Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Nirvana Blues” as Want to Read:
The Nirvana Blues
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Nirvana Blues

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  317 ratings  ·  20 reviews
The seventies are over. All across America, the overgrown kids of the middle class are getting their acts together -- and getting older. The once-tight Chicano community of Chamisaville is long gone, and the Anglo power-brokers control almost everything. Joe Miniver - faithful husband, loving father, and all-around good guy - is about to sink roots. To buy the land he want...more
Mass Market Paperback, 596 pages
Published August 27th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1981)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Nirvana Blues, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Nirvana Blues

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 450)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Thom Foolery
I thought the other 1-star ratings of this book were extreme until I slogged through this piece of shit. The writing is occasionally brilliant, but far too often it reads, as another reviewer put it, like Nichols got paid by the word. The protagonist has to be one of the more reprehensible, unlikable characters in fiction; an NYC-power-player-turned-Communist-garbage-man, he pities himself as he abandons his wife and children to chase after a handful of different women and he plumbs the depths o...more
Brett Fernau
Right up there as one of the worst books every written. The Milagro Beanfield War was a delightful read, funny, tragic, touching, well-written. Nirvana Blues is nothing like that. Whimsical and absurd are good qualities in a book, this one is just stupid. It insulted my intelligence from the first page.

My recommendation: Read The Milagro Beanfield War. Don't bother with this one. I don't trashcan very many books, perhaps two in my lifetime, but this one goes in the trash. The Milagro Beanfield W...more
We could call John Nichols’ “New Mexico Trilogy” “How the West Was Lost,” but the three books are about more than that as evidenced by the epilogue of Nirvana Blues, the final novel in the trilogy. (view spoiler) Whereas Magic Journey covers much of The Cold War, Nirvana Blues covers only a week in Joe Miniver’s life as he vacillates between holding his family together by buying 1.7 acres of the la...more
Finished this weeks ago and really didn't have much ambition toward reviewing it. This is the 3rd of Nichols' loose New Mexico trilogy, the first of which was The Milagro Beanfield War , a book I really enjoyed. Admittedly, I didn't read this one in order - the 2nd book, The Magic Journey, wasn't around during my last visit to my local 2nd hand bookstore but this was and those are the breaks. Anyway - this book, like Milagro, delves into mystic realism, existentialism, and the like, in the conte...more
I gave up on this book after 77 pages. With hundreds more pages ago, I felt there were much better books to be read than to slog through this one. The narrative seemed rambling and the dialogue bloated, with characters who were eccentric but not engaging, and there seemed to point to any of it.

Too bad, because I enjoyed the rather lengthy prologue, which traced the recent history of Nichol's fictional town of Chamisaville--a thinly-disguised Taos, where Nichols resides. Having spent some time in...more
Bern J
With a thud-thus ended The New Mexico trilogy of John Nichols. I really liked the first book in the series-The Milagro Beanfield War (I gave it 5 stars).It was light & playful. The second book , The Magic Journey, was less so but I enjoyed it enough to give it 4 stars.
However, I thought this concluding book of the trilogy was a stinker.
It felt forced, labored & tedious,like Nichols was being paid by the word.It should have been edited down by 100 pages or so.
I was hoping that the story...more
Susan Defreitas
For over-the-top humor, literary maximalism, and sheer heart, I return to John Nichols's New Mexico trilogy. Any writer who deals with environmental issues and the (still) wild politics of the Wild West cannot avoid doing so any more than they can avoid Ed Abbey, but I'm always struck by Nichols's great love for humans in general while brooking no BS. Like its predecessors, this book has a million literary warts (too many characters, overwrought plot), but you'll hardly even notice, because what...more
The final installment of the New Mexico Trilogy. If you've got a brain, the minute you finished the first chapter of The Milagro Beanfield War, you were destined to read this book. You might be disappointed, but not by the quality of the book. Much time passed between the end of The Magic Journey and The Nirvana Blues, and the setting is more modern. While TNB keeps the same framework as the first two books, the plot closely follows just one man as he bumbles, at times bravely, at times farcical...more
The 2nd best of the "Milagro Beanfield War". Although the 2nd one, "The Magic Journey" wasn't so great, reading it did make this third installment all the better. A crazy, lilting attempt by one man to become real. Imagine "The Velveteen Rabbit" on LSD.

