Not a state of happiness

<strong>Nirvana: the true story</strong>

Everett True <em>Omnibus, 500pp, £19.95</em>

ISBN 18444

Nirvana's mix of punk, metal and melodic pop either connected with you at a visceral level or it left you cold. As the former Melody Maker journalist Everett True notes in the introduction to his book, Nirvana have remained the territory of angst-ridden teenagers "fed up with the blandishments of the mainstream media . . . frightened of the encroaching adult world".

It is fitting, then, that what promises to be the definitive biography – by a writer who had unparalleled access to the band

and their associates – is such a subjective account. As the first journalist to write about Nirvana, True tells much of the story through his own experiences. So, if you're the kind of person who likes the author to keep a respectful distance from his or her subject, Nirvana: the true story will grate. True is someone who has been there, done that and been sick on the T-shirt, and his booze-fuelled escapades find their way into the story on a regular basis. Yet it is written with warmth and a passion for that most important aspect in such a book: the music.

Readers should come away from this wanting to search out the many bands mentioned in the footnotes and digging in the bottom of the clothes drawer for that ill-fitting and over-washed Nirvana T-shirt.