||One of the few personalities in modern rock music deserving of the appellation "iconic," Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide in 1993, was an opaque mixture of sensitivity, creativity, ambition, and morbid gloom. With his band, Nirvana, he changed the face of 1990s rock music. But, as Charles R. Cross explains in HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN, his biography of the doomed singer, the seeds of Cobain's destruction may have lain in his genes: both his uncle and great-grandfather had also killed themselves, and in similarly unambiguous ways; the former shooting himself twice, while the latter unsuccessfully stabbed himself, later successfully repeating the exercise in hospital. Cobain's method was to overdose on heroin and shoot himself in the head. Cross covers all the major bases in the Cobain saga, also delving into some of the singer's darker corners, with friends' accounts of his increasingly fraught teen years contrasting with his relatives' stories of his essentially sunny early childhood. The book is remarkably instructive on the rise of Nirvana, as well as the singer's tumultuous relationship with the mercurial Courtney Love. Packed with authoritative detail, HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN is an indispensable tale of a complex figure's struggle with the ambiguities of fame.