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Journals

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  8,764 ratings  ·  347 reviews
Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. Over twenty of these notebooks survived his many moves and travels and have been locked in a safe since his death. His journals reveal an artist who loved records, who k ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 4th 2002 by Penguin Group (first published 2002)
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Kendall Moore I think you should read this book for one reason only.

1. It would help you gain an entirely new understanding of Cobain as a person.

Look, I know you…more
I think you should read this book for one reason only.

1. It would help you gain an entirely new understanding of Cobain as a person.

Look, I know you think that reading a dead man's diary is morally disconcerting but consider this. Most of what people know about Cobain and his music is filtered through others bias' and the media. So, if you ask the average person what they think of Kurt, three responses are possible; ambivalence, anger, or mourning. Essentially, what I am trying to say is that the music, despite its beauty, cannot fully do justice to him because of these distortions. Therefore, I think that reading his journals is not only acceptable but a duty that every fan should undertake. Besides, the book practically dares you to what with the inscriptions on the front and cover.


P.S. Ultimately, its up to you whether or not you crack open this tome. I will respect your decision either way. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sarah Jacquie
I've been a Nirvana fan since 1993, and after 1994 I collected all the unfortunate articles, magazines, books, and everything you could think of. I was sad, confused, and most of all lost. I still remember 1994 like it was yesterday and it has stayed with me... but life moved on and you either went on or as a few people I've sadly lost, didn't. It stayed with you though, no matter how much you had moved on. It was like a dark spot in the back of my mind that I kept to myself, or only thought abo ...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
The fact that this book exists:

1) makes me never want to trust anyone ever ever EVER again.

2) leaves me with even less faith in love than I had before I flipped through it. (Don't worry. I watched Imagine afterward and felt much better.)

3) makes me want to throw up in my mouth a tiny bit. Okay, a lot. Rivers.

4) reminds me that the first time I saw it, it was on a display with a Kurt Cobain action figure. I believe this speaks for itself.

5) makes me want to sock Courtney Love. And I'm non-violen
...more
Conrad Zero
May 14, 2007 Conrad Zero rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Fans of Nirvana
Shelves: non-fiction
Have you ever seen a 'serial killer' movie when they find the secret hideout of the bad guy, and inevitibly there are newspaper clippings tacked to the walls, drawings, quotes, pictures, etc...

Well, cross that with your High School Underground Notebook and you have Kurt Cobain's Journals. It's full of doodles, sketches, and lyric work on Nirvana songs. It also has drafts of concert fliers, notes to friends and some diary entries and rants. This was one of many journals made by Kurt Cobain, but
...more
Sunil
Though the book is a capitalistic marketing of an icon I could not resist buying it. I wanted to know if he was the same person I had reckoned him to be through his songs. When I finished the book , I had realised how incredibly daft and supremely beautiful was his passion for music. The book is an excellent journey of affect through passion and how it burns you out if left on its own.
C.V. Hunt
To anyone who is not a Nirvana fan - I don’t know why you are even bothering to look at this. Read no further.

For those who ARE Nirvana fans, tread forward with caution.

This book was an insightful look into one of the most beautiful minds that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing as it unfolded. People talk about where they were, or what they were doing when great catastrophes happened in the world. Laugh if you want, but I still remember where and what I was doing when I heard that Kurt
...more
Meggan
0/5. I just don't understand this Cobain guy. He slams his Mead "The Spiral" notebook on a scanner bed, collects a check, and calls it a day. Not even inviting a pompous rock journalist to write an introduction. How am I supposed to know what he means by "THE OLD SCHOOL IS GOING DOWN FAST, FUCK FACE" without Kurt Loder voice overs to interpret for me? I sorta sense that he is angry at baby boomers. But I don't know why. What's wrong with recycling "Louie Louie" and "GeeEllOhArEyeAa" over and ove ...more
Lotus
The low rating is NOT due to the journals content (how can you rate something like someone's journals anyhow?!) but more so to the fact that I didn't feel good about reading someones personal thoughts not meant to be shared. I also suspect I likely would have enjoyed this a lot more back in the 80's.

I finally decided to get this out at the library out of curiosity I guess but now wish that I hadn't...I mostly skimmed it, read a bit of it more in depth but it just seemed really so very personal a
...more
§--

Reading this the second time felt a lot different from when I read it back in 2003 when it came out. I have always been a big Nirvana fan; I remember liking them while they were still together. Back in 2003 I was pretty obsessed, so I bought this book.

