albert goldman look like james boswell. this is a shit biography that goes the extra mile - not only is it bad biography, it's mean-spirited trash. bravo.
Ally Van Schilt
Jan 07, 2016 Ally Van Schilt rated it liked it
Unlike many other Cobain biographies I've read. Now I've been generous in my rating, as I, strangely enough, enjoy biographies which do not glorify their subjects. I like biographies that show the people as flawed, complex individuals (something which there's no doubting Kurt was), not perfect, and not making excuses for them when they're clearly in the wrong. This book certainly did not glorify Kurt. It was an extremely harsh portrayal of him, in fact. And, having read a few other Goodreads rev ...more
Nicole Green
This book is full of sensationalism. That it was written by a journalist makes sense, considering the state of our media today.

There's some good info about Kurt and his music here--and Nirvana more generally--and that's the only reason I didn't give this book one star.

Very little of the author's claims are backed up by actual facts. Most of the info is hearsay from (most likely) disgruntled people. And it's pretty easy to say whatever you want about a dead guy. After all, who's going to contradi
Jan 17, 2014 Will rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is nothing short of a character assassination on Cobain written by a tired journalist looking to make a buck. Sources who knew Cobain such as Jack Endino have ratified it's about 90% fiction, and you would be doing a disservice to both yourself, and Cobain's memory by reading it.

From the second or third chapter in where Sandford starts implying if Cobain hadn't become a rock star he would have been a serial killer I realised how full of sh*t this author is. The sensationalism defies b
Jun 06, 2015 Jack rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst books I've ever read. In short, it is more of an attack on Kurt's character rather than an unbiased portrayal of his legacy. Sandford is highly opinionated and arrogant in his writing, and shows little regard for anything beyond sensationalist viewpoints. I give the book no stars, and would only recommend it to those who would like to read every publication regarding Cobain, despite Sanford's blatant inaccuracies and hostile tone throughout. A prime example of an author who woul ...more
Carson hall
Mar 12, 2013 Carson hall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The way this book is written, one would think Kurt was Satan himself. The author obviously doesn't like Kurt and wants to twist his life and his actions around to make him look like an egotistical fool.

I don't know what is true in here and what isn't, but much of it goes against everything I have seen about Kurt since I have been interested in him.

There are also certain events portrayed where I believe the author completely misunderstood Kurts intentions.
Jul 15, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about Cobain from this book (assuming the author wasn't paid by Courtney Love to drag Kurt's name through the mud). If this really is a true account of Cobain's life, it's one of the most shocking biographies I've ever read.
Apr 30, 2012 Tifinie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i really love this book because its better then all the other books about Kurt Cobain. it gives you full life story of his and the band mates life and the fame of nirvana. also the pictures are great of him and the band.
Sep 28, 2012 Tam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight to kurts life. Although they may not all be 100%accurate, you can glimpse his dark side that took him over the edge.
Mar 06, 2013 Charles rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
propaganda shet.
David Kudlinski
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana has been credited as the founder of grunge music and voted as the most significant musician of the 1990s decade by Rolling Stone Magazine. Despite fortune and fame, he committed suicide in April, 1994. The root cause was depression and an undiagnosed mental illness, but there are several contributing causes, including chronic stomach pain and mental deterioration from drug use. By far the most intriguing contributing cause to his depression was the schizophrenic split of h ...more
Dane Cobain
Apr 24, 2016 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the many books that I read as a kid on the subject of Kurt Cobain, but it’s also one of the better ones. Sandford, who’s also written biographies of Steve McQueen, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen and Roman Polanski, is the perfect man for the job – he’s thorough with his research and he writes fluidly. I can’t speak for any of his other work, but here you get the impression that he’s allowed himself and his writing to take ...more
Vikash (


There is a picture in this book, ‘Kurt Cobain’, where Nirvana’s Lead man Kurt Cobain is seen sporting a T-shirt with a caption “Grunge Is Dead”, because the “Father of Grunge” had it on before his inevitable death, Christopher Sandford, the author, says it was premature(like his child he is holding in the picture). I think it was Kurt Cobain’s presentiment, or was it?
I had an intuition about it like the one Kurt had after so much of drugs, sex, violence and Grunge and grudge in hi
Travis Wooster
Apr 16, 2014 Travis Wooster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My book was about Nirvana’s lead singer Kurt Cobain. I chose this book because
I had researched him a little bit before and he was a very interesting person during his 27 years on earth. The book was absolutely worth reading, but I hope you have plenty of time because it is impossible to put down. I would recommend this book to every, more specifically those who like Nirvana, rock and roll, or even just a good mystery type novel. A thing I really liked about this book was how it went deeper into
Tyler Dykema
Parts of this were awesome, but as a longtime Cobain disciple, a lot of it was difficult to read. I don't want to attack Sandford for this project like so many have (seriously, the guy has gotten death threats over this), but some of the passive-aggressive tones here are kind of alarming. He clearly has a respect for Kurt's talent, but almost seems to hate him as a person, often dragging his name and reputation harder than I've ever seen or read before.

