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1. Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life
2. Book of Longing
3. Book of Mercy
4. The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen
5. Stranger Music: Selected Poems
6. Let Us Compare Mythologies
7. Beautiful Losers
8. Leonard Cohen - The Little Black
9. Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New
10. Death of a Lady's Man: A Collection
11. Dance Me to the End of Love (Art
12. The Favorite Game
13. Leonard Cohen - Artist of Influence
14. Stranger Music: Selected Poems
15. Songs of Leonard Cohen, Herewith:
16. Various Positions: A Life of Leonard
17. Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock
18. Flowers for Hitler
19. Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard
20. Leonard Cohen Anthology (Pvg)

1. Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life
by Anthony Reynolds
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1849381380
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Anthony Reynolds' fascinating and detailed biography draws on scores of new interviews conducted with Cohen's band members past and present, his business associates, editors, friends, fans, producers, colleagues, enemies and peers. As well as their revealing accounts, the author has gained access to hours of previously unpublished interviews with Cohen as well as video archive recordings from several decades. The book also includes an authoritative summary of every Cohen album, with insights and recollections supplied from the musicians who appeared on the recordings. Gradually, despite Cohen's own good-natured evasiveness over the past 40 years, a surprisingly frank portrait begins to emerge of the legendary figure who commands unparalleled loyalty from his fans and followers, young and old. From the distant days of his penniless beginnings as a much-praised poet in Montreal, through the travels, affairs, religious crisis and drama of his latest tours. Cohen's extraordinary life and body of work is examined as never before. The book includes many previously unpublished photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars A Shame
This is an edited review.I'm not changing my mind about the writing, just trying to be a little kinder.Full disclosure:I gave up on page 35.Here's why:

My first hint of somethingamiss came with the author's admission that he'd never seen a full Leonard Cohen concert.While I'm sure it's possible to write a biography of a living and currently touring performing artist without having ever caught a whole show, it's inexcusable.

Hints started piling up as I had to re-read sentences for meaning.I gave the author the benefit of my fatigue, having just driven 4 1/2 hours from a weekend in the mountains.I also told myself to excuse the writing for the sake of the revelations.Next morning I came across this sentence opening describing the pop sounds of 1960's England:"Such somnolent saccharin sounds scraped sumptuously up against the still primitive sounding..."Two sentences later, the author describes the weather as, "cold and teal coloured..."A few pages later, this description of a casual acquaintance;"Charmaine had an almost modelesque beauty about her."Next, the use of the words "vivid" and "vividly,' thrice within five successive sentences.Finally, upon meeting Marianne, as in "Hello Marianne,""the silent far off sound of destiny falling into place."Samuel Johnson is worth quoting here:"Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage you think is particularly fine, strike it out."

I expected to like this book; I wanted to like it - that's why I bought it.Leonard Cohen's life is worthy subject matter, and the opening description of the events before the ill-fated concert at which Cohen collapsed was compelling; but, and it's a big but - the following pages were so poorly written I just had to stop.Could the problems have been fixed?Maybe, with a diligent editor, but someone made the decision that the book was ready for publication, and in my opinion it wasn't.A matter of taste?I think not.Are there revelations and insights worth mining for?Possibly, but I just can't bring myself to it.

It's a shame, the subject deserves better.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Cohen Bio We've Been Waiting For
Anthony Reynolds has put together a serious but accessible biography that addresses LC fans' thirst for inside information without resorting to a tedious litany of recording minutiae and release dates. From the early years of literary struggle through the personal tribulations of a long career as a "cult favourite" and into the more recent episodes of financial wipe-out and (I won't spoil the universally known ending), all are covered with a respectful inquisitiveness that pays dividends for the reader. This is the Cohen biography that we have been waiting for--and if you're looking for a biographical introduction to Cohen as an artist for the first time, look no further.

Admirably, while Reynolds' appreciation of Leonard Cohen is evident throughout, the story never stoops to hagiography, and makes no excuses for its protagonist. It's just a thorough, engrossing examination of the creative life of an incredibly charismatic artist. This is of course enhanced by the fact that the cult favorite is now a household name and enjoying a long, charmingly late career peak--and not as an aging icon, but as both a touchstone for countless younger artists and as a profound and relevant voice. It couldn't have been written better as a Hollywood script, and more to the point, Anthony Reynolds couldn't have written this biography much better, either. Cohen is seen here through the lens of his career--primarily his musical career--and the biographical information, while revealing, is subservient to the story of the development of the art itself.

I certainly won't throw Ira Nadel under the bus. His 1996 Cohen biography was serious and timely. But this new Reynolds book not only brings the story up to date but also in some ways brings the artist into closer view. (As for the print, a few typological errors distract momentarily but will be corrected, one trusts, in later editions.)
... Read more

2. Book of Longing
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-06-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 006112561X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Leonard Cohen wrote the poems in Book of Longing—his first book of poetry in more than twenty years—during his five-year stay at a Zen monastery on Southern California's Mount Baldy, and in Los Angeles, Montreal, and Mumbai. This dazzling collection is enhanced by the author's playful and provocative drawings, which interact in exciting, unexpected ways on the page with poetry that is timeless, meditative, and often darkly humorous. An international sensation, Book of Longing contains all the elements that have brought Cohen's artistry with language worldwide recognition.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars As a Poet,He's a Great Song Writer.
If you're a Leonard Cohen fan(which I kind of am,which is why I bought this book)then you'll probably like it a lot more than me,but all I kept longing for was another book to read.
There are some good poems,but there is a lot of repetitive themes and mediocre poems as well.
At least it's given me confidence that even I could write poems just as good,if not better.
Thanks Leonard,but I'll stick to Bukowski for my poetry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leonard just keeps getting better
Leonard Cohen just keeps getting better. Maybe his removal from the mainstream of life , if he has ever spent much time there ,during his monastic existence on Mt Baldy just made him more perceptive of the human condition. He is precise in his observations and very funny at times and supports his work with some great sketches. There is little here that might provoke " wrist slashing".

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
Loved it! See also George and Condi: The Last Decayed: A Collection of Poems from the Last Decade Beaver Tales and a Canada Goosing: Poems Illustrating a Uniquely Canadian Perspective (See ArtisanPacificPublishing Website).

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Latter-Day Work
Though not Leonard Cohen's best poetry book, 2006's Book of Longing is a very worthy addition to his incredible canon, especially impressive in that it came out when he was seventy-two, an age when even the best artists have usually long since stopped producing quality work. It was appropriately titled in that fans had longed for a new book in the long years since 1984's Book of Mercy, his prior release. This work did not disappoint. It consists primarily of poems written during Cohen's 1990s sojourn at Buddhist retreat Mount Baldy as well as more recent ones but actually includes pieces dating back to the early 1970s. These works deal with classic Cohen themes like love, lust, religion, Judaism, and music with trademark wryness, black humor, and wit that is often self-deprecating. In contrast to some of his other collections, there are a variety of forms:rhyming and non-rhyming poems, various traditional pieces, prose poems, epigrams, and more. Also included are some lyrics from Ten New Songs and Dear Heather, his two most recent albums, sometimes with interesting changes and additions. As has been his recent wont, Cohen also inserts numerous drawings; while not his writing's visual equivalent, these are charming and often humorous, adding spice and effect. Anyone who likes Cohen's poetry or songs will enjoy this fine collection, but those new to him or familiar only with his music would be better off starting with the Stranger Music collection or a stronger work like Death of Lady's Man or The Energy of Slaves.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything doesn't have to be clear
If you need for every word to be perfectly clear and obvious to you, then this book of poetry may not be for you. If you want to explore the human condition without scraping the humanity out of it or would like to feel like you are sitting down with Gabrielle Garcia Marquez you will most likely enjoy Leonard Cohen.
When I read this work, I read it with the voice of Cohen in my head. Leonard Cohen's work is very personal and his songs/poetry reach into your most private life . They massage something you didn't know you have. Honest to the point of brutality and poignant like warm breath whispered in your ear. ... Read more

3. Book of Mercy
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 112 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$15.50 -- used & new: US$9.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0771021879
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Popular since its original publication more than 25 years ago, Leonard Cohen's classic book of contemporary psalms is now beautifully repackaged.
Internationally celebrated for his writing and his music, Leonard Cohen is revered as one of the great writers, performers, and most consistently daring artists of our time. Now beautifully repackaged, the poems in Book of Mercy brim with praise, despair, anger, doubt and trust. Speaking from the heart of the modern world, yet in tones that resonate with an older devotional tradition, these verses give voice to our deepest, most powerful intuitions.
  ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Tehillim, From a Very Old and Beautiful Neshama
As I read these petitions to G-d I was transcended into the mind and soul of a very, very beautiful, gifted and learned Jewish man.I feel like I'm in a long past century while reading these psalms.When I think of Leonard Cohen, I ask myself how I can be so taken by a man 74 years old in age?The answer is quite simple.A man who has a love and awe of G-d will never grow old in my eyes.We are very fortunate that he has exposed his yearnings to us.

