Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana

ISBN: 0863697461
ISBN 13: 9780863697463
By: Michael Azerrad

Check Price Now


Bio Biographies Biography Currently Reading Favorites Music Music Bios Non Fiction Nonfiction To Read

Reader's Thoughts


** spoiler alert ** I couldnt put this book down! It;s very honsestly written, never trying to portray anyone unrealistically. It shows the ugly side of fame very vividly, and really gives the reader a sense of what Kurt's life was like, and all the inner turmoil that eventually caused him to end it. It's great from someone who grew up in the 890s because I remember a lot of the events that took place during the height of "Nirvanamania" The only thing that bugged me a little was that Kurt really was the central focus. I guess it would be hard to write a compelling book about Nirvana any other way, but it reads almost like a biography of Kurt as opposed to all three. It can also be a little confusing because the book (i think) was written before his death, and later a final chapter was added, so there's no insight as to where the reast of the key players are now....

Damon Lively

Being a big Nirvana fan growing up – this was the first and only (admittedly) bio I read on the band. I have interest to attempt another book – but I just can’t imagine getting that much more insight on the group. The only arguable hole – is the lack of large analysis on the suicide and post band circumstances (historical impact, careers of members, etc.) – since the book was originally written prior to Kurt’s death. There is just a simple last chapter bridged into later copies that lightly touches on the events. With that said – I was more interested in the dynamics of the band and their success, struggles, etc. As opposed to some lengthy breakdown of his death (therefore I liked this book). I felt it was a good view into everything and didn’t pull any punches. There was more candid insight into Kurt’s drug habits and behaviors and I sort of senses tensions between members that often are muddled historically. Mainly that being attributed to Kurt and his often erratic characteristics. Sure – there might be some “rooting” for Kurt or the band gleaned from the writing (but who of us true fans wasn’t desiring a more positive and long term outcome?). As you read – it becomes apparent (even in the moment) the band was not going to survive over a long period - and certainly – Kurt had issues and demons that were troubling to his own existence. I think being this was researched and written “at the time” of the band’s height – makes it a valuable read.


What a shame. I was really keen to read this, but I'm afraid the appalling writing has just defeated me. I only made it about 1/6 of the way through, and had only really read about Kurt's childhood. The author seemed to have some good points about the state of music in the early 90s, and had obviously interviewed the band-members and family extensively, so my problem was not one of content. My problem was the disjointed, incoherent, quote-heavy writing. Perhaps some vicious editing would have been this book's saving grace. I will need to seek my Nirvana knowledge elsewhere.


First of all, I've read many books about Nirvana / Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love. This is the best one so far. It is Very informational how it all started out for Kurt to the last days of his life. The book also talks about the other band members lives and the hassle to find a good drummer until Dave Grohl came along. I always wondered if Kurt was murdered or committed suicide...after reading this book now I believe he committed suicide. The author points out many times Kurt gave clues during his success with interviews and his songwriting that he was very unhappy with the pressures of his fame & health issues that he self medicated himself with heroin & drugs to live everyday. He was a very depressed person and makes me believe he eventually would of taken his life famous or not.

Chantelle Moghadam

First of all, let me see that if you do not like or appreciate Nirvana, don't read this book. It simply won't have the same effect on someone who is not a fan of their music. But, if you are a Nirvana fan like me, this official biography is a great way to connect with a band that is no longer around (especially since Cobain died the year I was born). It depicts a great image of Kurt from the time he was a little kid to his death. Some parts of the book are admittedly hard to get through, especially when the band was going through multiple rapid changes since it can be hard to follow, but it is well worth it in the end. Just be prepared for an emotional last chapter.

Craig Willis

Fascinating read that focuses on the band and not just Kurt like a lot of Nirvana biographies seem to do. If you were to read one book on Nirvana / Kurt Cobain, I would recommend this be your choice.


I enjoyed this book for the most part but it is full of Courtney Love's lies, not a fan of that.


Corn on the cops! Corn on the cops!

Lori Michael

I never was a fan of Nirvana at their peak or hay-day as some might think. No, the alternative I liked/preferred then was Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Live, Jane's Addiction, and NIN, but Nirvana was a band I grew to appreciate, particularly after reading this book. Not exactly a Pearl Jam fan, or a huge alternative fan in general anymore, but with after reading this book I even can understand where Courtney Love, even though she gets a bad-rep or labeled horribly by others, but can you blame her in some way? Especially with the in-depth details this book unfolds about what some members of the press did to her. Not exactly sure if it was still a good idea for her to publish Kurt's diary, but if he left those assets to her, then she has every right to do so. I highly recommend this book whether you are a die-hard fan or want to appreciate who they are as artists.

Gina P

This book was good but I may be a little burned out on Nirvana lore at this point. A lot of it overlapped with "Heavier Than Heaven", which I felt was a book rooted in more fact that some of the fictional tales Kurt fed Michael Azerrad. Still, lots of good nuggets in here for the Nirvana loyalist. I enjoyed it but need to take a break from Nirvana books lest I start perceiving Kurt as kind of a jerk, which I really, really don't want to do.

Lisamarie Skelton

Bought it for my son. After he read it I snuck it into my room and read it. I read this book in 2 days. And I have many children. I just didn't sleep.


I read this for a paper I was writing on Nevermind. I've always been a Nirvana fan, but never overly so. I do dig Michael Azerrad and just the social aspect of bands, the bands that influenced them and how they developed and whatever. While Azerrad was clearly infatuated with Cobain, he never got fully worshippy the way a lot of journalists (read: Fanboys) did. I had to read a LOT about Cobain. A cooler read by Azerrad: Our Band Could be Your Life. Check it out if you're into the indie scene from the 90s

Richard Kelly

This was a great book. One of the first non-fictions I ever tried to read over a subject I was obsessed with at the time so there was little doubt that it would be a great read for me at the time. But the notes from the author about who Kurt was to him were by far the most interesting pieces of this book.


The definitive bio because Cobain actually liked Azerrad; most of this book came from hours of interviews they did over a number of sessions. The audio recordings of those talks has been coupled with video footage of his hometown, etc. in the new documentary film, "About a Son."

Letitia Webb

The definitive story of Nirvana and the lives of the individual band members. Written by a friend of Cobain and the band, it is written from the perspective of someone thatv was there. Informing, entertaining and tragic. Must read for any Nirvana fan.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *