Kristopher Jansma's Reviews > Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain

Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross
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's review
Feb 09, 09

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

I read these two Kurt Cobain biographies as part of some research for my new novel, which I wanted to have some tangential connections to Nirvana and Cobain. I read both books along with completely-legally-paying-for (read downloading) all of Nirvana's B-Sides and Rarities and Home-recordings, etc. Actually both the books were quite interesting for very different reasons. Azerrad wrote his book while Cobain was still alive, and so only the epilogue (added later) even addresses his suicide. Cross, on the other hand, wrote his book about 10 years later, so the coming suicide of Cobain really colors almost every chapter in the book. The first book seems completely surprised (as most of the fans were at the time) by Kurt's suicide - despite interviews where Kurt told Azerrad about his destructive drug addictions and so on. The second book seems from the first page to try and unravel the mystery of why he would later kill himself. Cross's book is great to read - in places he brings Kurt to life (no pun intended) almost like a fictional character in a novel - and is greatly aided by unprecedented access to Kurt's old journals and artworks, which Courtney Love has kept in storage all this time. Internet rumors abound that Cross's book will soon be made into a biopic, starring James McAvoy... still not sure how I feel about this, but I imagine there'll be much outrage to come as that goes forward.

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