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The first publication of Kurt Cobain's diaries, which were found after his death in 1994. Genuinely moving, provocative and candid, and suprisingly funny, pieces of writing which, as a whole, provide a unique account of the rise and fall of a great popular artist and icon.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2002

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About the author

Kurt Cobain

98 books723 followers
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 away from the dominant genres of the 1980s (glam metal, arena rock, and dance-pop) and toward grunge and alternative rock. The music media eventually awarded the song "anthem-of-a-generation" status, and, with it, Cobain was labeled a "spokesman" for Generation X.

During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and the media pressures surrounding him and his wife, Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. In ensuing years, the circumstances of his death became a topic of fascination and debate.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 725 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
691 reviews12.5k followers
September 29, 2019
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 and things. But there were also some dark and sad notes that may have been lyrics or just musings. One thing I did find sad was that on the front of it it said "If you read this you'll judge". While it may not be your normal diary or journal (although who's to say what's normal) we get to see many things including some of the thoughts of a sensitive, funny, sometimes angry and extremely talented young man.

I didn't know about all of the controversy over it's release when I bought it. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it. However, now I can see how it would bother some. That maybe they should have been kept private and not published.

However, apparently there was also another quote he wrote that said "Please read my diary, look through my things, and figure me out."

I'm not entirely sure how I feel now. I guess I can understand both sides.
Profile Image for Sarah Jacquie.
80 reviews32 followers
December 23, 2012
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 about alone.

What am I talking about? JFK's assassination? 911? Tienanmen Square? No, just a guy who happened to be a musician thrown into international spotlight. It all sounds so melodramatic when you really stop and think about it, but for most of us, music exorcises those demons and makes us feel like we're not alone. People can understand John Lennon, but to some Kurt Cobain seems like a curmudgeon (yes, he wrote a song by that title as well) who was unhappy about being a brilliant artist. You could argue if he was brilliant.

The point is, many of us felt that he was. Growing up, I was a depressed, often in trouble, and out of control teenager. Music really does calm the savage beast, and it was music I could relate to.

"She should have been a son."
"I'm on my time, with everyone."
"I wish I was like you, easily amused."
"I'm not like them, but I can pretend."
"I feel stupid and contagious."
"Big cheese, make me."
"He'll give you breathing holes, and you'll think you're happy."
"Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back."
"I just tried hard to have a father, but instead I had a dad."
"Come, as you are, as you were, as I want you to be. As a friend."
"When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions."
"I'm so happy, 'cause today I found my friends. They're in my head."
"The sun is gone, but I have a light."
"Can we show our faces now?"

Until the internet it was hard to track down new information. It was a thrilling thing to see concerts I'd never have been able to go to on You Tube, obscure home movies, translated foreign magazines, rare pictures that became no longer rare, and of course more unseen interviews from Kurt Cobain himself.

My friend and I were awful, we'd scout the libraries and search through 5 years worth of any magazines that might have any pictures back in 1994... and once we even were amused to find the band in scarfs used as dresses in a girl magazine! My ultimate goals were to get the Sassy magazine, and The Advocate issue. We felt like we had found treasure, and we'd hungrily go through more and more magazines searching for something, anything. We'd either check out the magazines.. or rip out the articles. Awful, I know, and now I did it, yes I feel bad.

I still have ever single one of those clippings in a very safe spot in a huge photo album. Now I realize how selfish I was, driven by that feeling of trying to find more, to try and understand this person who had been the first "celebrity" who had ever become an unintentional spokesperson for himself and people like us. We we're poor, weird, dysfunctional, unhappy with the present, dreading a future that seemed so distant from that of our parents, and we did not want to go along with it. For once, it felt like it was okay. As I was diagnosed bipolar, it seemed okay because so many other awesome people had been too - including Kurt Cobain. I don't plan to die, but it shows that even the darkest pit of depression, you can emerge and create something better than you feel about yourself. I began to no longer feel ashamed.