Dare I use his prayers as I beseech my Maker?I'd love to see this book translated into Hebrew.

5-0 out of 5 stars Language and thought out of the ordinary
Because I had bought and read his latest book I decided to buy an old one. Since his songs are poems set to music this book is prose brought to the level of poetry. Short thoughts on his relationship to a higher being or muse or idea. Thought provoking. A pleasure just to read. The man has spent his life finding the right words and metaphoric language for his deep thoughts on love and meaning and life. Thank you, Leonard

5-0 out of 5 stars Poet of Pain
Although Book of Mercy is written in prose, its soul is poetic.
To try to describe it I must point at the Moon -- there are no words
in me, experience it for yourself. My best friend's roots are Jewish,
mine are Catholic, we have evolved into an inclusive state of being,
yet Book of Mercy shows us the origins of our religions respectively --
althouth it is beyond either.

Here are some publisher's quotes: "An eloquent victory of the human spirit in combat with itself." (Globe and Mail)
"One of the most honest and courageous attempts in Canadianwriting to grapple with ultimate truth." (Books in Canada)
"Resplendent evidence of an arduous spiritual journey." (Maclean's)

Nobody else in our times reaches the tundra of the soul's journey as does Cohen. A wonderful love-version of the Star of David graces the cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Psalms, Updated
Perhaps Leonard Cohen has never been a King, as was David, but the passion of his reflections truly invites comparison.

Cohen struggles with G-d, in the finest tradition of Judaism-- indeed, of all spiritual combat. So he both speaks to G-d, and he listens. His listening compels me to listen with my own feeble ears.

This is a book for all spiritual combatants, whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Or any faith that is "of the book."

4-0 out of 5 stars Cohen Connects With His Spiritual Heritage
Leonard Cohen, always the great poet, has done a masterful job of expressing the spirit of the Psalms in modern prosaic, poetic form.And like the son of the chief psalmist, Cohen has traveled a road that hastaken him through many life experiences, only to come through them toarrive at the knowledge of that which truly matters.Book of Mercy is notonly a literary gem, but a book of enlightening and thought provokinginspiration for Jew and Christian alike, not to mention that person weoften refer to as a seeker. ... Read more

4. The Lyrics of Leonard Cohen
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 192 Pages (2009-06-08)
list price: US$20.45 -- used & new: US$14.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1847728022
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When his first album made him an unlikely star in the late 1960s, Leonard Cohen was hailed as the new poet of song. His melodies were hauntingly melodic but his lyrics were like no one else's - poignant, romantic, mystical and darkly comic. Already a poet and a novelist, Cohen had found another calling in song..."The Songs of Leonard Cohen", "Songs from a Room" and "Songs of Love and Hate" were the titles of his first three albums. Eight more would follow over the next 40 years. In this collector's edition, can be found the lyrics to over 100 of those classic songs, many of them now recorded by new generations of singers that include U2, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright and Teddy Thompson. This unique collection demonstrates why. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary poet
Leonard Cohen's music has thrilled his fans for years; for those interested in his brillance as a poet, this book is a wonderful selection.As a college professor I can emphasize his extraordinary lyrical and technical genius, without the distraction of his powerful music. Thanks Amazon.com for making the purchase easy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen, no one else comes close
Beautiful book of lyrics and photos of my most favorite singer/songwriter ever.His music and lyrics come from somewhere divine.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cohen's a genius!
Been waiting for this book>His words are awesome and this book includes all of the beat.
Thank yu ... Read more

5. Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 432 Pages (1994-11-01)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679755411
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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For the first time in paperback--the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section of Cohen's work--including 11 previously unpublished poems--and demonstrates definitively that Cohen is a writer of dazzling intelligence and a force that transcends genres. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better late than never
I listened to Leonard Cohen for the first time on TV when Public T V did a
program of his works. He's a few years older than I and I am sorry I missed him when
I was a younger person. Anybody who can coin the phrase " I ache in the places
where I used to play" is worth listening to. Wonderful stuff !!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitely a Must Buy for your collection
I've known this book for many years now and find that it's a familiar touchpoint.It has all of my favorite poems by Leonard Cohen:"Dance Me to the End of Love", "Isaiah", "All There is to Know About Adolph Eichman", "Slowly I Married Her", "Lovers" and so many more.A simply arranged index and organized by the original collection the typography is well laid out and one can easily browse and select a few poems to fit your mood, or find the lyrics for one of his songs.

If you are looking for a definitive collection of Leonard Cohen, either for yourself or as a gift - this is it.Recommended.

(For another artist who references Leonard Cohen in a humorous way, try Momnipotent: Songs for Weary Parents.The song "Leonard Cohen's Never Gonna Bring My Groceries In" is hilarious and it will send you scrambling to find the poem it references.The rest of the album is also very good and is a terrific gift for new mothers.)

2-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Songwriter, Not So Great A Poet
Anyone who knows anything about Leonard Cohen knows that he started out as a popular Canadian poet before he became a world-famous singer/songwriter. Once he began his career as a songwriter, this genre became his main focus,and he largely abandoned his poetry. Judging by this book of poems and song lyrics, he made a wise choice.

Many of his songs are now considered masterpieces of the singer/songwriter genre, among them, "Suzanne," The Chelsea Hotel," and "I'm Your Man." His poetry, on the other hand, is not so highly esteemed. Although his poetry is undoubtedly better than most songwriters' poetry, it still doesn't hold up very well.

This book's mix of Cohen's poems and song lyrics might serve fans of his albums well if they're looking for an entry into the world of poetry, but I don't believe the book adequately shows off Cohen's talents.

His greatest successes were not in his poetry or prose but in his songs, and to get the greatest sense of his skills as a writer, I would recommend listening to a compilation of his songs. A good place to start is probably "The Best of Leonard Cohen" or "The Essential Leonard Cohen."

3-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Cohen
More than once I've read poetry by favorite musicians and though, "Oh. Without music, this isn't very good." But Cohen was a writer first--the strength of his songs has always been the lyrics. This book is a collection of both poetry and lyrics (and a little poetic prose). It's vintage Cohen--dark and passionate and violent and melodramatic. It's about torrid love affairs and failed marriages and betrayal and war. If you like Cohen's lyrics, you'll like these poems, though you won't find any departures here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Happy Birthday to Me....
I had been introduced to Leonard Cohen in the late '80's through a high school boyfriend, and my roommate in college used to read his poetry when we had gatherings - when she read "Suzanne" aloud I realized for the first time how beautiful the lyrics were and, despite loving Cohen's music, I wanted to see more of his lyrics stripped bare so I could enjoy them on their own.I was in Austin on my birthday in th early 90's and was window-shopping the Tower Records on Guadelupe. Lo and behold, "Stanger Music" was on display.I remember it being expensive ( I was in college, $20.00 was a lot of money!) but heck, it was my birthday so I splurged. It's still one of my favorite gifts to myself and my all-time favorite book of poetry.
Cohen's writing reveals a lot of tenderness and soul while being very masculine. He writes about mundane things and makes them beautiful with his words, he observes everything with appreciation and is able to fully immerse himself in a moment - probably a quality honed during his monastic years.His poetry is very honest and unashamed, there is no fear of vulnerability. Some of it is deeply romantic and some is just downright sexy (but always tastefully so.)"My Room" is the most provocative two lines of poetry I've ever read.Truly amazing stuff, highly recommended. ... Read more

6. Let Us Compare Mythologies
by Leonard Cohen
Hardcover: 96 Pages (2007-06-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$11.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061173754
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Published in 1956 when he was twenty-two years old, Let Us Compare Mythologies is Leonard Cohen's first book. Long out of print, it is now available exactly as it appeared fifty years ago as one of the four hundred copies published by the McGill Poetry Series in Canada, with its original cover and illustrations by Canadian artist Freda Guttman.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ah... Cohen
Leonard Cohen's book is beautiful. Got it as a gift for a friend and she loves it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let Us Compare Mythyologies
Not having read anything deep and stimulating for a long time, this was brain growing.
Texts I don't know, I look up. Really am enjoying.