You might expect that it's cruel to do so, but it appears that Cobain was writing with the assumption that someone would read it. In places, he tells the reader what to feel, gives disclaimers, and even gets defensive.

Perhaps I am saner than I was
...more
Hadeer Abdelahad
I'm not really into reading autobiographies of musicians specially if it's the personal thoughts of a dead man who didn't want it to be published .. But my curiosity let me get over the remorse of conscious ..
In the first pages the book describes the early beginnings of nirvana .. to the prime of their glory days
It also shows the overwhelming influence of heroine over Kurt's life , music and mental health and how his drug addiction was enhanced by his stomach condition .. He wasn't one of thes
...more
Brandon Dalo
Instead going into a review of Nirvana, let me just stick to reviewing these journals themselves. They are the legitimate journals of the late Kurt Cobain, and also included are various drawings, lyrics of his, and letters he wrote to other people. All of these are scanned up so that you see the original pages as they were.

The first thing I want to mention are how private they feel, and how you almost feel guilty for peeking into them. Even the front of his notebook says, “If you read you’ll ju
...more
Chris Freeman
Oct 12, 2007 Chris Freeman rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans, Non-Fans
Ok when i first heard about this, I thought it was a cheap pandering to the fan-boys. But it is totally worth it. It's more than just scrawled song lyrics. It's really pretty intimate. The voice of a generation was just as confused as the rest of us. I guess we knew that already, but here are the details.
Elly
Beeeeeeeeeeeeautiful. I got to read it at the library. Mum doesn't want me being 'inspired' by Kurt.
Too late..
Cameron
Journals is all about Kurt Cobain and his life before and during Nirvana. Throughout the book are drawings and song lyrics and just simple journal entries by Kurt. There's everything from band drama to song titles and album art and t-shirt graphics. There are also some really deep things about Kurt and his past that showed good things and bad.

After reading "Journals" I got a really good look into Kurt's views and ideas. He had many views against racism and was pro equality. He was also a very ta
...more
stupidus
Kurt apparently never wanted to see his journals to be published. Then again the man was a walking contradiction. Be that as it may, "Journals" offer an insight to Kurt's world.

( Besides, an asshole who shoots himself in the head, leaving behind a daughter and a wife, not to mention band members and other friends, has no moral rights to make any demands as far as I'm concerned. )

Still, it's assuring to know that like most lyricists/poets Kurt honed his lyrics too. In 99 cases out of 100, they al
...more
Natalie Pietro
I had very mixed feeling about this book. Yes they are Kurt Cobain's personal journals that shouldn't be read but he stated in his journal "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me says yes its okay to read them but the other part says stay back they are his personal thoughts. However anyone who keeps a diary knows one day when they are gone their diary will be read ...more
Felisa Rosa
I remember when this book came out I couldn't afford it, and I stood in the Olympia mall reading it from cover to cover. I felt bad--I was pretty sure Kurt probably wouldn't have wanted these published, but at the same time there was the voyeur's thrill of snooping through someone else's private thoughts. I always feels sorry for people when their private journals are published posthumously; I tend to write in my journals and notebooks when I'm feeling down and I can only imagine what a distorte ...more
Amber
My boyfriend lent me this book to read. It was kind or strange to be reading a dead man's journals. Kurt could really draw. This made me understand that my boyfriend and I really do have different taste in music.

It took me a long time to read this book. I would read a few pages and then put the book down. The reason being it man me think about what I read for days, then I would pick it up again and think some more etc.

I really enjoyed that then scanned the pages of this journals that way you co
...more
Passant Lotfy
Okay, just to be clear I felt like an immoral bastard while reading these journals but then again "Don't read my diary when I'm gone. OK, I'm going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out." So part of me said yes its okay to read them but the other part said stay back they are his personal thoughts, idk
Anyways, I found this incredible, his thoughts about sexism, rape and racism, media, politics along with everything else fascina
...more
Joey
Anything that has someone known as "Retard Fucker" in it has to be good. And it wasn't private as some may think, he left it out on the table for whoever wanted could read it.
Noe
It was perhaps the most insightful document I've ever come across in the subject of Nirvana and Kurt Donald Cobain that I have ever read, quite obviously because it was written by the man himself.