Not long after his death, Fender released the guitar design he made himself, the Jagstang -- a hybrid of Fender's Jaguar and Mustang guitars. Being a guitar player, I felt like that was the perfect permanent tribute and it became one of my all time favorite presents from my parents. I picked up the guitar because I wanted to learn Nirvana songs, pausing Nirvana Unplugged, and asking my dad if he could make out that one chord... but I settled for my dad teaching me "Smoke on the Water" and "Stairway to Heaven". Then I taught myself tabs, and I opened the code to play any Nirvana song I liked. The guitar is dusty, protected, and put aside so I could work towards school and a career.

Time moved on, Nirvana stayed my favorite band, but I ceased to talk about them as feverishly as I once did. My old friends often ask "You still like Nirvana?" and the answer is of course, I will always love Nirvana. They'll always be my favorite band. But talking about his ghost seemed overkill. Others would spend their lives creating a shrine to his memory, I kept a candle lit, but I needed to make something of my life besides being a die hard fan.

I'd be on a trip to Universal Studios with my boyfriend, and I remember staring in shock as I was eye level with a Kurt Cobain plastic figurine. Kurt Cobain plastic figurines, Kurt Cobain in guitar hero, Kurt Cobain lunch boxes, Kurt Cobain replica shoes... I felt very mixed. I understand some wanting to grab more pieces of a too short puzzle with missing pieces, but I could never bring myself to buy these things. I noticed for the first time, this is what people my age did with people like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, etc. People who didn't live through Nirvana grabbed onto these things and it was their way for owning a piece of a time they came after.

When Journals was released, everyone came at me with offers to get it for me or push me to buy it... I couldn't. People from all backgrounds were reading it, and most had nothing but positive things to say. People who had known I was a Nirvana for such a long time, would come to me and say they understood exactly what it was that was special -- but nameless. Endless Namless.

It just felt strange, and I realized how ironic it was that now after all these years of scavenging, I could have the biggest piece of all... and I was scared to read it. These were his private thoughts, his notebooks left on the very coffee table in his own house. He used to yell at his wife not to look. The very cover said "If you read you'll judge." They contained his hopes, fears, anger, and view of the world. Maybe he wouldn't have liked this? Maybe this is the corporate sell out he had always worried about, like he feared with using his songs for deodorant commercials. Should I read it? Should I buy it? I loved Nirvana, and I loved reading, but every time I'd walk into a book store, I'd go out of my way to purposely find it just to read the title on the spine and keep walking.

Come As You Are by Azzerad I read, the band endorsed it, they worked along with the author and said what they wanted to put in it. I had the book before the additional epilogue, and I eventually picked up the unfortunately completed, final edition. It was really the only book I read besides picking up picture books, and then came the nauseating books on murder theories and the most biographical post-94 was too Courtney Love influenced.

Years later, my BFF told me he received Journals as a birthday present, and while he was grateful his first instinct was to give it to me. He'd browsed through it, smoking and turning the pages (It still stinks like cigarettes). First though, he actually read it. He was touched and saw so much he understood, and so much he didn't. He told me it changed his view on anything he'd ever thought or known about Kurt Cobain. He wasn't into celebrities, neither was I until Nirvana, and he liked music and movies, but he didn't buy into people. I never usually did either, but Kurt Cobain was the only exception.

One day, my BFF came over and ambushed me with the book. I was thankful, but when he left I placed it on a shelf. It took a long time before I pulled it out and read it.

"Don't read or you'll judge". It was hard to turn the pages, but harder not to. I'd even heard that he was protective of these notebooks, and that he would get angry at his wife if she even looked at them without his knowledge. What was the big deal, right? That is what most people think, and I don't know if it was respect for the dead or respect for privacy... I don't know what it was, but it felt wrong. I also wondered what was left out, what was added. Then I opened the book.

I devoured the pages and my eyes noticed every way he wrote certain letters, drew certain people, wrote what seemed to be lyrical nonsense, and then statements that contained a Pandora's box of ideas once understood. Once you understood, REALLY understood, there was no denying those feelings anymore. Leonardo Di Vinci revolutionized the world with many things through sketches he never intended the public to read, and for some people, Kurt Cobain revolutionized an ideology that some of us held and thought, except it seemed some how that we were okay with the way we felt. Someone else felt that way too, and someone else who read this book felt that way, and someone else, and so did he.