With that being said, I was thoroughly ent
Mar 09, 2011 Terri rated it really liked it
Sandfort mette a nudo Kurt Cobain, leader della rock band Nirvana, pionieri insieme ai Pearl Jam del movimento grunge e della scena di Seattle.

Il lato umano di Kurt Cobain emerge e sboccia come un fiore nel deserto. La lotta contra la società, il divorzio dei genitori che l'ha segnato in profondità, la voglia di emergere dal gruppo, di scrivere e suonare fino all'asfissiante successo che gli ha prosciugato l'anima e la creatività.

In una spirale sempre più stretta, Kurt si trova intrappolato in u
Joitakin lukijoita on ilmeisesti melkolailla harmittanut kirjan kriittisyys päähenkilöään kohtaan, mutta mielestäni ei kirjailija ei vetänyt asiassa yli. Hän vaikutti vain sanovan suoraan kaiken sen mitä muut hymistelevät, eikä ollut suoranaisesti vihamielinen ja ainakin omasta mielestäni osasi antaa Cobainille kunniaa niissä tilanteissa, joissa kunniaa kuului.

Kirjailija osasi ottaa yhden napakan askeleen taaksepäin ja tarkastella tilannetta (mitä ilmeisemmin) ilman fanituksen luomaa tunnesidet
May 28, 2015 Kelleen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I can't rate this book...after chapter three I couldn't stand it anymore and returned it to Barnes and Noble for a full's THAT bad. If you are looking for non-biased, non-judgmental, and factual information about Kurt Cobain, please don't pick this loser. I don't understand how a person who dislikes Cobain so much would waste his time writing a book about him. Every one of his "sources" must have hated his guts, been super-jealous, or had an axe to grind with Cobain and Nirvana. Two ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the author did a good job summarizing Cobain's life even though there were some confusing throughout the book. Many people feel the author did not do a good job expressing Cobain's emotions but I though he did a good job showing Cobain's actions and what caused them. I think that the reader did a good job with character development although I didn't like how they described Cobain's death in the beginning because it made me not want to read the book because I knew how and why he killed ...more
Jun 23, 2015 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This read like a long BBC special news report. The British style and cadence made it a bit droll, but I did appreciate all the details about Cobain's life. I owned one Nirvana CD back in the 90's and learned how to play the intro of Come As You Are on the guitar, but I didn't know much about Nirvana or Cobain. This book helped to shed some light on that, but not so much in an emotional or very personal way. Bigger fans of both would likely be disappointed by this book, but for someone who wants ...more
Riia Ryymin
Complete crap, I have to say. I pretty much never quit reading a book before finishing it and I normally think I have no right to judge a book I've not finished but this time I can't help myself. I couldn't finish chapter 3.

I don't like Sandford's way of writing and this book isn't even journalistically objective - which would have been only positive - it's malicious.

I regret buying this book and supporting this kind of rubbish.
Neriah Torrez
May 14, 2015 Neriah Torrez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading the book about Nirvana's front man Kurt Cobain I learned so much about his past and his personal struggles which really brought the book to life. I really enjoyed this book. The writing was very well done and the emotions were exactly as they were intended to be. The entire book was filled to the brim with tear jerking passages and quotes. This book was overall amazing and very heartfelt.
Gary Cannon
Apr 03, 2014 Gary Cannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-photo
If you are a fan of Cobain or Nirvana I would not recommend this book. If half of what's in this bio is true (and I don't doubt the author) then Cobain may just have been the biggest narcissitic pychopath I have ever heard of....using and discarding friends, beating a child unconcious over a pizza, etc. I've read bios of serial killers that are more sympathetic.
Aug 21, 2015 Julie_ian_curtis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-has-it, non-fiction
it's been a few years since ive read this and reading it again it strikes me at how unsympathetic it is. i mean ouch! sandford basically says kurt doesnt have enough talent to be called an artist(although he does praise his singing voice) and that kurt was basically on drugs his whole adult life. most of the quotes are recycled from 'come as you are'
Jan 09, 2008 Cole rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My least favorite biography on Kurt Cobain's life. I read this a long time ago, back when I was in Jr. High, but if I remember correctly it was pretty sensational.
Jim Hull
Sep 18, 2007 Jim Hull rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any nirvana fan
one of my favorite artist. His music meant a lot to me back when I was going through some very tough periods in my life.
Madonna Analla
Jul 20, 2011 Madonna Analla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book but really sad. It made me understand the turmoil he was constantly in. His death made sense after I read the book.
Jan 05, 2009 Deanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was disturbing (not the author's fault, I'm sure), and I haven't read it again since that first time.
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Christopher Sandford has published acclaimed biographies of Kurt Cobain, Steve McQueen, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Roman Polanski. He has worked as a film and music writer and reviewer for over 20 years and frequently contributes to newspapers and magazines on both sides of the Atlantic. Rolling Stone has called him "the preeminent author in his field today."

More about Christopher Sandford...

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