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Publisher's Summary

The first comprehensive biography of iconic singer-songwriter Chris Cornell.

Total F*cking Godhead is the complete story of the complex and enigmatic artist, Chris Cornell. It's the riveting account of a blue collar, high-school dropout emerging from Seattle, Washington, to become one of the greatest singer-songwriters and voices of his generation. With input from people who knew and worked with him - together with Cornell's own words - the book recounts in great detail the rise of his immortal band Soundgarden as they emerged from the 1980s post-punk underground to dominate popular culture in the '90s alongside other Seattle bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Nirvana.

Long-time Seattle resident and rock writer Corbin Reiff examines Cornell's dynamic solo career as well as his time in Audioslave. He delves into his hard-fought battle with addiction, as well as the supercharged reunion with the band that made him famous before everything ended tragically.

This is the story of an artist who channeled his own inner turmoil into songs that touched the hearts of millions around the world and turned Chris Cornell into one of music's greatest icons.

©2020 Corbin Reiff (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Total F*cking Godhead

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R.I.P

A really good book with a good story line and well described of one of the rock gods rest in peace.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Matt S. Lewis
  • 31-07-2020

UltraMegaJustOK

As someone that grew up in Seattle at the same time as the players that changed the world from the Pacific NW in the early 1990's I very much enjoyed this portrait of that amazing time in the history of rock and roll. I've been to many of the venues and seen a lot of the bands and the author did a good job covering that part of the Chris Cornell story. It's obvious he had a much richer pot of resources to draw from when researching the early part of Cornell's life and career. But it's clear as the book gets farther along that he just didn't have a lot of connections that were willing to share information. The bigger and more famous he got, the higher the walls and the smaller circle of friends that knew the man, not the rock star. I'm always intrigued by how early stardom (money, fame, etc) effects a person. That stuff isn't here. The second half of the book is basically just a regurgitation of recording schedules and tour dates told through the words of quotes from interviews in mags, radio and TV. Don't get me wrong, the writer covered this stuff well, but if you're looking to find out anything in-depth about the human aspects of Chris or his bands, you're not really going to find it here. A lot of it you could google. I wanted to know more and it wasn't here. The author kind of touches on that in his intro, but it's too bad there isn't some meatier stuff to chew on. I loved the reader. He rocked!

8 people found this helpful

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  • J. Piper
  • 03-08-2020

Still can’t believe it

Only recently been able to listen to any of Chris’s music. Simply too painful. This book came at the right time. Though I sobbed through many sections and the last chapter truly heart wrenching, it was a solid, informative listen. Thank you Corbin and of course, thank you Chris.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kristen
  • 04-09-2020

Good content, needs different narrator

I'll start my review by saying that I appreciate the author's effort in writing a biography on one of the most prolific artists of all time and most certainly of the Pacific Northwest. Chris Cornell exemplified Seattle, and as a Seattleite myself, it is hard to not feel his presence when walking around my city. A biography was a necessary creation in paying homage to him. As far as the content, I felt it was very informative for the most part, detailing the life and struggles that Cornell had. The author interviewed many people associated with him, and also referenced several articles that he did interviews for throughout his career. The writing itself is fairly amateur and basic. At times it strays from the subject at hand with unnecessary content, like when the author name drops several celebrities that paid tribute to him on social media after his death. Although the style of writing itself is dull and fails to draw the average person in, it does contain enough information to keep the average Soundgarden/Cornell fan in. Now to talk about the narrator. I found his nasally voice annoying, but tolerable for the most part. He chooses to use accents when reading certain quotes, which is nothing short of awkward and unnecessary. The real intolerable parts are when he misprounounces names and says the name of a historic Seattle location incorrectly. When reading the part about Cornell's work with Timbaland, other artists that Timbaland worked with were mentioned, such as the very well-known artist, Aaliyah (the narrator pronounced her name as A-LIE-a). When reading a part towards the end that talks about Pike Place Market, the narrator says "Pike's Place Market". I believe that when you're narrating a book, you should make sure you're pronouncing names and places correctly. It goes with the professionalism of the job, especially when you're talking about landmarks in the subject's home city. Anything less is cringeworthy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-08-2020

A bit disappointed

I wanted to like this book. I am disappointed. There is nothing new. Any Chris Cornell fan would know everything in this book by watching interviews and reading articles about him. I thought this would be more personal.

