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Publisher's Summary

Nirvana came out of nowhere in 1991 to sell nearly five million copies of their landmark album Nevermind, whose thunderous sound and indelible melodies embodied all the confusion, frustration, and passion of the emerging generation X. Come As You Are is the close-up, intimate story of Nirvana - the only audiobook with exclusive in-depth interviews with band members Kurt Cobain, Krist Noveselic, and Dave Grohl as well as friends, relatives, former band members, and associates - now updated to include a new final chapter detailing the last year of Kurt Cobain's life, before his tragic suicide in April 1994.

©1993 Michael Azerrad (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Amazingly raw and candid.... Come as You Are is as good as rock bios get." (Billboard)

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What listeners say about Come as You Are

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Time Capsule

The majority of this audiobook consists of the chapters published by Azerrad in 1993. Listening to it today is an adjustment since it predates Cobain's passing and finishes with speculation on the coming response to In Utero. After scores of mythologizing biographies and articles over the past 25-years it's refreshing to have a book tackle Nirvana from the perspective of the moment rather than in hindsight. It does feature a thoughtful epilogue narrated by the author dealing with the suicide and outpouring of emotion that followed, but the majority of the book talks about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana in the present tense. A lot of the material is by now well worn from being retold in subsequent books, documentaries, and interviews, but Azerrad is a talented writer who makes band/scene histories compulsively readable (check out his excellent Our Band Could Be Your Life).

Choosing Kurt Loder to do the narration is truly inspired. It's hard to do better than have the book read by the voice of MTV News. Loder broke the news of Cobain's death and guided fans not only through the sadness of April 1994, but the entirety of the band's national rise. Loder's voice and Azerrad's prose work in unison as time capsule that made me feel like I was transported to the early-to-mid 1990s again. Great listening experience all around.

9 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend for Nirvana fans.

If you want to know the truth about the band this is the book to get. This book was written when Kurt was still alive so a lot of the info is coming straight from Kurt himself. There is a lot of good info in this book and is worth the read.

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So much better than I expected

Come as You Are is a contemporary rock biography of Nirvana, meaning it was written in their era and not posthumously. I didn’t think it could match Heavier Than Heaven, but the access the writer had to Kurt, Dave, Kris and even Courtney, among others, really brought it to life. I didn’t learn anything I didn’t know from the other biographies and documentaries, but the way it was put together, and the vibrancy of Kurt really had an impact on me. Any Nirvana lover will love this book!

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Extended MTV news reel

I wanted to love it…but it’s just ok. Very little continuity. The story often repeats topics and the related details.

As an MTV news with Kurt Loader watcher I felt like the entire book was an extended episode of MTV news…nothing against Loader. His voice and cadence are completely his own but didn’t mesh well with this book. Not sure if it was the content, narrator, or both.

I did discover that increasing the speed to 1.3 - 1.5 helped me complete the book.

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Loved This, Done very well although Heartbreaking

Rest Peacefully Kurt
excellent story excellent narrative
Such a Heart Breaking story I got thru this too fast!

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I have always loved Nirvana's music

Listening to this story was so compelling, my heart broke for this man. Great

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  • SL
  • 12-07-21

History of Nirvana - done at the time

Michael wrote a great book chronicling the history of Nirvana and all its members especially Kurt. Listening to Kurt Loder read it adds even more to the book. Definitely worth it.

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Good Stuff

Solid, eye opening writing that shares not only the story but the somber reminder that all that glitters is not gold.

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Rediscovering a great read!

I had the paperback copy of this book years ago when I was in high school. I just re-discovered it on Audible and bought it instantly.

And just like when I 1st read it in highschool, I couldn't put it down! A great read about my favorite band of all time! We miss you Kurt.

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one of the better books about a rock band

Great read if you are a fan of nirvana. the author did a great job of giving an inside look of the band without adding personal commentary. I really enjoyed this.

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  • Amelia
  • 08-21-20

The tone of the narration doesn't match the story

I've wanted to read/listen to this book for a while. I am finding this book hard to listen to as Kurt Loder is reading it as if it's a news report. The tone doesn't match what he is reading and this is a bit disappointing. It seems stiff and isn't flowing and I'm not able to focus on the words as I would be able to if the tone matched. I'm not sure if I will be able to finish it due to this.

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  • Simon Andrew
  • 05-02-22

Entertain Us. The story will, the narrator doesn't

The interviews and research are flawless and because this was written when the band were still going, this has something definitive about it. If you want the interviews for this book, watch About A Son which is the Cobain doc built on the audio recordings for this project.

The story of the boys is outstanding because it just was. But the narration is delivered with the energy of a grandad telling war stories in a care home between naps. I've heard this read by podcast hosts during Lockdown so I know it's possible to do it with vitality and spark.

It won't put you off purchasing. But it might make you think about returning it. This title benefits by being more balanced than the others you can read. The author isn't spinning a narrative because of a friendship with a widow, it's a title unburdened by the angle influenced by client journalism. The narrator is the author here, which means his delivery should be better because the words really are is. Indefensible really.

Great story, good book, get over the narration. It's so sleepy, that's okay coz so are you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-21

Wrong narrator

Michael Azerrad should narrate the whole book. Kurt Loder is not invested in the story and sounds like he’s reading the news.
The epilogue that is narrated by Azerrad is the best.