5-0 out of 5 stars Revealing and wonderful : Leonard Cohen's early poetry
I anticipated enjoying Cohen's first book of poetry, after all, I have been a fan of his music for nearly 40 years. However, I was truly surprised at the wonder of his language and the emotions that the works convey. I highly recommend this volume, not only to Cohen fans, but to poetry lovers in general. ... Read more

7. Beautiful Losers
by Leonard Cohen
 Paperback: 256 Pages (1993-11-02)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$9.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0679748253
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless members of a love triangle united by their sexual obsessions and by their fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk saint.

By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, Beautiful Losers explores each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist cannot be distinguished from the saint.

From the Trade Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good!
Loved it! See also George and Condi: The Last Decayed: A Collection of Poems from the Last Decade Beaver Tales and a Canada Goosing: Poems Illustrating a Uniquely Canadian Perspective (See ArtisanPacificPublishing Website).

5-0 out of 5 stars Irreverent despair
Written for the love of the word.I'm still trying to get the splinters out of my brain.What does it all amount to? What does it mean?I don't know but it was a beautiful ride.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Catherine Tekakwitha, who are you?"
Beautiful Losers is the first-, second-, and third- person memoir of a soul-searching, saint-seeking historian who has let slip away everything that was important in his life: his childhood friend and fellow orphan, F., and his late wife, Edith. He desperately clings to the pursuit of knowledge while fighting with his memories; specifically, he thirsts for knowledge of an Iroqois saint with whom his wife had identified. Reading over his shoulder was F., who appeared disinterested and seemed to devote most of his energy to teaching our protagonist his lecherous ways, when he's not busy being lecherous or playing in the political arena. The actual events of the book center around the romantic and erotic history of the bittersweet love triangle, but you get the feeling that these encounters are beside the point, as their bond grows dangerously strong. As the narrator gets closer to the truth (and farther from resolution), he begins to unravel, and the reader is removed more and more from the nature of his thoughts, until we don't recognize him as himself any longer.

This story is told beautifully, with no word out of place, even if it does help if you can read French. (I can't.) I was turned inside out by sadness and longing, every moment I was reading it, but reading it was a tremendous reward in itself. Despite the cool, dark atmosphere and settings (a basement, a forest), there are rays of sunshine cutting through between the lines. I forgave the imagery and metaphors light-years beyond me and (I think) most of his audience, out of pure enjoyment. I hadn't any idea Leonard Cohen was a top-five sort of writer who can adeptly switch styles (nearly every segment is written differently than the one before) and carry a story that won't disappoint you.

3-0 out of 5 stars Challenging and Beautiful
While Beautiful Losers is a fascinating read, it was not exactly a page turner for this reader.Yes, there are faults in my reading patterns, so I am sure that I should have gotten more from it, had I been able to concentrate fully... but this felt more like three hundred pages of poetry than it did a novel.Images were stunning, passages lyrical, images burned into my soul.Plot was convoluted and characters with only voice and little in the way of body filled the pages.

After my first experience with the authorship of Cohen, I will be sure to scour the used book store racks for more.I will buy them and hold them, and be ready to absorb myself in them fully before I take on the task of another of his books.

I like the challenge of books like this, but all readers should be ready to tackle the intricacies of Cohen before cracking one of his books.I'll be better prepared next time, I hope.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cohen at his best...
Beautiful Losers is a fluid and sensual, humorous and absurd, lofty yet grounded in it's own universal despair. It is also one of the most beautifully written books out there. ... Read more

8. Leonard Cohen - The Little Black Songbook: Chords/Lyrics
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 192 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$10.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1847727158
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a pocket-sized collection of over 70 Leonard Cohen hits, with complete lyrics, guitar chord symbols, and chord diagrams. Perfect for fitting into gig bags! Songs include: Ain't No Cure for Love * Bird on the Wire (Bird on a Wire) * Closing Time * Death of a Ladies' Man * First We Take Manhattan * Hallelujah * Lady Midnight * Lover Lover Lover * So Long Marianne * Winter Lady * and many more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars as advertised
just what it was advertised as.lyrics and chords monly so you have to know the song

4-0 out of 5 stars Most complete collection in a Cohen songbook
Straightforward. Songs arranged alphabetically. Chords and words.
I got this one because it had the most songs for something readily available. The size is convenient. It even has Don't Go Home With Your Hard-on.
And you can't melt it down in the rain. It has a slightly plasticized cover. And I don't get tired of seeing El Cohen peering at me from out of whatever bag I've thrown this in. ... Read more

9. Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography
by Tim Footman
Paperback: 300 Pages (2009-11-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$12.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1842404725
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Chronicling the highs and lows that have punctuated the life of a musical genius, this in-depth biography reveals new insight into the legendary songs of Leonard Cohen. Covering each stage in his prolific career—his early years as a poet and author in Canada, his relocation to New York City and subsequent impact within the folk and rock scenes, his years spent in a Buddhist monastery, and his recent rediscovery by a new generation of fans—this definitive history combines perceptive research with previously unpublished photos. Balancing his literary and musical influences with themes of religion, depression, sex, politics, and complex interpersonal relationships, fresh perspectives are highlighted through interviews with colleagues who have never before gone on record. His recent release of new music, current revival in popularity, and first tour in 15 years are fully detailed and cited as one of the most dramatic periods in the life of this eloquent songwriter.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography
Leonard Cohen Fans Will Lose Sleep Untill This Book Is In Their Collection. Very Little "Personal Life" Biographical Information, But Enough To Make It Interesting. Definately Worthy For The Novice Inspection.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Pain in the Neck that Ends Just in Time
The best thing about this book is its brevity. The main narrative takes up only 166 pages; then come footnotes, then a "Conclusion" which comes after the footnotes (for some reason), then three appendices, one of which is called "My Favorite Songs of Leonard Cohen" (of which the author writes, correctly, "there is no particular justification for the existence of this list"), and another of which - comparing Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan - is titled "Leonard and Robert" (the point of which title is lost on me, Timothy). This, plus more notes (for the appendices), a discography, a bibliography, a page listing ten websites, and a short, unhelpful index, stretch the book to 272 pages and a price tag of $19.95 in the U.S.

The preface begins by telling us that, although Cohen was born in 1939, "the Leonard Cohen we know" actually came into existence in 1949. In other words, artists develop their creative identities not at birth but later in life. Is this what passes for insight among the discerning editors of Chrome Dreams? While discussing the album "Songs From a Room," Footman does us the favor of pointing out that the song "The Old Revolution" (an obvious commentary on the tarnishing of revolutionary dreams) "would appear to be political"; that "The Butcher" (with the lines "I found a silver needle / I put it into my arm") is "probably about drugs"; and that "The Partisan" and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes," two songs written from the point of view of guerillas, "suggest some sort of guerilla warfare." For the benefit of even more intellectually needful readers, he adds that these songs "would have had resonance at the time of the Vietnam War." Later, Footman notes that the late 1960s "was a time when Eastern religions and philosophies...were becoming fashionable among western youth." Footman's literary criticism is on par with that of a high school English student and his historical contextualizing has the richness and subtlety of a volume of Cliffs Notes.

In several places, the book bears the marks of a first draft. Cohen's involvement in the Scientology movement is mentioned only in passing on page 74. But on page 78 we read, "Having disentangled himself with alacrity from the clutches of Scientology, he was open to new offers, new ideas." What clutches? What disentanglement? None of either was described.