In being such a lonely self-proclaimed curmudgeon, his lonely lines made me feel more connected. We're not alone. Some of us are afflicted with depression, we isolate ourselves from a world we don't understand and a world we feel doesn't understand us, and for some, our depression is a consequence of the world around us. We were not alone with these thoughts. There are many things that came out of this, but for the ones who don't understand -- they'll see it as a road map to destruction. Instead, I think hope and destruction are separated by a thin line, and those of us so possessed with the weight of things in the world, we often find our way or fall.

I don't think there is one person more deserving to live or more special than another, and I still don't. There are some people that came and left a mark and happened to reach a large number of people either intentionally or not, and Kurt Cobain was one of these people. Every generation has one, and we all cling to them in hope that they'll show us a way through this mess called life. But in the end, the only answer is this: there is no answer.

We have to make one for ourselves, and I think that was what Kurt Cobain was trying to do and trying to say. He walked a very thin tight rope, and sometimes you have to in order to confront the demons that plague you, real or imaginary that result from the world and yourself.

It's a code. You'll either read it and understand or relate, or shake your head wondering how so many people could like someone who could take their own life after hitting the top for a couple of years and disappearing forever. Perhaps you think their music sounds the same, another rock band, another generation. In trying to understand ourselves, our generation also alienates our parents because they don't understand. We don't understand them. Are we supposed to?

Journals is a collection of chosen pieces put together of someones work. That someone couldn't carry the weight, but he helped make a path for some of us to make sense of how hard it can be, but we have to walk the path and ask our own questions and find our own answers. Sadly, he died trying.
Profile Image for Horace Derwent.
2,286 reviews184 followers
Want to read
February 19, 2018
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?
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
October 16, 2018
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, and I own some of his music. If you are a Nirvana fan, this seems like a must-have. Oh, yeah, I gave it to Jessie for coming to my YA class!
Profile Image for Vartika.
401 reviews634 followers
January 18, 2020
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 when I received a copy for my 21st birthday, and it feels like having been re-ordained. Kurt Cobain: Journals is a collection of notes, drawings and personal writings that reveal their author to be a real revolutionary. Kurt hated glamour and capitalism; hated the injustices inherent to the liberal-conservative, sexist and deeply prejudiced white-male-supremacist American core; and most of all, hated the way the system manipulates people into obedience. His writing reveals a deeply perceptive, creative, kind, funny and self-aware man, quite contrary to the pretentious, destructive junkie scum the popular media of the time made him out to be. He was a well-reasoned anarchist, and reading his thoughts in his own words made me understand his work and music much, much better.

While Kurt always expressed his disdain at his personal life being turned into spectacle, collectible and profits, I don't know — and indeed, there is no way of knowing — if he would've ever wanted these pages of "poetry, personal writings and lyrics" published. The way some entries have been written and rewritten do seem to indicate that they were meant for other eyes, but perhaps not everyone's. These journals nevertheless reveal a literary streak in the musical genius, a primal, intuitive sense of ease with which he put his mind to paper as brilliantly as he did to song.

Kurt Cobain: Journals is a powerful collection of the personal musings and lifelong protest of an extraordinarily perspicacious man — an intimate record of a mind that not only defined a musical genre, but also an entire generation.
Profile Image for Lotus.
83 reviews23 followers
September 18, 2017
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 and made me feel uncomfortable, like snooping would. I cant imagine Kurt would have been the least bit happy about this being shared with the public when he was known to be such a private person.

I did enjoy very much how he liked to scrawl recipes down next to the lyrics, stories, comics and endless lists!

3 cups quick oats
large bowl

in saucepan
2 sticks butter 1/3 cup milk
2 cups sugar 3 tbs cocoa
1/4 salt 2 tsp vanilla extract

rolling boil 2 minutes
pour over oats stir
until they set

wax paper

Ha! I know this recipe!
Profile Image for Danesda.
215 reviews290 followers
December 5, 2021
Debo decir que no solo se trata del placer algo morboso de leer la intimidad de tu ídolo adolescente; este libro que tiene una magnifica edición nos demuestra que Cobain tenia una mente brillante y sensible, que sabia escribir, sabia pintar y sabia expresar su dolor....

no es morbo, es sentimiento

video reseña en:

Profile Image for Meggan.
41 reviews52 followers
August 31, 2012
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 over again in their jammin' boomer songs? Hardly a reason to get your flannel in a twist, dude! Manly men also irritate Cobain, which means he must be some kind of feminist fairy. I know that Paglia lady saw his tiny emaciated body on stage and "worried for the future of rock music." I worry too. Real rock needs more costume changes, thrusting Robert Plant chests, and blue-jeaned Bruce Springsteen asses. The only way you're gonna enjoy this book is if you like people who had fresh ideas for their time, who troll corporate music tragically hard, who ponder the nature and purpose of art, who aren't afraid to hide their emotions, and who use every ounce of their 10th grade education to royally fuck up some bullshit.
Profile Image for Scarlet Cameo.
609 reviews384 followers
April 18, 2016
"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 a little guilty when i start this...but then he said "Please, read my diary. Look through my things and figure me out" and that feeling gets a little lower (I know, it's a excuse) but when i saw that some parts aren't here i don't know if i was grateful (because i wasn't be sooooo gossiping) or angry (because i didn't have all the true...and Cobain hates that), honestly my awareness told me "choose the first one".

When i took that decision i read a honest vision of the world,the music business and a little about Nirvana, but mostly the way he saw himself, he was a outcast, that connects and created music to othersoutcast and never stop feeling this way. Wasn't a happy person, wasn't a bad person either just was a incredible talent person who introduces himself like a new voice that wasn't wanna be ear.

Would i recommend this book? I don't know, reading it is like predict a fall and couldn't do anything to avoid it. From language to handwriting, everything indicates that something is changing, it becomes more frantic and chaotic maelstrom that drags you into the abyss does nothing but grow, but some of the things he talks about are amazing, everyone should listen/read it or spend a little of time trying to descifrate the pictures meaning.
Profile Image for Hannah - The BookSirens Babe.
76 reviews162 followers
September 10, 2022
It was a tough choice reading the book and, more so, writing a review. A collection of personal thoughts and notes, the book takes snippets from several of Cobain’s personal journals. Which raises the question if they were ever meant for the public in the first place or not? If, for a minute, I forget about that, the book is an insightful and poignant look into the mind of an icon that for a while defined music to a generation at the cusp of change. Journals will, in the end, appeal primarily to Nirvana fans but will also leave them wondering if they should have read it or not!
Profile Image for Ettore Pasquini.
135 reviews112 followers
July 26, 2015
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 dedication to create something meaningful permeate these notes. For me that's the main value of this thing: it can be inspiring. "Any band that wants to go anywhere should practice at least 5 times a week.” This quote was from a letter to a drummer they fired because he couldn't practice enough: so much for the slacker ethos. Even when he’s extremely high and rambling a lot, you can feel, almost smell that single focus, the north star that pulled him forward, up and down. The pen can blacken the paper or faint away, and some pages can be hard to read, but you can see the continuous machinations about the craft, the music, the visuals, the band. If the songs had not been enough, here you can understand how Nirvana was the quintessential punk band, more than any other rationalization.

Other things that come out are the contradictions. From “taking the greatest responsibility” of having a child to being addicted to drugs, to the blatant one on the first page:
"Don't read my diary when I'm away.
Please read my diary
And figure me out"
Someone (was it Kim Gordon? I'm not 100% sure) said that only Nirvana were able to use a cheesy guitar chorus effect and actually get away with it without sounding corny. That’s one way to describe the mystery and aura that always surrounded them. For as long as I’ve known them I’ve asked myself, “Why them?” Well, this is it; quite simply, the intensity and the conscious focus (beside the talent, of course) set them apart and allowed those songs to blast out.
Profile Image for ivy.
496 reviews182 followers
November 28, 2021
No rating - how do you rate someone’s “private” journal?
I enjoyed the drafted letters he sent to friends and colleagues (shows a very complimentary and sweet man, when he liked you), the recipes and doodles here and there, lists of songs and bands that he enjoyed (the boy liked his lists) and lyrics.

