I’M YOUR MAN: The Life of Leonard Cohen

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SYLVIA SIMMONS

I’ve been a Cohen fan for all my adult life. In high school I wrote an essay on his poem and later song, Suzanne. So I had a lot of fun reading his bio. I put my ipod on his music, read and savoured. Cohen is a genius and it was provocative to get a glimpse into the workings of his genius. This bio is 558 pages long so it needs a lot of skimming, especially the beginning where his childhood and youth are discussed. Though even here some of the facts were interesting: Leonard was a leader at school and youth groups – he was actually senior ring for his high school. A fact that surprised me was that he was never intimate with the Suzanne of the song; extraordinary given the fact that he was known as a ladies’ man. I hadn’t realized how little success Cohen had in the US. Even his more successful albums didn’t sell well until more recently. His most beautiful album, Various Positions, which features the song Hallelujah, was not released in the States because the record cohen2company feared it wouldn’t sell well. So if you’re a fan put on his music and enjoy.

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2 thoughts on “I’M YOUR MAN: The Life of Leonard Cohen

  1. I’ve loved Cohen (and Cat Stevens) ever since college, when my first lover introduced me to the music. Hauntingly, achingly beautiful with a mix of somber and sacred truth-telling that unflinchingly celebrates life. Is Simmons able to capture this feel in her biography? You skimmed the early years—did you find yourself gripped by the narrative of his later years? Thanks for reviewing.

    1. Thanks for your well written comment. Simmons is able to capture the sacred, the joy and the life celebration. Cohen truly is amazing.

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