There are some worthwhile insights to be found. Footman points out that Cohen's first record came out at a time when the type of music he was doing was already becoming passé, and that he was "one of the few major artists" in the mid-1960s to display no apparent influence of the Beatles. On pp. 61-62, there's a great quotation by Buffy Sainte-Marie about Cohen's early songwriting style - one of the most apropos and concise descriptions of it that's ever been written; but, alas, this quotation already appears in Ira Nadel's far superior biography of Cohen. Footman was perceptive to notice that Cohen's habit, by the 2000s, of speaking his lines in a gravelly monotone, was foreshadowed with "Joan of Arc," on 1971's "Song of Love and Hate" (though the pleasure of reading this valuable insight is stifled in the next paragraph with the glib comment that "much of the album is pretty bleak").

Most of the commentary is snooty and juvenile. Footman is particularly happy for the opportunity to criticize album covers. The austere cover of "Songs of Leonard Cohen" he describes as "half-assed." Later, he opines that the "Songs of Love and Hate" cover "isn't so great either."

The book is full of odd writing decisions. More than once, Footman uses the term "f---ing" when "having sex" would do. On p. 48, he calls Canada Cohen's "native land" (what's wrong with "country"?). On p. 56, he describes a Cohen performance at "of all places, the 92nd Street YMCA in New York." In fact, it is a YMHA, not a YMCA, and it is a famous New York cultural institution (not a gymnasium and boarding house, as Footman may have thought, which makes the use of the phrase "of all places" unnecessary). Almost all dates are incorrectly punctuated. Possibly through a printing error, all ordinal numbers are printed with superscript, which furthers the book's cheap, vanity-press appearance.

The best recommendation for this book would be a quote from Cohen himself (writing about one of his own books) which Footman quotes on pp. 53-54: "May I suggest that you skip over the parts you don't like? Dip into it here and there. Perhaps there will be a passage, even a page, that resonates with your curiosity. After a while, if you are sufficiently bored or unemployed, you may want to read it from cover to cover. [...] Dear Reader, please forgive me if I have wasted your time."

Unlike Cohen, Footman does not apologize. This book offers nothing to supersede Ira Nadel's "Various Positions," and proves that a cavalier attitude and half a dozen interviews do not make a worthy biography.

1-0 out of 5 stars Fans will be disappointed, and the uninitiated will find more info elsewhere
When the delay in this book's publication date was announced at about the same time as more dates were added to Cohen's monster world tour, I was hopeful that meant that the author was embedded with the tour, and we were about to get an inside account of this career-crowning moment for the much beloved Cohen.

Alas, as it turns out, such is far from the case. This book could have been written by any fan, and indeed there appears to be not one iota of newly illuminating information here, not one new interview with Cohen or anyone in his inner circle. It reads like an extensive set of liner notes to a boxed set, or an overlong article for the Sunday insert in your local paper. It all seems to be simply the result of the author's fandom and library or internet research.

For that matter, no one couldn't do without the self-indulgence. Way too many judgments are proffered about what's good or bad, what's worthy or unworthy--none of which is accompanied by any sense that the author is in any way more qualified than you or me to offer such blathering opinions, except that he wrote and published this book and you didn't. As for the structure, it gets as bad as--I am not exaggerating for effect--a two-page appendix entitled, "My Ten Favorite Leonard Cohen Songs." It's not even annotated, just the list of ten. Next time just get yourself a blog.

How wonderful it would be to know more about how this phenomenally affirming, charmingly late peak in Cohen's career came to be. The tour promoter put up a lot of money because, he has said, it was always his dream to stage a Leonard Cohen tour like this one. Now Cohen is more a household name than ever. How were the musicians auditioned? How do they relate to one another? How comfortable is Cohen now set up to be, after being wiped out by a former manager? Or does he prefer now to tour till he drops--not something he was ever known for before he was a septuagenarian? All of these await the pen of a serious biographer. In the meantime, we have this compendium of information, which is significantly less than the definitive Life of Leonard Cohen that would be of any literary value. How welcome that volume would be. The Ira Nadel book was a good start. But that's for another review.

Late P.S.: It looks like the new "Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life" may be just what we've been looking for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and Original
This is a precise and illuminating re-telling of the Leonard Cohen story with a truly remarkable narrative, largely absent from modern music biographies. Footman is an original writer and thinker who goes well beyond the call of duty, but never slips into self indulgent personal, theories - as has been so common in previous Cohen biographies. Hugely readable with a jovial mood throughout and delightfully illustrated, this unexpected work is a must for everyone with even a hint of interest in the man.

5-0 out of 5 stars A top pick for anyone who is a fan of the man and his work
One of the iconic songwriters of the twentieth century, Leonard Cohen is still going. "Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah" telling the story of a unique icon of music. Tim Footman examines the man who is multi talented with several novels under his belt and never boring, spending years doing what many would never even do for one. Tracing his life from his birth to over seventy years later to one of his most recent concert oturs, "Leonard Cohen" is a top pick for anyone who is a fan of the man and his work. ... Read more

10. Death of a Lady's Man: A Collection of Poetry and Prose
by Leonard Cohen
Hardcover: 224 Pages (2010-05-13)
-- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0233003002
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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This is a collection of poetry and prose, interspersed with lyrics, discursive passages and diary extracts from the legendary Canadian songwriter-poet. First published in 1978, the book's theme is love with all its dilemmas, and it is largely autobiographical in tone, offering the reader insights into Cohen's world and his writing. From the 1950s and '60s onward, Cohen's mournful, thought-provoking lyrics and poems have formed the backdrop to the musings of generations; this reissue, following on the huge success of his 2009 concerts, extends the experience to yet more new readers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars great
this is one of the best books ever written. there is no one who is as honest as cohen when it comes to marriage combined hate and love all in one person.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, difficult to penetrate
While Cohen has never been a very abstract poet, Death Of A Lady's Man (a sly re-titling of his album of the previous year) was perhaps his first foray into more unique poetics. The vast majority of the book, indeed, is not poetry at all (really), but a sort of very loose type of prose. Rather than being the straight up poetry that his earlier volumes mostly were, this is a collection of rants and raves, almost all of them followed by a commentary on the poem, or a type of analyzation. Highly sarcastic. Cohen seems to be analyzing the deconstruction of his former persona (the "Lady's Man") through a failed relationship with his "wife." Pretty heavy stuff. It can be difficult to penetrate at times; and, indeed, you will probably be asking yourself at times if there is any meaning to it at all. Overall, I'd have to say it's not Cohen's best book of poetry (try The Energy of Slaves for that), it is an interesting one. If you're not a fan of him already, this book certainly won't convince you. However, a fan will want it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Complicated. This is not an intellectual review,
but until a proper review is posted this will have to do...

Mr Cohen is using an old notebook, reworking compositions, poems, notes etc. and commenting on them to describe (I hope!) the loss of his persona to arelationship and what it has done to him and his art. I have assumed thateach piece is related, although I haven't read it all as I got half waythrough and felt like I was illiterate.

However, it is thought provokingwith some excellent rants, raves and disgruntled observations.

As a bookto dip into occasionally to jar the mind and start thinking on a new levelit is very good One very good poem is scathing about the facile use ofhistrionics to emphasise what one is saying, because words themselves areconstructed to describe the object and meaning. It probably has a deepermeaning which I haven't fathomed but it kept me absorbed for a fewdays.

