The Lyric Inspired Kurt Cobain Reading List

This past weekend marks the 20th year since Kurt Cobain’s untimely and unfortunate death. Nirvana is a band that I have always loved and I’m disappointed that I can’t just jet set to Paris to see the current exhibition of Cobain’s final photo shoot. So, for the moment, you’ll have to put up with my Nirvana inspired post today (but it has to do with books, I swear!). Sure, Cobain had shrieking lyrics and mumbled lines, but that doesn’t stop Nirvana from being wicked awesome.

kurt cobain

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman – I’m so tired I can’t sleep/I’m a liar and a thief (Pennyroyal Tea)
  • The Double by José Saramago  I’m not the only one, Aaah/I’m not the only one, Aaah (Rape Me) 
  • The Myth of Icarus – In the sun, in the sun I feel as one/In the sun (All Apologies) –
  •  The Crucible by Arthur Miller – If she floats then she is not/A witch like we had thought/A down payment on another one (Serve the Servants)
  • The Children of Men by P.D. James – With the lights out, it’s less dangerous/Here we are now, entertain us/I feel stupid and contagious/Here we are now, entertain us (Smells Like Teen Spirit)
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling  Underneath the bridge/Tap has sprung a leak/And the animals I’ve trapped/All become my pets (Something in the Way)
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson Take your time, hurry up/The choice is yours, don’t be late (Come As You Are)
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk –  I’m so happy/’Cause today I found my friends/They’re in my head (Lithium)
  • Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell – Is there another reason for your stain?/Could you believe who we knew stress or strain?/Here is another word that rhymes with shame (Blew)

B SIDE: Because Cobain was such a fan of the Pixies and influenced by them, they shall be included on this list as well.

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathYour head’ll collapse/If there’s nothing in it/And then you’ll ask yourself/Where is my mind? (Where Is My Mind)
  • The Lover by Marguerite Duras – You’re looking like/You’ve got some sun/Your blistered lips/Have got a kiss (Bone Machine)

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**Top images from Wikipedia.




  1. This is the best.

    (It’s like a spam comment, only better because it’s real. To add to your list (even though it’s a cover): Lake of Fire and Jane Eyre)

    1. That’s a good one….it definitely has more images/lyrics than their original songs. I think a list could be created around that one song, alone.

      (I actually like Nirvana’s rendition better than the original).

      1. Agreed, Nirvana’s is much better. I think contrary to popular belief, sometimes the cover is better than the original (like Johnny Cash’s Hurt or Nirvana’s The Man Who Sold the World).

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