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  • Daniel
  • 15-10-2020

5 stars for CC

I only gave this 5 full stars because this is about Chris Cornell. However , all of this book is old news to true Chris Cornell fans . I really wanted to learn more about his background outside of the music to see how he could be depressed and take his own life and was hoping some more updated insight on that case . The sad thing is i got more out of chris’ last Howard stern interview than this entire book.

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  • Amy F
  • 18-09-2020

Mostly good

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest during the late 80’s, I really loved the history and the timeline of events. I understand the author didn’t have a lot of access to band mates, and his current wife due to legal issues, but I feel like he did a masterful job of piecing the history together with interviews and people close to Chris and the bands. Now, on to the narrator... he was all wrong for this book. His cadence of speech reminded me of Casey Kasem. What was truly cringe worthy was when the narrator used REALLY BAD ACCENTS when reading interviews from foreign press!!!! In the end, there was no more light shown on why Chris Cornell took his own life. This story made it sound like he was all good until he hit his hotel room the night he died. I really enjoyed the book on the whole. If you loved Soundgarden, AudioSlave, Chris Cornell or are interested in the genesis of the Seattle music scene in the 80’s and 90’s I don’t think you will be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • 10-09-2020

No one sings like you anymore

Great book. Really enjoyed the leisurely rock & roll walk through Soundgarden’s beginnings and Mr. Cornell’s life. Somehow I hoped there would be a different ending… A fan still 💔

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-09-2020

most amazingly done

thank you for your time and research. I loved it. can't stop crying now out of sadness and happiness. I loved this man and all he gave.

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  • Wendy
  • 15-11-2020

This was an amazing read!!!

Thank you Corbin for writing about Chris and the band from the start until a very tragic end. I think Chris would have liked it but too bad he wasn't able to contribute his personal thoughts. Great job and I hope you continue writing because I'm sure there's a lot that was left out.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-11-2020

Tribute to Chris Cornell

i enjoyed the book. It goes into great detail about his music which is great. After all that is why we all fell in love with him in the first place. But I do wish it contained more of his personal life and relationships. Not in an intrusive tell all kind of way, just who he was when he was with his parents as an adult and his brothers and sisters, with his family and in laws. I'd like to read about behind the scenes Chris. i could read about his discography anywhere.,

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-2020

insightful

I know other reviewers have said nothing new here but I was not a die hard fan and so there was a lot that was new to me. I was a 'classic rock ' guy and liked the Seattle sound but was not into it massively. Still his voice was astounding. I had tickets to see his songbook tour in Florida in 2011 but he had to cancel due to a throat infection. Always meant to catch him back in UK but no rush..... An amazing vocalist and songwriter. Left behind a massive body of work and a massive void in music.

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  • Jake
  • 07-11-2020

Fantastic account of the life of a gen x genius

Very well written and in tune with the best of Chris’ work. Brilliantly researched. Was a little disappointed at the end when listing the benefit concert lineup that the author fell on line with all ultra left cancel culture safe common practices and deliberately left Ryan Adams off the list, particularly when his ‘Dead Wishes’ cover shone additional light on how good the song is. Ryan is an artist of arguably equal magnitude and whilst his behaviour was questionable at times he was not a monster who deserves to have his career erased from memory by narrative bending opportunists like Phoebe Bridgers.

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  • Kenneth J. Carlson
  • 08-10-2020

Brilliant book.

loved this book. Chris Cornell had and always will be a hero of mine. loved listening about his life story.

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