Kept My Attention - 5
Well-written - 5
Accessible - 5
Must Read - 3
Important - 1
Plus some stray points, just b/c this book deserves a 4 star rating.
A 250 page novel crammed into 500 pages. Overly silly, contrived . . . . just trys too hard. This is the third of his New Mexico trilogy beginning with The Milagro Beanfield Wars which happens to be one of my all-time favorite books - unfortunately this one was sadly disappointing. One day I'll read the middle book, but I'm not overly exited to do that anytime soon. Oh and p.s. I hated the ending, HATED it.
I must admit that I didn't get very far. It seemed like a bunch of characters got introduced very quickly, and every single one of them was quirky/goofy/whimsical/enchanted/flakey. It was like staring at a dinner composed of nothing but frosting blobs and sugary multicolored jimmies. No thanks...
The same brilliant writing as Milagro Beanfield War, but the story struck me as much darker, sadder. It lacks much of the hilarity of the first book, which balanced out the tragedy. Still, I will be reading the final of the trilogy sometime soon.
Roger Burns
This book was very strange yet I liked how this dude managed to screw up his world so quickly. It was difficult to follow at times with the weird shit the author was trying to describe.
I loves Milagro Bean Feild Wars so much. I just figured this would be great too. What a depressing ordeal. I don't think I read another book for a year after that.
I would have liked this book better if it was a logical conclusion to the New Mexico Trilogy. Instead, it was all over the place. Mostly just a long, awkward read.
I hated this one. I'm not sure I even finished - and it was bitterly disappointing because I loved Milagro Beanfeild War so much.
David Roberts
The final book in his New Mexico Trilogy, with more wacky characters, satire, and New Age parody.
A novel about how to really mess up your life in just a few days, but have fun doing it (sort of).
very queer book didn't read the first two, don't want to. Just not my style I guess.
very sexual...interesting though
Allison Gehnrich
Allison Gehnrich is currently reading it
Oct 13, 2014
Terry marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2014
Anamaria marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2014
Mary Grace
Mary Grace marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2014
Ania marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other True Stories of the Southwest
  • Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like
  • The Brave Cowboy: An Old Tale in a New Time
  • Hole in the Sky: A Memoir
  • At Freddie's
  • Cities of Gold: A Journey Across the American Southwest in Pursuit of Coronado
  • Northern Borders
  • Incident at Twenty-Mile
  • Melymbrosia: A Novel
  • The Beat Book
  • Wild Indigo (A Wild Mystery #1)
  • The Ones You Do
  • Class Trip
  • The Write-Brain Workbook
  • Thuggin In Miami (The Family Is Made : Part 1)
  • The John McPhee Reader
  • Arthur Rex
  • My Wicked, Wicked Ways
John Nichols is the author of the New Mexico trilogy, a series about the complex relationship between history, race and ethnicity, and land and water rights in the fictional Chamisaville County, New Mexico. The trilogy consists of The Milagro Beanfield War (which was adapted into the film The Milagro Beanfield War directed by Robert Redford), The Magic Journey, and The Nirvana Blues.

Two of his oth...more
More about John Nichols...
The Milagro Beanfield War The Magic Journey The Sterile Cuckoo The Empanada Brotherhood The New Mexico Trilogy: The Milagro Beanfield War / The Magic Journey / The Nirvana Blues

Share This Book

“Each person leaves a legacy--a single, small piece of herself, which makes richer each individual life and the collective life of humanity as a whole. But do not despair, for despair is a despicable and bourgeois affectation; we must not allow it. As for what happens next, well, as the Cuban poet Regino Pedroso once said, "como forjamos el hierro, forjaremos días nuevos": as we hammer out iron, we shall hammer out new days.” 6 likes
“Each person leaves a legacy -- a single, small piece of herself, which makes richer each individual life and the collective life of humanity as a whole.” 3 likes
More quotes…