Sorry I can't be of more help but from this review you will knowwhether it's your cup of tea. I can recommend this book if you are notafraid of dying and are looking for something that will test your patience.It is a challenge.You will appreciate the quality of Cohen's art even ifyou don't understand the cultural references. The effort does pay off. ... Read more

11. Dance Me to the End of Love (Art & Poetry)
by Leonard Cohen
Hardcover: 32 Pages (2006-08-15)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$9.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932183930
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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10 years ago, Welcome Books published the star of its Art & Poetry Series, Dance Me to the End of Love, a deliriously romantic song by Leonard Cohen that was brilliantly visualized through the sensual paintings of Henri Matisse. Now for its 10-year anniversary, Welcome is thrilled to present the entirely re-imagined and redesigned Dance Me to the End of Love. With the art of Matisse and the words of Cohen still at the heart of the book, the new look and feel of this Art & Poetry book is overwhelmingly beautiful.
Cohen's song is a lyrical tribute to the miracle of love, the grace it bestows on us and its healing, restorative power. Originally recorded on his Various Positions album, and featured in Cohen's anthology, Stranger Music, this poetic song is gloriously married to the art works by Henri Matisse, perhaps the greatest artist of the twentieth century. "I had this dance within me for a long time," Matisse once said in describing one of his murals. Dance Me to the End of Love is the perfect book for art lovers, song lovers, and all other lovers as well.Amazon.com Review
The Canadian songwriter Leonard Cohen, known primarily for his mournful tunes of love misplaced, has produced a surprising message of hopeful passion in this playful picture book for grownups in love. The 21 Matisse illustrations sprawl luxuriously across the pages. Art, poetry, and the suggestion of erotic delights... what more can a lover ask? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful expression of love
My special someone emailed this Leonard Cohen song/poem to me.I went on Amazon to buy the CD and saw the book which is the lyrics accompnied by Matisse illustrations. I was truly moved by how this uNion of art and music captured the power of true love. I recommend the book and the CD as a very special set especially for those who know the elusiveness of love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sensational
This is the most beautiful book ever! The work of two superb artists portrayed together.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very gracious and sensual!
I loved the harmony that I found between the verses of Cohen and Matisse's paintings! How very well arranged! The images dance to the verses of the song and both words and images intertwine.
Very gracious and sensual!

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect symbioses

This is the perfect symbioses of Matisse's work of art and Cohen's poetry;
and a such a true source of joy to read over and over again.

I know I will!

Morgan Sand

5-0 out of 5 stars When poetry and illustrations dance together!
This is a beautiful book based on Leonard Cohen's lyrics about the healing power of love and its meaningfulness andHenri Matisse's sensual and distinctive illustrations.
Dance Me To The End Of Love is a wonderful book which has an appeal to everyone.

Joyce Akesson, author of Love's Thrilling Dimensions and The Invitation ... Read more

12. The Favorite Game
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 256 Pages (2003-10-14)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$8.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400033624
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In this unforgettable novel, Leonard Cohen boldly etches the youth and early manhood of Lawrence Breavman, only son of an old Jewish family in Montreal. Life for Breavman is made up of dazzling colour – a series of motion pictures fed through a high-speed projector: the half-understood death of his father; the adult games of love and war, with their infinite capacity for fantasy and cruelty; his secret experiments with hypnotism; the night-long adventures with Krantz, his beloved comrade and confidant. Later, achieving literary fame as a college student, Breavman does penance through manual labour, but ultimately flees to New York. And although he has loved the bodies of many women, it is only when he meets Shell, whom he awakens to her own beauty, that he discovers the totality of love and its demands, and comes to terms with the sacrifices he must make.

From the Paperback edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great book from a great Canadian poet turned Zen beat author
I really wish that Leonard Cohen had written more novels. I really enjoyed this book. I haven't read Beautiful Losers yet but I heard it's very cool.

This books is funny. Yet it's also serious as far as love and self-disovery is concerned.

Recommended for beat author fans who may have over looked this Canadian icon.

4-0 out of 5 stars The closest thing we may ever get to a memoir of Cohen's youth
Beautiful Losers, published in 1968, is the Cohen novel you may have heard of. Its subject is murky --- a French-Canadian nun, dead 300 years, is being considered for sainthood --- and the writing is a lush, dense thicket. There's no bigger Cohen fan than this writer, but I found it tough going. Four decades after its publication, I have no longing to revisit it.

But The Favorite Game --- Cohen's first novel, published in 1963, when he was 29 --- charmed me 40 years ago, and still does. It doesn't lack for poetry, and the plot isn't much. At the very least, it's the closest thing we'll ever get to a memoir of Cohen's youth.

But "the Favorite Game" is more than a Canadian, Jewish "Catcher in the Rye." Cohen's stand-in, Lawrence Breavman, is a brooding Jewish boy learning to make his way in the world by sucking experience dry. His education is written on the bodies of women, then erased when he moves on. And he always moves on. You may find this obnoxious. I used to be that boy; I'll cut him some slack.

Start in Montreal, where the Breavmans are rich. Which is not to say happy, or close to. Mr. Breavman is fat and ill; Mrs. Breavman is a major league neurotic. Lawrence spends as little time with them as possible --- he and his best friend, Krantz, are into deep explorations of the world, which starts and ends with girls.

"Seven to eleven is a huge chunk of life, full of dulling and forgetting." Then the girls of youth sprout breasts, and Breavman "marveled that he had ever kissed the mouth that now mastered cigarettes." He finds a pair of fur gloves; masturbation becomes sublime.

Later, there is hypnotism: "He unbuttoned his fly and told her she was holding a stick." Still later, college: "He couldn't believe his hands. The kind of surprise when the silver paper comes off the triangle of Gruyere in one piece."

From seventeen to twenty, Tamara is his mistress. She's the woman he'll always return to, the woman who accepts every word and touch. Though it's really not that simple --- "they were cruel to one another." Tears. Silences. "He hated himself for hurting her and hated her for smothering him." Bed became "like a prison surrounded by electric wires."

Graduation. The inevitable breakup with Tamara. Long midnight car rides with Krantz. Breavman's first book of poems. His undeserved reputation: "Canadians are desperate for a Keats." He reads for every group that will invite him, "slept with as many chairwoman as he could." And flees to New York.

Shell is from Connecticut. Rich. WASP, of course. Smith College, of course. Married at 19 to Gordon Ritchie Sims. Who, in five years, cannot bring himself to sleep with her. She is sitting with her newly acquired lover when Breavman spots her. He fills napkins with poems. Stands before her and declares her beautiful.

"I'm married," she says.

"No, no, I don't think you are."

So it begins, the romance the entire book has been pointing toward. Music and poetry, long walks and intimate silences. How does it end? What is the favorite game? What does it have to with Shell?

And more: What is the price of tenderness? How do we stop running --- running from, running toward? If language is such a blessing, why do we use it to deceive? When innocence departs, where does it go?

Sound familiar? It should --- these are the issues of our romances. Our glory, our shame, unspooling before us. Cohen has no answers. But he has a way of presenting the questions that will --- for some readers, anyway --- pierce the heart.

3-0 out of 5 stars stylish work, but too anonymous for a huge fan
Didn't work for me. Sad since the sentimental (mis)education/odyssey of a young canadian jew could have worked wonders for an old fan of THE voice like me.

Why ?
Because the flow of consciouness style of the novel isn't my favorite (some quotes were brilliant - hell, its HIM - but in general I found it too heavy).
Also because how autobiographical the book is isn't answered and since he's always been mysterious about the origin of his work in songs or his life, I guess I was- foolishly - looking for answers, that unfortunately cannot be found in here and IT IS a big deal for an avid fan like me.

If only his memoires could be published someday to answer some of the questions I had. But I'm afraid he'll eternally be too busy seducing us with his shy charm and poetry for that. And maybe it'll be for the best, as usual.

5-0 out of 5 stars Writes woman so well
Leonard Cohen, who is also my son's namesake, writes so beautifully, so provocatively that one can scarcely consume the immense emotion.And at the same time his verse is so free the feelings flow in and out of you simultaneously... as if they were meant to occupy your souls most primal depths.This book will find you wherever you are.Reaching into your past and present to show you the sides of every relationship you never knew you had.Brilliant.

