Start reading The Favourite Game on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Favourite Game

The Favourite Game [Kindle Edition]

Leonard Cohen
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £3.95 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £6.04 (60%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.95  
Paperback £7.99  
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Earn a Free Kindle Book
Buy a Kindle book between now and 31 March and receive a promotional code good for one free Kindle book. Terms and conditions apply. Learn more

Product Description


‘He is a writer of terrific energy and colour, a Rabelaisian comic and a visualiser of some memorable scenes.’ Observer

‘’The Favourite Game’ is a morally brave book, intimate and unflinching…Leonard Cohen sustains the highest level of poetic craftsmanship throughout.’ Paul Quarrington, author of ‘Whale Music’

‘Is there any Canadian novel as compelling and as good at capturing youthful anxieties as J. D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”? Absolutely…Leonard Cohen’s first novel, “The Favorite Game”…One of the 10 best Canadian novels of the 20th century.’ Globe & Mail

Product Description

This warm and lyrical semi-autobiographical first novel by singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen charts the coming of age of Lawrence Breavman, the only son of a Jewish Montreal family.

‘Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the world is made flesh.’

Lawrence Breavman seeks two things: love and beauty. Beginning with the innocent games of delicious misadventure with first love Lisa and the absorbing wanders through Montreal with best friend Krantz, Breavman's tale is a distant echo of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ – injected with 1960s aesthetics and Cohen’s unique poetry. As Breavman grows into a young man, the emerging writer continues his quest for beauty and love, finding himself in the arms of Shell and a burgeoning realisation of his own talent for appreciating majesty in the grotesque.

Semi-autobiographical, the angst and beauty of Cohen’s voice deftly channel the painful confusion of the journey into adulthood, and the friendships, wars and lovers that are our guides.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 345 KB
  • Print Length: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Door (6 Aug 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9PCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,074 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Cohen - The Favourite Game | Review 10 Oct 2013
Not to be confused with the (quite frankly awesome) song of the same name by The Cardigans, The Favourite Game is singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen's first novel, and boy, does it set a high standard. In fact, I'm inclined to think of it as Cohen's best, and it's certainly my personal favourite.

It's also a difficult book to classify - Cohen's fluid prose often resembles poetry in its style and form, and there are elements of the manuscript that are autobiographical. It has a story behind it, too - unknown and broke in 1959, Cohen was awarded a $2,000 grant which he lived on while working on the novel. Just think - if it wasn't for that grant and for Cohen's innovative writing, we'd be living in a world without Hallelujah, Tower of Song and a whole host of other Cohen classics.

For me, The Favourite Game stands out from Cohen's other works because of the strong characterisation and the way in which Lawrence Breavman so accurately reflects the young author's own struggle for love, success and excitement. In many ways, it's also a love story to rival Romeo & Juliet - in the blurb's own words, "although [Breavman] has loved the bodies of many women, it is only in the arms of Shell that he discovers the potent totality of love and its demands."

So if you're looking in to Cohen's literary output, whether you're a fan of his music or not, there's no better place to start than The Favourite Game - it might be his first novel, but it's also his best.
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Prose 1 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having recently read Sylvie Simmons' excellent biography of Leonard Cohen and having long admired the lyricism of his songs, I thought I'd try one of his early novels. I wasn't disappointed. The prose is elegant and lyrical without in any way intruding on or distracting from the story telling. The themes seem to be heavily autobiographical but with "A Catcher in the Rye" mood overlaying the whole piece.

Hugely enjoyable and recommended.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cohen's poetic coming of age (semi-) biography 16 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'The Favourite Game' is one of Cohen's two novels (the other being Beautiful Losers) and describes a growing up / coming of age in Montreal in the 1950s / 1960s. The book revolves around two friends - Breavman (the protagonist) and Krantz - and their transition from childhood via adolescence to adulthood.

The book is first and foremost worthwhile reading because of Cohen's fantastic prose, which in many ways reminds one of his lyrics and which is truly extraordinary, when compared to more conventional fare. This makes the book quite an experience, at the same time it also means it is best enjoyed slowly, a handful of pages at a time, rather than in one cover to cover frenzy. Luckily the structure, with chapters of varying length (but all sufficiently short), supports such an approach.

The story of growing up is one most adults will be able to reconnect with at some level, even if our own individual experiences may well differ. It is also an excellent capturing of a now long gone age, both more boisterous and perhaps innocent.

The book has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye, which may be true at some level; even so I personally much prefer Cohen's interpretation of a coming of age to Salinger's and would recommend the book even to those, who were less than enthusiastic about The Catcher in the Rye.

I can imagine the book working equally well with late teen as well as adult readers, even if they will probably distill different messages out of the book. In any case, if Leonard Cohen appeals as a musician, it is hard to go wrong with his early fiction - i.e. this book - either.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favourite Book 27 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
to start with you must understand I am a Leonard Cohen nut - I am predisposed to love his style. Having said that I do not believe I have read another book where the author always seems to choose the precise descriptive word that resonates perfectly with me. The book is always described as 'shamelessly autobiographical'; an account of his own childhood, adolescence and young adulthood in the guise of Lawrence Breavman, and fascinating to the female reader as it gives an insight into the male mind. It also reminds me of my own youth because Cohen is only a few years older than me and he brings to life the texture of life in the years after the war. The book also has what I think is the funniest line in any writing about sex - the hero is about to engage in his first encounter and the girl changes her mind and starts to put her clothes back on - and the hero says he feels like an archaeologist watching the sand blow back ...
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 3 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What can you say about Leonard Cohen? - great poet,wonderful songwriter and his books..... this and Beautiful Losers - both exellent.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category