Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana

ISBN: 0863697461
ISBN 13: 9780863697463
By: Michael Azerrad

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Reader's Thoughts

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.

Connor Martin

If your going to read a music bio of nirvana, this is it. it goes through the life's of all the band members, including the temporary ones. it has a very thorough way of explaining their lives without getting stuck on mundane and useless things. it reads quite easily and teaches some really interesting things that i had no idea about. it was written before Kurt Cobain killed himself, and it is based on hours upon hours of interviews and conversations the author had with nirvana while he was tagging along on tour with the band. it sifts through all the rumors and myths, it tells the true story from the mind of the band members. It is a really amazing story. inspiring to say the least. if your a fan of nirvana or a musician or an artist, this is a book you should read.

Carol Storm

This is a detailed history of NIRVANA written by someone who's obviously a part of the scene and knows the whole background of where the band came from and what they were trying to accomplish. The problem, as other reviewers have pointed out, is that this author, Michael Azerrad, is very clearly on Kurt Cobain's team, rooting for him and covering for him no matter what the facts on the ground actually look like. This book was written before Cobain died and yet it's clear that everyone knew his story was going to have only one ending. Azerrad's great failure is that he never comes to terms with Kurt's sickness, and indeed takes all of his junkie rationalizations at face value. Stomach pain, indeed!

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.

Grig O'

Says Kurt in this book: "No one has any right to know anything about my personal life. If they want to know about the music and how I try to write it, then that's fine" - well, guess how much that applies to this book. I imagine most Nirvana books are much worse.Azerrad is a fine rock writer and this is a good enough read if you just skip the bullshit parts. I wasn't expecting this to be as mindblowing as Our Band Could Be Your Life, and it's not.


Corn on the cops! Corn on the cops!

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.


This was a decent book, mostly from Kurt's point of view which really depended on his mood and what he wanted people to think that day. I'd recommend reading this one and the one by Charles Cross to get a rounded point of view.

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.

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.

Petra H.

My heart used to beat with the rhythm of this book. I have this paperback copy which no longer has the cover pages. It has deteriorated along with my teenage angst. However, I still remember being fourteen, dreaming about having a guitar, screaming the lyrics and my frustration with the world and reading this book.Frankly, I do not give a damn if it has especially good writing, probably not. There is something about it. Soul. Maybe. And you can tell the guy who wrote it, actually cared about those people. Also you can see, that he refused to accept the obvious truth, that the main character was screwed up. There is something honest about it.And what I also appreciate is, that it guides you through a whole pack of bands and styles somewhere in galaxy far away (well Seattle is pretty far). Years afterwards, I have my guitar. Also no talent at all. I still feel inspired by the book and I will have it on my shelf until it inevitably crumbles into its own yellowy paper universe.


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."


Das Buch bietet einen guten Überblick über Kurt Cobains Leben und die Entstehung und den Aufstieg von Nirvana. Auch über die anderen beiden Bandmitglieder ist einiges zu erfahren.Mir gefällt, dass das Buch die Geschichte um Kurt und Nirvana nicht nur beschönigt, sondern auch einige Widersprüche rund um die Band und in Kurts Aussagen aufgreift. Natürlich ist es manchmal auch nötig, ein bisschen zwischen den Zeilen zu lesen.Obwohl es sehr informativ ist, ist es stellenweise doch ziemlich langatmig und weniger interessant. Ausserdem ist es sehr verworren übersetzt und enthält eine Menge Rechtschreib- und Grammatikfehler.Trotzdem empfehle ich es allen Nirvana-, Kurt Cobain- und Grunge-Fans und vor allem jedem, der sich für den Zustand der Musikindustrie der frühen 1990er Jahre interessiert.

Kristopher Jansma

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.

Kelly Ferguson

This book doesn't get five stars because it's Nabokov or anything, but as a solid profile on a band that defined a generation, Azerrad nails it. I read this book when it came out, and then recently again because I'm a ex-grunge drummer writing an essay on the subject. What I took away way back then was a fair view of Cobain as a person, versus the media maelstrom. Azerrad also projects a thesis that while band might be good or even great, it only becomes a phenomena if it has a scene—and hits the zeitgeist nerve of the times. Now I'm no longer in the thrall of rock stardom. But it was fun to go back in time, back when this band mattered to a bunch of us.

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