2-0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen, Great Poet and Songwriter; Mediocre Novelist
I love listening to Leonard Cohen's music (even sung by others)and his poetry is an intriguing synthesis of the accessible and the cryptic. This novel, however, within which there are genuine flashes of insight and poignancy, ultimately falls flat. The central protagonist doesn't change much -- which I suspect is Leonard's point. But, this we get right away. Also scenes with the protagonist's Jewish mother are way over the top -- but they do anticipate Philip Roth's Sophie Portnoy. ... Read more

13. Leonard Cohen - Artist of Influence (Biography)
by Biographiq
Paperback: 64 Pages (2008-03-23)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1599860791
Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars
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Leonard Cohen - Artist of Influence is the biography of Leonard Cohen, a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. Cohen's earliest songs (many of which appeared on the 1968 album Songs of Leonard Cohen) were rooted in European folk music melodies and instrumentation, sung in a high baritone. The 1970s were a musically restless period in which his influences broadened to encompass pop, cabaret, and world music. Since the 1980s he has typically sung in lower registers (bass baritone, sometimes bass), with accompaniment from electronic synthesizers and female backing singers. His work often explores the themes of religion, isolation, sexuality, and complex interpersonal relationships. Leonard Cohen - Artist of Influence is highly recommended for those interested in reading more about this talented artist. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not a book.Not even a good term paper.
Garbage.It's more of an essay written from internet searches. Don't waste your money or your time. ... Read more

14. Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs
by Leonard Cohen
 Hardcover: Pages (1993-11-06)
list price: US$29.99
Isbn: 077102231X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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For the first time in paperback--the selected work of the legendary singer, poet, and performer. Stranger Music presents a magnificent cross-section of Cohen's work--including 11 previously unpublished poems--and demonstrates definitively that Cohen is a writer of dazzling intelligence and a force that transcends genres. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Music to My Hungry Eyes
I've been reading Leonard Cohen since I was 13 and in love with the words "freakish nipples".In Stranger Music, I find myself presented with a feast of words by the man I crushed on from the first moment I heard his voice.

My copy is dog-eared and coffee stained after years of returning to it again and again.Covering everything he's ever written in as lush a way as a volume this tightly edited will allow, everyone will find something to fall in love with in this book.

Highly recommended and I'd say that even if I wasn't crazy in love with him. ;)


5-0 out of 5 stars Stranger Music: Collected Works of a 20th Century Mystic
"There is a mood for which Beethoven is too loud, and Bach too wise, and silence too good for a filthy heart such as beats in my breast."--It's Probably Spring

And for all of these moods, thereis Leonard Cohen.

To many, Leonard Cohen is known only as asub-mainstream musician and sometime theologian; yet the scope of hisartistic genius reaches far beyond music and religious thought.StrangerMusic, a collection of his works from 1956-1993, provides the uninitiatedCohen reader with a broad sampling of poetry and prose excerpts, offeringeverything from lucid and uplifting spirituality (a la Book of Mercy) todarker confessional stylings. Any fan of modern literature would bewell advised to incorporate this anthology into his collection.At timesconventional, at times avant-garde, Cohen is a writer that transcends genreand accurate definition, and in doing so probes the collective unconsciousfor themes which pertain to all of modern humanity.His questions, andmany of his answers, all presented in his easily accessible style, areuniversally applicaple, and an experience well worth the reading. For anypassionate-literate individual who seeks an artistic alternative to thenihilism of our time, this man speaks for you.

Spend the twelve bucks. You'll congradulate yourself on the investment. ... Read more

15. Songs of Leonard Cohen, Herewith: Music, Words, and Photographs
by Leonard Cohen
 Paperback: 96 Pages (1969-06)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$227.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825626544
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Cohen in the 1960s
This 1969 publication opens with an article on Cohen by William Kloman from a 1968 New York Times. It is part biography and part interview with quotes from his novel Beautiful Losers and the song Stories Of The Street.This insightful essay reveals profound wisdom in the artist's view of the world of that time, the late 1960s. This is followed by black and white photographs of his life in Greece, and in the next chaper, his life in America. The first contains pics of Marianne, Axel, their house on the island Hydra and scenes of socializing in Greek cafes. The next one has pics of, amongst others, John Hammond and Judy Collins. In addition, the page preceding the Contents has a lovely pic of The Buckskin Boys, the artist's first group from his teenage years.

There is a legend explaining the musical notation: the guitar accompaniment for the compositions is illustrated in easily readable tablature. All the lyrics are provided. The songs are: A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes, Bird On The Wire, The Butcher, Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye, Lady Midnight, Master Song, The Old Revolution, One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong, Priests, Seems So Long Ago Nancy, Sisters Of Mercy, So Long Marianne, Stories Of The Street, The Story of Isaac, The Stranger Song, Suzanne, Teachers, Tonight Will Be Fine, Winter Lady and You Know Who I Am.

The black and white photograps are by John Berg, David Gahr, Julie Snow, Roz Kelly, Michael A Vaccaro and James Wigler. The combination of photographs, article and these timeless songs from the early days provides a nostalgic look at the legendary singer, songwriter and author. All devoted fans will appreciate it as a unique historicaldocument of a master artist at the outset of his long career.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Guitar Book on Earth
I have had this book since 1975, and I have used it to pieces. This book taught me to fingerpick. The six-bar TAB notation is much easier for a guitarist to learn than standard five-bar music notation. The book contains every guitar note that Cohen plays on the album.

Two great things about Leonard Cohen - nobody writes better lyrics, and almost all of us think we can sing and play better than he can (even if our friends disagree!)

One discordant note on "Butcher's Song": a tried again and again to learn this song from the book, but I could never make it sound good.Months later, I finally heard it on an album and I was overjoyed. I had it perfect! It's just a bad song!

3-0 out of 5 stars Songs of Leonard Cohen
This book contains the music, written out for guitar and vocals, of the following songs: A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes; Bird on the Wire; The Butcher; Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye; Lady Midnight; Master Song; The OldRevolution; One of Us Can Not Be Wrong; Priests; Seems So Long Ago; Nancy;Sisters of Mercy; So Long, Marianne; Stories of the Street; Story of Isaac;The Stranger Song; Suzanne; Teachers; Tonight Will Be Fine; Winter Lady;You Know Who I Am

There are also a good number of pictures and an articlewritten about Cohen in 1968, pulled from the New York Times.

I gave it3 stars only because I haven't any clue as how the well tablatures aretranscribed, coz I don't play the guitar. ... Read more

16. Various Positions: A Life of Leonard Cohen (Jewish History, Life, and Culture)
by Ira B. Nadel
Paperback: 360 Pages (2007-10-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$16.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0292717326
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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From reviews of the hardcover edition:"[Various Positions is] more a literary than a rock bio--quiet of tone, serious without being worshipful. Drawing on Cohen's own archives, Nadel plots aspects of Cohen's life--Zen, love affairs, drug use--against the evolution of his writing. He fashions a biography that is revealing but also mindful of its subject at his best."--Booklist"An excellent biography, one that manages to be both thoroughly scholarly and genuinely entertaining at the same time."--Montreal Gazette"An honest and sympathetic biography."--New York Times Book Review"The most authoritative work yet on the 'poet laureate of pessimism.'"--Library JournalKnown as the "Prince of Bummers," Leonard Cohen is a multi-talented poet, singer-songwriter, novelist, and Zen Buddhist whose career has spanned more than forty years and inspired countless other artists. In this critically acclaimed biography originally published in 1996 by Pantheon Books, Ira Nadel draws on extensive interviews with Cohen, as well as excerpts from his unpublished letters, journals, notebooks, songs, and other writings, to offer a full portrait of this enigmatic man and his artistic career. A new concluding chapter brings Cohen's story up-to-date, including the release of the albums Dear Heather, Ten New Songs, The Essential Leonard Cohen, and Blue Alert, as well as the publication of Book of Longing and the screening of the documentary film Leonard Cohen, I'm Your Man. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Scratches the surface but draws little blood
The book is readable -- not exciting but not an academic drudge either. This is important because Cohen, as opposed tothe book, is not so readable. On the other hand Cohen is such an interesting chap, and such an remarkable modern literary figure, that any decent book about him, including this one, is going to be intersting.

The book overall follows the biographic customary timeline of past to present, starting with ancestors a few generations back. However,within any few pages Nadel jumps in time more than Billy Pilgrim, so one minute you might be reading about something that happened in 1975 and a few later you're reading about something in 1969 and in a few more pages and it's 1978. It's often necessary in a biography, while discussing events in one period, to reference related matters from another period. A biographer like, say, Marion Meade, handles this sort of thing with aplomb. In Nadel's book, while sometimes there seems to be a thematic point underlying Nadel's schenanigans with the timeline, at worst it is unnecessarily confusing and at best it is disruptive. Another draft was in order.