Some of his longer writings, it just felt intrusive/invasive? reading and they are almost aggressive, repetitive, crude stream of consciousness. Some of them which I just skipped over. Based on some of these ramblings that I did read though, I don’t think he would have liked his journals being printed. 😐
Profile Image for Sunil.
170 reviews64 followers
January 29, 2008
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.
Profile Image for Lexa.
106 reviews26 followers
April 18, 2015
Non sono mai stato una persona molto prolifica, perciò quando la creatività passa, passa sul serio.
Mi trovo a scarabocchiare su taccuini per appunti e fogli sparsi, ma finisce che solo una minima parte dei miei scritti raggiunge una vera forma. E’ colpa mia, ma il sopruso peggiore che ho patito quest'anno non sono state né le esagerazioni dei media né i pettegolezzi da pollaio, ma la violenza ai miei pensieri personali, strappatimi durante i miei soggiorni in ospedale o nei viaggi in aereo o in albergo.
Mi sento costretto a dire vaffanculo vaffanculo a quelli tra voi che non hanno nessun riguardo per me come persona. Mi avete violentato più di quanto potrete mai immaginare. Quindi vi dico di nuovo andate affanculo, anche se quest'espressione ormai ha perso completamente il suo significato.

Ho letto questa frase e non ho potuto fare a meno di chiedermi cosa ne avrebbe pensato Kurt dei suoi diari diventati un libro, di chiedermi se fosse davvero giusto leggerli.
Mi rendo conto che probabilmente non avrebbe apprezzato, anzi che sicuramente non avrebbe apprezzato. A chi accidenti piacerebbe vedere sbandierati i propri pensieri personali al mondo intero?

La scusa che ho usato con me stessa per attenuare i miei sensi di colpa mentre leggevo i suoi Diari è che l’unico motivo per cui li leggevo era perché volevo saperne di più su di lui, su ciò che era realmente al di là dell’immagine superficiale ed errata che è spesso stata data di lui.
Io ho letto i suoi Diari semplicemente per comprendere più a fondo i suoi pensieri, e che sia moralmente giusto o meno, da fan di Kurt Cobain e dei Nirvana ho amato questo libro.

Se mi chiedete cosa abbia fatto Cobain per meritarsi la mia ammirazione, sia come persona che come musicista, direi che sono stati principalmente il suo modo di pensare e la sua capacità di trasmettere emozioni attraverso la musica.
Cobain era uno di quelli che non possono fare a meno di porsi delle domande, di riflettere su ciò che li circonda e su quello che non va nel proprio tempo, nella propria generazione e nel sistema.
Era una persona intelligente e introspettiva, uno con delle idee chiare e giuste, uno che credeva profondamente nell’uguaglianza e nella parità di diritti: anti-sessista, anti-razzista, anti-omofobico.
Anticonformista, per molti versi.
Era uno che credeva nel potere della musica, era un idealista. Era uno che ha cercato il successo e lo ha trovato, e poi si è reso conto che non era come lo immaginava.

Ma queste sono solo le mie personali conclusioni. Probabilmente gli unici che sanno davvero chi era Kurt Cobain sono quelli che lo hanno conosciuto davvero, quelli che erano con lui prima e frattanto che il suo mito diventasse realtà.

A noi non restano altro che i pensieri rubati dai suoi diari e le sue canzoni, e va bene così.
Oh well, whatever, nevermind.

"Mi sento come un cretino a scrivere di me stesso come se fossi un’icona semidivina del pop-rock americano oppure un autoproclamato prodotto della ribellione inscatolata dalle corporation, ma ho sentito talmente tanti racconti e storie assurdamente esagerati dai miei amici e ho letto così tante patetiche diagnosi freudiane da quattro soldi sulla mia infanzia nelle interviste, su come io sia un notorio eroinomane perso, un alcolizzato, autodistruttivo, e tuttavia così evidentemente sensibile, fragile, pacato, narcolettico, nevrotico, una formica impazzita che in qualunque momento possa andare in overdose e buttarsi da un tetto, impazzire, spararsi in testa o tutte e tre le cose. Dio, non ce la faccio a reggere il successo."

"Perché diavolo i giornalisti insistono nell’inventarsi un’interpretazione freudiana da quattro soldi per i miei testi quando il 90% delle volte non li hanno neanche trascritti correttamente?"

"Vorrei che ci fosse qualcuno che potesse spiegarmi perché non ho assolutamente più alcun desiderio di imparare. Mentre prima avevo così tanta energia e sentivo la necessità di cercare per chilometri e settimane qualunque cosa fosse nuova e diversa. Entusiasmo."

"E questa piccola pausa di rifornimento che noi chiamiamo vita e di cui ci preoccupiamo con tanta serietà non è altro che un breve weekend carcerario rispetto a ciò che viene con la morte.
La vita non è neanche lontanamente sacra quanto l’apprezzamento della passione."

Profile Image for Megan.
119 reviews11 followers
March 18, 2018
“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 reads, “If you read, you’ll judge.” From reading this, you find out that Kurt had a lot of problems with how he was portrayed in the media - how he would give an in-depth 2 hour interview, but what ended up being released would be a quote that would be taken out of context - he felt he was not portrayed truthfully, and this lead to the masses judging him based on out of context or incomplete information. He mentions again and again that “I am not a junkie,” but unfortunately this was (and still is) at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds when Kurt Cobain is mentioned. Reading his own words, you’ll judge based off of his truth, rather than the perception that has permeated pop culture. I think he would prefer that.

There is controversy surrounding this book, and I understand why. It is a collection of writings from what were Kurt’s private journals. Kurt has almost become mythic to some, and the publication of what were his personal journals seems disrespectful and an invasion of his private life. It also can seem like a cash grab since he has taken on this myth of the tragic rock star, and Nirvana was such a successful band.

While one end of the spectrum holds him up as mythic, the other side paints him as a one dimensional junkie who screamed into a microphone. These journals reveal a person who believed hard work was necessary to achieve success (“You must practice 5 hours a day if you’re going to make it”), who loved his daughter, who was sensitive, who held strong political beliefs, and cared about those who do not fit society’s status quo.

I think the problem sometimes is that it’s so easy to paint people like Kurt, Amy Winehouse, or Janis Joplin as simply drug addicts and nothing more; that’s like throwing a person away into the trash. I think that’s wrong. These are human beings and they should be treated as such, even after they’re gone. I think reading these journals provides a deeper insight into Kurt Cobain. You might not like what he has to say or the music he created, but there’s no denying that he was a complex person with a lot to say.

Try to figure him out.
Profile Image for Conrad Zero.
Author 3 books135 followers
May 14, 2007
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 many of them were accidentally destroyed. (Water-damaged in a Paris hotel bathtub if I remember correctly.) This particular journal covers the period around the Bleach album and the beginning of writing some songs that would later appear on Nevermind.

I like that there was no editing (well, that we know of. There may have been some pages removed) but the writing that IS there was uninhibited. As they said in the movie Seven, "...his mind just poured out on paper."

If you keep a journal yourself or if you are interested at peering inside the head of a musical genius, and if you are fan enough of Nirvana to own Bleach, then you should at least flip through Kurt Cobain's Journals.

-Conrad Zero
Profile Image for Taylor.
430 reviews2 followers
May 25, 2021
I first read this when it was initially published.

I re-read this now as a supplementary piece to Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain.

One cannot review something as deeply personal as these (select) writings. Word on the street is that Cobain didn't want these to see the light of day, but Love made the decision to have them published.

We are judging if we rate. Just feel the words and cherish them as they are private thoughts and plans and feelings -- unguarded in a way that most readers are unfamiliar with, but are likely to practice for themselves.
Profile Image for Раде  Станишић .
71 reviews3 followers
January 8, 2023
I can't rate this book since this is a collection of Kurt's private thoughts that were not even supposed to be published. How could you ever rate something like that, especially when you know few things about this guy and his tragic life and death ?

Personally, I can't say I am a Nirvana's fan or that I know much about them - I know the basic stuff. I happened to stumble upon this book so I read it, and it made me more interested in them and their music. Kurt was definitely one of a kind and his work is still relevant and influential for a reason.

I think this book will be cool for Nirvana fans since it has many Kurt's ideas about the band, songs and music videos and its all authentic - in Kurt's handwriting.

