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I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Hardback

By (author) Sylvie Simmons

List price $31.33

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  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 240mm x 46mm | 864g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0224090631
  • ISBN 13: 9780224090636
  • Sales rank: 56,130

Product description

The genius behind such classic songs as "Suzanne", "Bird on the Wire" and "Hallelujah", Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a man of spirituality, emotion, and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life - sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Yet before he even began recording, Cohen was an accomplished literary figure whose poetry and novels brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have transformed one another, his songs revealing a literary quality rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by a rich musicality. "I'm Your Man" explores the facets of Cohen's life - from his early childhood in Montreal, to his entree into the worlds of literature and music, his immersion in Jewish culture, obsession with Christian imagery, and deep commitment to Buddhist detachment - including the five years he spent at a monastery outside of Los Angeles and his ordainment as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monk. Sylvie Simmons draws on Cohen's private archives and a wealth of interviews with many of his closest associates, colleagues, and other artists whose work he has inspired, as well as professors, Buddhist monks, and rabbis, to share stories and details never before revealed, and correct mistakes propounded in previous works. Unlike other biographies, "I'm Your Man" gives equal time to Cohen's poetry and prose and balances his intellectual and religious sides. The result is this deeply insightful, well-rounded portrait, of an artist whose reach, vision, and incredible talent has had a profound impact on multiple generations and who continues to create magic today.

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Author information

Sylvie Simmons is a renowned music journalist and award-winning writer. A Londoner, she moved to LA in the late seventies where she began writing about rock music for Sounds, Creem and Kerrang!, then Rolling Stone, the Guardian and MOJO. She is the author of fiction and non-fiction books, including the acclaimed Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes, Neil Young: Reflections in Broken Glass and the short story collection Too Weird for Ziggy. She currently lives in San Francisco, where she plays ukulele and still writes for MOJO.

Review quote

"Cohen gets the music biography he truly deserves (5 stars)." Mojo "The year's most meticulous, elegant and satisfying rock book." -- Ben Thompson Independent "Simmons' clear affection for her subject helps to illuminate Cohen's motivations and working methods and gives an intriguing insight into his singular mind." -- Ian Critchley Sunday Times "Simmons approaches her subject intelligently, and without a trace of the hysteria that Cohen so often inspires. If you weren't familiar with Cohen, I'm Your Man would read like a beautifully plotted piece of fiction, with an extraordinary and bewitching character at its centre." -- Fiona Sturgess Independent on Sunday "Simmons situates her subject well both in the Jewish tradition (if not a singer he would have made a fantastic Rabbi) and in his generation." -- Richard Godwin Evening Standard

Editorial reviews

Cohen gets the music biography he truly deserves (5 stars)