Generally, the farther back in the past the book reaches, the more info it has to offer, and the overall effect of the book is to leave you wanting more information, especially about the last 30 years of Cohen's life. E.g., Nadel tells you in a few sentences that Cohen was recently defrauded of millions of dollars, his life savings, but doesn't say anything about how the swindle took place -- did Cohen by a time share on Mars? was Cohen preoccupied while someone simply ransacked his bank accounts? And afterword was added a few years ago to catch up on what's happened since the book was written. This add-on is presented as an "afterword" but is more like a footnote in large type, as it briefly rushes through several years of some very important events, leaving off with the noting that a tour is being planned for 2007 -- which, of course, we now know turned out to be the biggest and best received tour, worldwide, of Cohen's career. A better afterword would have taken some time to add an actual chapter or two or, in lieu of further research and writing. One might have hoped that Footman's newer biography with the obvious title, Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography, (slated for publication in November 2009) would take care of this, but alas , does not.

Nadel does a good job of tracing familial and academic roots and associations, which helps to show how key they are to Cohen and his work.

On the other hand, on a thematic level, Nadel repeatedly tells the reader that Cohen is depressed and suffering (big surprise if you read his poems, prose or heard his songs), but you don't really get anything new on why he's depressed or what he's suffering from -- except for this: he likes women but isn't comfortable being "tied down" -- Well, a song or too and you could figure that out. You do learn the names of folks in Cohen's life, including those mentioned or alluded to in songs or poems. You also are told often that Cohen used drugs but you never really get a good idea how much or how often -- as spaced out as Carrie Fisher? potted as Betty Ford? comfortably maintaining the appearance of sobriety like Dick Van Dyke, or just a chronic dabbler?

Nadel does go some distance to tie together Cohen's lifelong interest in Judaism and decades long interest Zen. And that might be the most depth that the book has to offer.

You will know more about Cohen, including more details, after reading this book, but you probably won't feel like you've read the definitive account of Cohen's life and career. But Cohen is such an interesting chap, and such an remarkable literary figure, that any decent book about him, including this one, is going to be intersting.

If you are interested in Cohen, the book is worth a read. However, you may very well feel that you have better understanding of Cohen from his poems, novels and songs than from this biography, which ain't necessarily a bad thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars i loved the book
he is the greatest poet in forever and fab singer, enjoyed it was a gift and that person loved it. the book was in great condition

5-0 out of 5 stars Cohen book
The condition of the used book was just as described, shipping was quick.I am very happy with the purchase!

4-0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen History
Very insightful reading about a very gifted writer and performer of poetry and music.Also provides interesting details of personal life experiences of life during the sixties and seventies. An interesting view of the development and maturation of a genius.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Leonard Cohen-style biography of Leonard Cohen
This is a fascinating book. However, it is not a conventional biography, in that the author (Ira Nadel) does not fully succeed in weaving the events of Cohen's life into a flowing narrative. The story proceeds disjointedly,and the reader follows it with a feeling of uneven coverage and missingpieces. Ira Nadel is clearly in personal awe of Leonard Cohen (as any of uswould be, I suppose), such that he shies away from offering much analysis(psychoanalysis?) of his work and conduct of his life, beyond what the workand facts of his life suggest readily. For example, Cohen's long, torturedrelationship with his wife Suzanne is described by a series of vignettes,as cold as news reports, spiced only with relevant-seeming quotations fromCohen's work. Nadel doesn't do the interpretive work of suggesting wasgoing on in Cohen's mind, and what was causing that, which is whatbiographers usually do for us (and we judge them on whether they do thatwell or badly). There are ocassional Freudian interpretations, as whenNadel compares Cohen's relationship with his lovers to that with hismother. But we don't get a feel for how the relationship developed andbegan to sour. In fact, we barely get any feel of "development"in Cohen's life at all, which makes it seem like disconnected reportagerather than a biographical narrative. This quality could be seen as a plus,as it gives the book a cryptic feel, rather like the work of Leonard Cohenitself. I learned a lot, and enjoyed the distant quality of Nadel's writingfor what it was, but I was left wanting to know more. Perhaps Cohen, whosework often veers into playful impenetrability, perfers it that way. ... Read more

17. Dylan and Cohen: Poets of Rock and Roll
by David Boucher
Paperback: 256 Pages (2004-04-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$24.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826459811
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are widely acknowledged as the great pop poets of the 1960s, transforming the popular song into a medium for questionng the personal, social, and political norms of their times. They emerged at a time when the music industry was transforming the revolutionary sound of black music into something bland, homogenous, and fit for mass consumption. For many members of their generation, Dylan and Cohen were able to articulate what they were feeling and could not express: anti-establishement anger, angst, and despondency.

Dylan and Cohen is a fascinating political, psychological and artistic profile of these two iconic writers and performers. With reference to both biographical details and lyrics. David Boucher explores their similarities and differences, tracing the development of religious political, and social themes in their work and the ways in which those ideas engaged a new audience.

A must-read for all serious fans of either Dylan or Cohen, this book will also engage anyone interested in the North America of the 1960s, or more generally in the relationship between music, identity and politics. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Take This Waltz
What makes this book such a unique and significant contribution to its genre is that it is written with the insight and sensitivity of a spirit that seems deeply attuned to those of its subjects. Not only does the reader come away with a better understanding of the historical times and political contexts that shaped these men, and the personal struggles and psychological bents that motivated their writing, but also with a clearer understanding of what attracts their devotees to their work.

Throughout the book, Boucher weaves explorations of various aspects of the lives and cultural context of Dylan and Cohen that strongly affected them and their work. These include the civil rights movement, drugs, women, sexuality, God and religion, what it means to be reluctantly identified as the voice of a generation, and -- particularly for Cohen -- the holocaust. Boucher also explores the influence of other artists on their work, from Woody Guthrie for Dylan to Lorca for Cohen, as well as the influence that Dylan and Cohen had on each other.

Just as Dylan and Cohen make poetry an accessible part of popular culture, with equal skill Boucher makes philosophy of art and interpretation accessible as well. He points out that our experience of lyric poetry is informed by the questions we bring to it and he explains that the richest experience is to be had when the most appropriate questions are asked. Boucher uses the theories of several philosophers such as R. G. Collingwood, Henry Jones, and Michael Oakeshott, to identify which questions are most appropriately asked of particular works at particular moments in the artists' creative development. He also shows the fruitlessness of asking the wrong kind of questions of a particular poem, as is the tendency of many thinkers.He describes various forms of artistic expression: pseudo-art, or art as magic; art as the expression of emotion, or imaginative art; and inspirational art, or poetry which delights in images. He then demonstrates how, at various stages in Dylan's artistic development, his work takes all three forms of expression, whereas Cohen's work primarily takes the form of the last two. He then offers examples from their poetry to illustrate which form(s) of expression is/are being inhabited by a particular work and he supports his demonstrations with quotations about their work from the artists themselves.

Finally, Boucher helps to bring the period to life for his reader by including several pictures of book covers, concert and film posters, magazine covers and various photographs. The overall result of the book is that Boucher successfully positions his readers to have a richer experience and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the lyric poetry of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.

5-0 out of 5 stars Compulsively Readable
This is an excellent study of the music and lyrics of the 2 greatest rock "poets."Boucher explores whether or not their lyrics even qualify as poetry and keeps the subject interesting!He effectively delves into their psyches,as well, without getting hung up on personal, biographical details which have been over analyzed in other places.I found the final chapter "The Religious Experience" to be some of the best writing that I've seen on Dylan and Cohen's spiritual journeys.I highly recommend this to fans of either man's work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
The irate and intemperate person signing himself pepidude in a previous review seems incapable of being able to appreciate an argument or of understanding the nature of the exercise that David Boucher has undertaken. It is a thematic book with a wide range of references, not a book of facts about Bob Dylan.The author introduces us to the complexities of issues relating to the difference between popular music lyrics and poetry, between origins and originality, the poetry of imagination and inspiration and much more. Anyone interested in ideas and issues, and in theories as well as facts will find this book immensely stimulating and fascinating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry Always was the New Rock & Roll
David Boucher has written a book that examines in detail the contribution of both artists to the worlds of both literature and rock & roll. In his intoduction he looks at the progress of Cohen from serious poet to rock & roll recording artist and performer. This transition cost him status in the literary world but aided by the legendary "golden voice" and some consummate musicians it allowed him to reach a hitherto undreamed of audience.