This was given to me as a Christmas present and will forever be cherished as such, but without having that gloss over, it led to very sad realizations: That Cobain was a very troubled and sad individual. All the rage and desperation you could hear in his music was genuine, it mirrored Cobain's struggle
...more
Mary Louise
This book was equal parts fascinating and disturbing. I did have to overcome a sense of guilt over reading the journals of a man who is no longer with us, a man who most likely didn't expect (or want) them to be publicly released. That said, these journal entries provide an insight into Kurt's mind and thought process. I loved seeing early workings of song lyrics, I loved the random doodles. There are angry moments, sad moments, and snippets of joy (an entry that mentions the joy Frances Bean ha ...more
Erin
By reading this book I was hoping to get a sense of the type of person Kurt Cobain was. I loved Nirvana as a teenager (I even had a t-shirt with the picture on page 207 on the back of it) and I am intensely interested in seeing the inner workings of the minds of artists I admire. In this book, I got a sense of Cobain's personality, but overall the book disappointed me. There is no introduction to offer context on the life of Cobain or the career of Nirvana. The pages of the 'journals' are not da ...more
James
I remember being so excited when I found this at a book store; Kurt Cobain has always been a hero and almost sort of a friend to me. Going through it was sort of a paradox. On the one hand,these journals were extremely interesting, of course. Kurt's songs, letters, reflections,drawings, and even his political beliefs are rolled into here, and I by no means regret reading them soley due do that. Nonetheless, I felt really weired reading things that are so personal and private. I defintely think ...more
Teresa
This is the mans private journal, something that should never ever have been published. I avoided reading it for years because I think it's disgusting that anyone is able too frankly but eventually my fan side gave in. I was surprised , a lot of the journal is about record deals and boring business stuff like that, so there isn't too much for a subscriber to the "cult of personality" to indulge in.

For the rest of us though, I will say this, it is heart wrenching and wildly interesting at times
...more
Dana
I'm not quite sure why anyone would read it if they weren't a Nirvana fan. I found this incredible, although at times I thought I was reading something that was not meant for me or anybody else. His thoughts and opinions about abortion, rape, politics, punk rock, and "oppressors" were fascinating to me. He was a real genius. But I don't see any evidence as to why he killed himself. He talked about his stomach issues, about buying a gun, about his heroin addiction -- but nothing to really say tha ...more
Suzanne Tanaka
I only took off a star for the many excisions/text black outs presumably made by his "lawfully shredded wife".

Kurt was a genius, and comes across as both kind and intensely driven.

Pranay
Not really a book, rather a collection of the guy's notebooks (Journals, duh). With lyrics of songs, sometimes unfinished, chords, sketches and rants about expenses, a band's philosophy and sometimes just about getting by while trying to achieve the dream - it isn't for everyone I guess. there is too much disconnected-ness for someone who doesn't know/respect him or his music. But if you're a fan, just leafing through the pages while chilling with a beer will transport you to another dimension - ...more
Cintia Andrade
Apesar de o Kurt Cobain ter sido meu primeiro amor platônico, desde o anúncio deste livro eu o rejeitei de imediato, porque sou radicalmente contra a publicação de escritos pessoais de uma pessoa morta. Acho horrível quem vende os direitos, quem publica, quem compra. Acho horrível que a curiosidade dos vivos valha mais do que o desejo do morto (que não, nunca quis publicar estes diários). Muitos anos se passaram e eu acabei comprando o livro em uma promoção da Amazon movida sei lá pelo quê. Quan ...more
Donna Lyn
I had to give this 5 stars for the format - his actual journal pages were scanned right onto the pages of the book which made for a fascinating read - seeing his drawings, handwriting, genius, and drug-induced madness in ink. I think if he came back to life, he would be PISSED that his journals were published. Talk about "rape me."

I grew up with abandonment issues and a lot of anger - punk music and alternative music expressed a lot of the anger that I felt. Yet there was always a line that cros
...more
John Allen

I don't think there's any doubt at this point that Kurt Cobain was a musical genius, and that he had more of a flair for the practical side of music shooting videos just as he wanted them shot and dealing with things than he is given credit for, paying tribute to his punk rock roots and very specifically the bands that meant the most to him (The Melvins, The Meat Puppets, Mudhoney). And doing all this without once de-escalating the titanic rise of Nirvana.

These almost dadaistic journals, are rep
...more
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33041
Kurt Donald Cobain, was an American musician who served as lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana.

Cobain formed Nirvana in 1987 with Krist Novoselic. Within two years, the band became a fixture of the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene. In 1991, the arrival of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" marked the beginning of a dramatic shift of popular rock music awa
...more
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Nirvana Odeio-me e quero morrer Kurt Cobain Quotes The Man Who Sold The World Artwork

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“I use bits and pieces of others personalities to form my own.” 129 likes
“Please read my diary, look through my things and figure me out.” 111 likes
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