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Journals

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  14,265 ratings  ·  555 reviews
The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana.

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. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock,
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Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 4th 2003 by Riverhead Books (first published October 2002)
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Anne Chafer I agree with most of what's said in the two previous answers, but I also think (I have to state that I still haven't read it though) one of the most i…moreI agree with most of what's said in the two previous answers, but I also think (I have to state that I still haven't read it though) one of the most important things to consider when deciding to read it or not, is what has the author to say about it. And based on one quote I saw which has been taken from one of his notebooks, he wanted someone, someday, to read it all.

"Please read my diary, look through my things, and figure me out."(less)

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Deanna
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I bought this for my daughter for her birthday as she's a huge fan. I got it for a pretty good deal off of eBay. It is used but in great shape.

There's all kinds of things in it drawings, lyrics, letters even recipes and grocery lists. My daughter and I both thought it was pretty cool. Loved the look of it. The Mead spiral notebook cover reminds me of the notebooks I used to have. Apparently the material was originally contained in around 20 different notebooks.

There were some very funny notes
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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
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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
F
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very personal notes.
David Schaafsma
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this at my local library sale this past summer, read it through, and in the process thought I would give it to Jessie Ann Foley, author of Carnival at Bray, which features a concert with Nirvana, and for which Cobain's spirit seems central. Nineties grunge rock. This volume is a facsimile of Cobain's actual journals and notebooks and unsent letters. I, an old folkie, preceded Nirvana by a long shot, but I was smart enough to know what he represented to the young people of his generation, ...more
Horace Derwent
May 10, 2017 marked it as to-read
give me leonard cohen's after world, i have very bad postures

if there's no such things as those beautiful corpses, then how can we witness the magnificent lights of Rock n' Roll without stepping on them?
Scarlet Cameo
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: rc-16
"It's hard to decipter the difference between a sincere entertainer and a honest swindler"

Kurt Cobain, the one who change a generation and transcended the dead...was a really complex man. He saw his live in a really dark and sad way, but at the same time, somehow, he was positive about the future, but the world turned his back.

Are two things about this book, first isn't exactly a journal, in fact there are letters and excerpts from the actual diary, but not complete. This is bad? No, i feel
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Meggan
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
Vartika
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was balls-deep into Nirvana in my mid-teens, and was as close to worshipping the frontman as could be (a painting of Kurt as a gun-and-cigarette-toting Jesus still hangs prominently in my childhood bedroom today). But over the years, my obsession wore off somewhat, relegated to wherever it is that our precious memories of teenage pretentiousness go after we outgrow them. I never stopped wanting to read these journals, though — I really, really wanted to figure him out.

I finally got to do that
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Ettore Pasquini
Feb 04, 2013 added it
Shelves: musica
Well, as I expected I felt pretty dirty reading these diaries. Not as bad as watching the Montage of Heck garbage though: the hand-writing at least connects you to a form of reality. 'Cause let's not forget that "Cobain was a master at jerking your chain".

In any case, this book is for die-hard fans only: it's a non-book with a young man's private notes, including a few letters to some of his friends, drawings, lyrics, plus one or two interesting reflections about drug usage.

Cobain's drive and d
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Sunil
Dec 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Conrad Zero
May 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
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Lotus
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
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
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Ghoul Von Horror
No no and no. What is this book? These are not journals. I journal everyday and that's not what's in this book. It's just random peices of paper, unfinished letters to random people we don't know, and plans for a cleaning business & tee shirt designs. What a cash grab with this book....! It's super annoying that when letters were included that there was not the person the letter was addressed to talk about the letter. Clearly they gave it back to be published so why not include some little note ...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
Udai
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh god I feel like a nosy creep after reading someone else's journals
If someone went through my stuff I'd kill the person in a very slow, painful way

But this is Kurt
and man oh man
he really wasn't made for this world
I really enjoyed discovering that we had a lot of thoughts in common
I looooved his feminist rants
his Ideas about journalism and the media
about mainstream stuff and companies and governments
and most important of all about punk rock
I love Nirvana and I love Kurt
and the only reason I d
...more
Sara
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
other people do save the world in 3 hours - I've read the whole book.
Kurt Cobain was such a inspiring personality, I couldn't stop reading through his journals and his thoughts and stories and ideas. he was just brilliant
Rachel
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rachel by: Kristin
Reading Kurt Cobain's Journals is a fast track into the mind of the deceased rockstar himself. As someone who was born only a few years before Cobain died, I didn't grow up with Nirvana woven into the fabric of my youth, but I've grown to appreciate their grunge fuck-it-allness over time. Somewhat surprisingly, the biggest thing I got out of the Journals was a sense of Cobain's business mind and commitment to his music. There are a lot of talented, innovative musicians out there, but nothing big ...more
Hadeer
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Chris Freeman
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Amanda
Dec 13, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a lower rating simply because I don't really know how to rate it. Yes, I bought this book because I am a HUGE Nirvana fan. Yes, I bought it back in my early teenage years where I was mildly (ok, maybe unhealthily) obsessed with Kurt Cobain. Now it just feels dirty and wrong to read it. Needless to say, I don't have this one displayed out in the open on my bookshelves. Respect for Kurt.
Somya
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a gift to me by my best friend on my 18th birthday. I'll always remember that insignificant birthday because of her.
Megan Larson
“Don’t read my diary when I’m gone OK, Im going to work now, when you wake up this morning, please read my diary. Look through my things, and figure me out.”

How do you rate someone’s journals? They are a collection of whirling, sporadic, private thoughts of an individual - I don’t think you can rate something like that.

This was an interesting read. This book is made up of diary entries, letters, notes, lyrics, poetry, and drawings that come directly from Kurt’s spiral bound notebooks. The cover
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Audrey (Warped Shelves)
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popsugar-2018
Kurt had really shit handwriting, I gotta say.

It was really sad to see how his entries grew more cynical through the duration of the Journals. Sometimes I found the entries/Kurt's thoughts a little hard to follow (this is partially due to the occasionally illegible handwriting) but nonetheless I still thought that this was an enjoyable, insightful, and very interesting read. It was so personal and REAL.

It seems a little bit wrong to rate somebody's personal journals on a 5-star-scale, but what
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Marck Rimorin
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading someone's diary will always be an uncomfortable thing, especially if that person is an icon of a generation who is a study in self-destruction. For those of us who know Kurt Cobain's story, we know the elements of depression that came with his ultimate fate: despondency, drug addiction, the ups and downs with life in love and life on the road with one of the world's most phenomenally successful bands. Yet these journals—written in Kurt's own hand—show that story from Kurt's very own eyes ...more
Charlie
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiographical
Perhaps Kurt is so fascinating -besides his early death which people love to romanticise-
because he was so complex and didn't fear showing it.
I love trying to decipher his, sometimes rather obscure, song lyrics. Whether I completely understand what he was trying to say doesn't matter as long as his writing resonates with me but it is interesting to look into it.
If this book gave me one thing it is references of his. What he liked ( music related and otherwise) and some of his thought/work proce
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Vivian Vollbrecht
I am a huge Nirvana fan although I was born 5 years after Kurts suicide.
It was really amazing to see how "normal" Kurt was and that he sometimes lied to himself or felt mistreated as he got ripped apart by journalists trying to keep him in the spot light.
You also follow a man, who at first did what he loved and slowly found the flaws in the industry and the burden that taggs along with fame.
I found a lot of parallels between his thoughts and his way of expressing them and mine. He wrote when h
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Yash Sinojia
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the most postmodern thing that I've read so far.
And this is one of the definitive literature of our times.
stupidus
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music
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
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, poison, table-top
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
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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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