Personal items and photographs take readers deeper inside Cobain's life than they've ever been before, and interactive features, such as Kurt's handwritten sticker-sheet of Nirvana name tags, facsimiles of unseen journal pages, and gatefolds of his graffiti-embellished guitars make this an essential keepsake. An audio CD showcasing spoken-word material by Cobain, some of it never before released, will be included. Accompanying the previously unpublished images and memorabilia is a compelling biographical narrative by "New York Times"-bestselling author Charles R. Cross.
- ISBN-13: 9780316033725
- ISBN-10: 0316033723
- Publisher: Little Brown & Co
- Publish Date: October 2008
- Page Count: 159
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 75.
- Review Date: 2008-09-29
- Reviewer: Staff
More haunting death album than biography, this book presents the life of the troubled Nirvana front man through a series of never-before-seen candid snapshots, scribbled lyrics and photographs of treasured mementos. Beginning with Cobain's early life in Aberdeen, Wash., Cross includes reproductions of items more intimate than mere family photos: a Thanksgiving card 13-year-old Kurt drew, an array of favorite T-shirts and even a card enabling Cobain to receive food stamps. Cross—who profiled the musician in his authorized biography, Higher Than Heaven—has a fan's adoration of memorabilia both well-known (an early, handwritten draft of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”) and obscure (Cobain's collection of heart-shaped boxes, which both inspired a song of the same name and was a passion shared with his wife, Courtney Love). Several of the reproductions are designed as replicas of the original items (such as early Nirvana stickers and a mask designed by Cobain), and the tactile quality of the book, in addition to the biographical text, make it imperative for fans to do just as Cobain instructs in one of his diary entries: “look through my things and figure me out.” (Nov.)
Already the author of a biography of Kurt CobainHeavier Than Heaven (2001)Charles R. Cross now offers the late grunge rocker's many fans Cobain Unseen, described as "a secret visual history of the things [Cobain] created and collected." Cross' text tends mostly to explore the youthful pain, obsessions, emotional difficulties and addictions that plagued Cobain but were also key motivators in the emergence of his powerful rebellious image and musical anthems. The book features many previously unseen Cobain family photographs plus reproductions of personal memorabilia including Cobain's offbeat artwork, his informal writings and letters, song lyrics, early concert posters and samplings of the eccentric things he deemed collectible. The book includes an audio CD on which Cobain recites spoken-word material along with an interview with Cross about his research experience.