I also found the drawings and explanations of traffic signs very interesting and funny.

Definitely a goodread !
Profile Image for Hadeer.
21 reviews3 followers
June 12, 2013
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 these morons who go barging about their drug use .. he was literally pushed in to using heroine as an analgesic ...
the handwriting gets really shaky and erratic at some pages
I loved the doodles and the sketches .. Kurt could actually draw !!
You could also see an evident signs of depression and self-destruction and moreover you could feel his guilt !! he apparently hated himself for being a famous .. and for the misintroduction of the band to the public

He was a legend .. and he will be missed RIP
Profile Image for Udai.
252 reviews56 followers
April 13, 2019
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 didn't give this the fifth star is because it's wrong to publish someone's journal

Profile Image for Ghoul Von Horror.
790 reviews216 followers
August 17, 2019
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 about it. 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻
Profile Image for Amanda.
81 reviews30 followers
December 14, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Mai Mohamed.
Author 1 book221 followers
January 28, 2023
ممتع جدا😌
يحتوي ع الاغاني، الخطابات، تصور لتصوير الاغاني، افكار الألبومات، رسومات تحفة وغيرها من الحاجات الكتييير اللي كانت جوا عقل Kurt Cobain مغني فرقة Nirvana
واو بجد، قد ايه كان جوا دماغه حاجات كتيير
ف بعض الخطابات كانت بخط صغير ومزعج للعين
الكتاب حملته من ع جوجل ك pdf
Profile Image for Brandon Dalo.
146 reviews5 followers
May 11, 2020
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 judge.” There is a full spectrum of topics included in his journals, and it can go from boring to incredibly beautiful, from happy to sad, and everything in between.

If you’re a music fan, a Nirvana/Kurt fan, this book will definitely interest you. I learned a lot about Kurt and Nirvana through it. For example, I had no idea that Kurt had a seriously painful stomach condition that couldn’t be cured and made his life absolutely miserable (and led to further heroin use as it was the only thing that could take some of the pain away.)

I had been listening to Nirvana’s Greatest Hits while I read, and also watching videos of his interviews and them playing live, so my life was Kurt Cobain/Nirvana for a couple of weeks. And I remember, when I got to the very end of the book, I read his suicide note. I was at home alone and it was night, and this book makes who he was so tangible, that I got spooked out a little as if he was standing there in the room with me.

Profile Image for Sara.
374 reviews30 followers
September 25, 2016
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
Profile Image for María Paz Greene F.
1,035 reviews184 followers
January 31, 2018
No lo he leído y no lo leeré. Me parece el máximo crimen contra la privacidad, y muy mal Courtney Love por no solo permitir sino que por incitar esto.

Todos tenemos derecho a un poco de privacidad. Aunque ya no estemos aquí.
Profile Image for ✧ʚ .·:*¨ mika ¨*:·. ɞ✧.
66 reviews15 followers
February 18, 2023
I feel disgusted for allowing myself to read through someone’s personal journals just because I like them and wanted to know more. It’s deeply insensitive and selfish. The content is great, of course. But I feel deeply fucking ashamed. RIP Kurt, you would have hated this.
Profile Image for Rachel.
69 reviews10 followers
October 15, 2016
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 really happens without the kind of perseverance Cobain had. He spent shit tons of his own money and time creating and promoting his music, and he had a vision he believed in so strongly that his hard work got him to the top. His Journals are really beautiful- tons of lyrics, letters, basic journal entries, a few recipes, random notes... not only band stuff, but anything that was going on in his life (although Nirvana had to be the predominant thing). Although there was this gritty, fuck-you exterior (and interior), he was still a pretty lovable guy, for whatever reason- at least, I think so. I didn't have any issues of privacy or intrusion like some other readers have experienced- I feel like most any posthumous publication is fair game.
Profile Image for Marck Rimorin.
38 reviews32 followers
November 15, 2015
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. It's a fascinating read (the clippings and typewritten pages and notebook entries make the act of reading it quite challenging), but kind of voyeuristic, too. Still, if you're like me and you're marked by the music of Nirvana, this should be something special. 5/5.
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