Dylan, whom he refers to as "The Changing Man" in Chapter Three, was the chameleon-like performer who picked up, and discarded new personas and new musical styles at the drop of his very famous hat. The obvious example here is the infamous "electric tour" where Dylan was heckled and called "Judas". This abuse was, the book shows, not only for his perceived betrayal of the acoustic folk movement, but also a reaction to the contempt with which Dylan treated his audience. Dylan had always been a confrontational performer, and his response to such attacks was to become louder and less acoustic than ever. What David Boucher also shows is that this signified a shift from the community centred ethic of the folk movement to the excessive individualism and nihilism of the Beat poets who through the drug culture wanted, like Rimbaud, to experience the extremes.

In other chapters the myriad influences on both performers are examined as well as their involvement with political and religious organisations. Finally David Boucher gives us an insight into the road travelled by both men in search of their own personal salvation.

Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen are complex men and complex performers. To listen to, or to read the works of either man is always challenging. In this book the author has written an analysis that is equally challenging exploring, as it does, the anger and the angst of the 1960s and beyond. I enjoyed every minute of the challenge.

5-0 out of 5 stars How lovely does it get...?
David Boucher's masterly work 'Dylan & Cohen' is essential reading, not simply for devotees of these 'Poets of Rock and Roll' but for anyone with an interest in the history of the radical cultural, political and musical changes in the last century.

It is clear from this eloquent book that neither Dylan nor Cohen wished to speak for anyone but themselves and equally clear that the strength of their work would be seized upon by a generation looking for a new direction.Thankfully they both continued to write through their tribulations and we have a bank of some of the most evocative music to continue to listen to.

I urge you to buy this book but with a word of warning: you won't want to stop reading once you've started. ... Read more

18. Flowers for Hitler
by Leonard Cohen
 Paperback: 154 Pages (1973-07-12)

Isbn: 0224008412
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Early poetry and prose
This volume contains 95 poems and prose pieces by the great Canadian author and musician. The Project, The True Desire, The Commentary, Kerensky and The New Leader are prose pieces, whilst The New Step is called a Ballet Drama in One Act. Its four characters are Mary, Diane, Harry and The Collector.

The selection opens with What I'm Doing Here and contains moving poems like, among others, The Hearth, No Partners, Finally I Called, My Teacher Is Dying, Montreal 1964, For Marianne, Hydra 1960, Waiting For Marianne,The Glass Dog, Propaganda, How The Winter Gets In, Island Bulletin, Winter Bulletin, Governments Make Me Lonely, The Music Crept By Us, Lot, The Big World, Streetcars and Another Night With Telescope.

The poem The Only Tourist In Havana Turns His Thoughts Homeward (1961) reminds me of his song Stories of the Street on the album Songs of Leonard Cohen that also deals with a visit to Havana. Both it and Death Of A Leader were written in Havana in April 1961. Queen Victoria And Me appears on the album Live Songs as just Queen Victoria. Some of the poems also appear in the book Poems 1956-68 that was first published in 1969. There are 3 illustrations by the author, titled My Personal Fire, Animals In Love and Fires In Every Window.

The front cover drawing of flowers emerging from stone is by Martin Vaughn-James and the photograph of Cohen on the back is by Sophie Baker. The only drawback is that there is no index of first lines. I highly recommend this book to all fans of Leonard Cohen and those who love 1960s poetry.


The Energy of Slaves

Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs

Songs of Leonard Cohen, Herewith: Music, Words, and Photographs


Essential Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man ... Read more

19. Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard Cohen
by Roger Green
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2003-09-19)
list price: US$27.95 -- used & new: US$4.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0465027598
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Having passed the age of fifty, English poet Roger Green moves to the Greek island of Hydra because he has always felt himself more "south" than north. But he is not sure what he will find there-other than sun and the suspension of life's more mundane responsibilities that every ex-pat longs for. As he wiles away the days at his portable Olivetti, attempting to write a proper story, and the nights singing for his supper at the Pyrofani, the local watering hole, he is not quite prepared for a challenge of any kind. Let alone grapple with the discovery that his terrace has an unencumbered view of . . . singer, songwriter, and counterculture icon Leonard Cohen's banana trees. Or more exactly, that he'd soon be transfixed with the goings-on in the garden adjoining the house that still belongs to Cohen.

What follows is Green's fantastically discursive ode to obsession and myth, relayed in a series of digressions that prove far more illuminating-and life-affirming-than the facts laid bare. Combining deprecating wit, unconventional style, and a decidedly playful mastery of the English language, Hydra and the Bananas of Leonard Cohen proves, once again, that (in the words of fellow poet Laurence Durrell), life is far too serious not to be taken lightly.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars In the Palm of Cohen's Hydra
This a curious book. One can like it or hate it but no one can say this is not an original book. It is written from a tender and cozy place called human warmth. For that heroic stance it should be applauded. The book lives in the moment -without a conclusion, or anything resembling a plot (the book often travels in circles). The author manages to get close to those who were dear and close to Leonard Cohen but he does not take advantage of this remarkable oppurtunity. He has Suzanne (the mother of Adam and Lorca but not the Suzanne of the song) sitting in front of him and he resorts to mundane and ponitless questions and gossips.
I remember my two trips of discovery to Hydra in search of Leonard Cohen. I found his house and his old buddies -but I did not see the bananas of Leonard Cohen! Maybe they were there but I was looking down for his footsteps not up for the tropical fruits! I recommend this book to all the Cohen fans -even though I am sure Leonard Cohen is thoroughly embaressed by it. ... Read more

20. Leonard Cohen Anthology (Pvg)
by Leonard Cohen
Paperback: 208 Pages (2001-02-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$14.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0825612381
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This thick collection includes 43 favorites penned by legendary singer-songwriter, poet, novelist and iconoclast Leonard Cohen. Includes: Ain't No Cure for Love * Avalanche * Bird on a Wire * Chelsea Hotel #2 * (No) Diamonds in the Mine * Famous Blue Raincoat * The Guests * I'm Your Man * Jazz Police * Joan of Arc * Lady Midnight * A Singer Must Die * Sisters of Mercy * So Long, Marianne * Suzanne * Take This Longing * Tower of Song * You Know Who I Am * and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good to know - this is book of music notes...
It is not really review of book (how can I actually review book written by man who is lights of years talented than me?). I just wanted to say - this is book of music notes for Leonard Cohen songs. Yesterday I received it and I was surprised. Have friend of mine who is musician - book will become a gift for him.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful work by Leonard Cohen
This Leonard Cohen Anthology is a wonderful collection of the great poet's work. Not all of his work, but much of it.The songs, to me, are wonderful and hypnotic. The price for the book is more than worth spending.

4-0 out of 5 stars leonard cohen anthology
This book is very good and does contain many sons which are difficult to come by, however it does not contain any guitar tablature as the description states.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent selection presented well
The 43 songs in this book cover Leonard Cohen's work up through 1988, with his I'm Your Man album being the last one represented.While the 1969 book Songs of Leonard Cohen contained an essay and many photographs with vocal lines and guitar tablature from his first two albums, there are no photographs or extras in this collection.

This book presents vocal lines, guitar chords, and a grand staff for piano arrangements.The typography and layout are excellent, though the piano arrangements cause a number of songs to be run out for six, eight or ten pages.The 43 songs included represent a good cross-section of Cohen's most prolific period of songwriting.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Singer Songwriter's Reference, A Must Have
As I have always been attracted to Leonard Cohen's mysterious poem and song writing;now I can and you too, experience the thrill of playing guitar or piano to Leonard's classic songs such as, Sister's of Mercy,Suzanne, Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye, etc. We can do justice to thesecompositions sincechord charts are provided making each page in thisanthology easy to read with melodies -accurately -chordmatched.Inother words, it's not a fake book. Lyrics, though not text underlayed,can be manipulated under first verses, especially if you are a guitarplayer and are not in need of the piano treble and bass systems. Regardless, you won't be let down.Make this Anthology of Mr. Cohen'slife's work masterpiecespart of your creative library. Ok, I've gottago now, Bird on A Wire is hovering over my guitar. ... Read more

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