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Book of Longing [Hardcover]

Leonard Cohen
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 April 2006
Leonard Cohen is one of the great writers, performers, and most consistently daring artists of our time. Book of Longing is Cohen’s eagerly awaited new collection of poems, following his highly acclaimed 1984 title, Book of Mercy, and his hugely successful 1993 publication, Stranger Music, a Globe and Mail national bestseller. Book of Longing contains erotic, playful, and provocative line drawings and artwork on every page, by the author, which interact in exciting and unexpected ways on the page with poetry that is timeless, meditative, and at times darkly humorous. The book brings together all the elements that have brought Leonard Cohen’s artistry with language worldwide recognition.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Mcclelland & Stewart Ltd; 1 edition (25 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771022344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771022340
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934. He attended McGill University and published his first collection of poetry, The Spice Box of Earth, in 1956. Since then he has published eleven books, including two novels, The Favourite Game (1963) and Beautiful Losers (1966). He has made seventeen albums, the latest being Dear Heather (2004). Numerous tribute albums, in many languages, have celebrated his songs. His work is known and loved throughout the world. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
101 of 104 people found the following review helpful
This is Leonard Cohen. You get tongue-in-cheek self portraits dispersed amongst words that are sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, sometimes brilliant observations and sometimes self depricating honesty that reveals the always human-ness and always unique voice of this living legend of a song writer, writer and poet, Mr. Leonard Cohen.

This guy is Interesting with a capital "I." Reason enough to check out his long awaited book of poems, drawings and essays. Another reason is that unlike most books of poetry it is 'entertaining' without sacrificing intelligence. His wry humour is laugh out loud funny in the the short essay, "The Luckiest Man in the World" and poems such as, "Never Once."

He speaks of things that matter to him: his teacher, Roshi, pine trees, G-d, women, sex, laughter, mists, women and most of all from what I see the unending mystery of "self" (and women). When that self is Leonard Cohen it is worth stopping what you are doing and reading what he has to say.

Then, if you are not familiar with Cohen's music, you are missing some of the best written lyrics and music, ever.


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 22 Jun 2009
I LOVE Leonard Cohen - always have, always will, so I suppose I may be slightly biased... but to cut a long story short this collection is utterly fantastic. Usually with collections like this the ratio of dull:good poems is bad, but there are so many insightful, moving poems that its hard to know which ones to mention. If you are a fan of Cohen then I would thoroughly recommend you buying this book and reading it cover to cover. It's hard to believe so many beautiful poems, lyrics and prose can all come from one person.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait Of The Artist As A Wise Man 25 Aug 2008
As fans of his music will testify, Leonard Cohen has a unique gift for translating emotion into words with art and sincerity. This book consists of various poems, passages and doodles that bear all the hallmarks of classic Cohen. Anyone who has ever struggled in life with crushing disappointment may recognize Cohen's perfect verbal distillation of their pain. Others will just enjoy the humour, wisdom and frankness. Many people are put off from reading poetry because of the unintelligible abstraction that characterizes so much of the medium. This well-presented volume is the perfect antidote. The pieces vary in subject and scope, but women and growing old are recurring themes. The prevailing impression is that Leonard Cohen is very modest - especially considering the fame and adulation he has enjoyed and endured since the sixties - and that he tries to do, and be, his best. The word is "mensch".
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insight into the workings of a master poet 14 Jan 2010
I am only familiar with Cohen's songs, and although most of them were originally written as poems it is great to read the ones he wrote in this book. The illustrations that accompany them are endearing and affective alongside the poems. It is an easy read and an excellent introductory book for someone who has never read Cohen's poetry before.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bryancomment 8 May 2009
I was not disappointed by this book of poems and heartened to see that some of the content relates to 'Ten New Songs' an underrated album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong performance from the poet 15 May 2010
Leonard Cohen spent several years studying religions and turning his back on the world. Some of his scribblings, musings, lyrics and poems are found here. They run his usual gamut from sensual to weird, melancholic to absurd and strange to laugh out loud funny. They include lyrics to some songs from the era and this is definitely worth the money for a Leonard Cohen music fan, if only to find out he has a much wider repertoire than just the songs from the 60s,70s,80s,90s and 00s (which is quite a repertoire by itself).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen 4 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like Leonard Cohen, then you will love this book. Inside is a collection of fantastic poems and sketches. They show a side of Leonard that the music doesn't. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The music in his poems 24 April 2012
By steelo
The thing about buying a volume of Leonard Cohen poems is that, if you've already listened to him sing, you will most likely feel more intimately connected to his poems. Why? Because you'll hear his voice reciting them in your mind. At least that's what i found myself doing.
Each poem was suffused with the rhythm inherited from all the Cohen songs I ever listened to, and the longing was surely there, whether it was longing for a lost love or the longing for a place of peace in a distant retreat.

From nostalgic to funny, with dabs of irony and wistfulness, the collection of poems in the Book of Longing makes me long for more poems by Cohen. I just hope the next book doesn't take as long to come out, because this one took twenty years to appear.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and beautiful
This is the perfect book to carry with you at all times and to dip into whenever you want to smile or need inspiration or comfort. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helen Sarah Morley
5.0 out of 5 stars The NY Times said it pretty well 'Clear yet steamy, cosmic yet...
Cohen explores big subjects by expanding on topics we can all think about i.e. religion, sex, mundane activities and mundane relationships, in a concise and fluid form. Read more
Published 4 months ago by laurao
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Cohen
Like his music his verses get better the more you read them. Lovely book to be enjoyed again and again
Published 4 months ago by clare
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I bought it as a gift and it was much appreciated. A new book full of wit and depth. Great.
Published 5 months ago by Diana Playdon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I find this book of poems well worth reading and very thoughtful it is one of these books you can pick it up at anytime open it and just read as it suits you.
Published 5 months ago by john clow
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen - Book of Longing | Review
Book of Longing is one of Cohen's more recent releases, a collection of poetry and sketches that he made during his later years. Read more
Published 9 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Leonard
A collection of poems, drawings and musings, written in the main at the Mount Baldy Zen monastery in California, where Cohen lived from 1994 to 1999, and where he was ordained a... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Philip Mayo
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed
If you're a Leonard Cohen fan then yes you will enjoy sharing his world in these words, Poems and quirky pictures.
Published 15 months ago by Eve
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen
I am pleased with the book. I am a new fan of Leonard Cohn and wish I had been acquainted with his books and particularly his music years ago!
Published 16 months ago by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
For Leonard Cohen lovers, makes a perfect gift too. Illustrated with beautiful drawings by the author himself. You must buy it!
Published 17 months ago by L. Carmen Silva
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