Title: Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain
Author: Charles R. Cross
Page Count/Review Word Count: 381
Heavier Than Heaven is probably the most accurate portrait of Kurt’s life on the market, and boy are there a lot of them on the market. Cross took his work seriously – he spent four years on the project, conducting hundreds of interviews and earning exclusive access to some of the people that refused to speak out for years.
Cross’ writing is fluid and fun to read, and he paints a vivid picture that’s easy to picture and absorb – I doubt it’s 100% accurate in some places, but no biography ever could be. Even autobiographies are skewed, perhaps more so. Still, it’s an interesting insight in to the heart, mind and soul of the man who captured the attention of a generation.
One thing that does get to me, though, is the way in which Cross speculates at what happened in the last hours of Cobain’s life – that’s questionable non-fiction at best, since nothing will ever be proven. Hell, there are people out there that think he’s still alive, and I once found a website dedicated entirely to the ‘Kurt was murdered‘ conspiracy. In my eyes, Cross should’ve left off when the facts were no longer known, then picked up again when his body was discovered, covering the aftermath.
But in the end, who cares? Now that you know that, you know to tread carefully – it’s ground worth treading, if you’re a Nirvana fan. Fantasy aside, there are plenty of little nuggets that had never been reported on before, at least to my knowledge. Just don’t believe everything you read.
Of course, it helps that Cross himself is a well-respected journalist – he edited a well-known music magazine in Seattle for fifteen years, and he’s penned a number of books covering everyone from Nirvana and Bruce Springsteen to Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, so he knows what he’s talking about. On top of that, he’s a competent writer with an eye for detail and human interest – you’ll enjoy reading it alright, if you’re a Nirvana fan. If you’re not a Nirvana fan, why are you reading this review in the first place?