Customer Review

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware, 13 Jan 2010
This review is from: Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah (Paperback)
So the blurb says:
"numerous new and exclusive interviews with some of Cohen's key Associates"
There are 200 endnotes to the biography section of the biography. Of these 5 are credited as "interview with the author[Footman]". Is five numerous? It's easily outnumbered by references or quotes taken from either Nadal's Biography or Harry Rasky's book.

"Exclusive" perhaps but "Some of Cohen's key associates"...so if you know Cohen's story think of "key associates" ..Sharon Robertson, Jennifer Warnes, Rosco Beck.. or Marianne, the ex wife, the "real Suzanne", Anjani Thomas, Dominique Isserman...? People he knew on Hydra/Nashville/Montreal? None of these.
Interviews with the subject? No.

As far as I can make out the "original interviews' were carried out in May or June 2009 and the book was published in November 2009. Which suggests a lot. The subjects of the "numerous and exclusive" interviews were John Simon, John Lissauer, and Stephen Scobie. (Scobie's work on Cohen has been a long term academic project which actually treats the man's work with the attention it deserves but nothing he's quoted as saying here is of that standard.)

I'm not sure what the "previously unreported details" can be since most of the information in this book is taken from previously published and often readily available material.

It's a readable summary of Cohen's life and work. Footman writes fluently and keeps the thing moving. But if you've read the updated version of Nadal's book there's little new in the biographical section.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Jan 2010 19:44:43 GMT
Diamond Jill says:
I would suggest that all the other reviews here put this rather petty and bad natured diatribe in its place. To 'review' any item based on the sleeve notes [and attack the autor based on such, when anyone with the most rudimentary knowlegdge of the book industry knows these are compiled by the publisher NOT the author] esentialy illustates that the writer here has no agenda but to negatively criticize what most feel is an esential addition to any Leonard Cohen bokshelf. Look online for all the numeros professional reviews of this book and see how the real experts have recived it!
And the contention that everthing here is included in Ira Nadel's updated biog suggests that 'L Guier's' has actually read neither work.

Posted on 12 Apr 2011 19:51:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Apr 2011 19:57:43 BDT
Gerrida says:
Thank you. L. Guilar, I do agree with almost everything you mentioned in your review. How can anyone write a "biography" of an artist of Mr Cohen's importance without interviewing the people you named, those who worked with him for most of his career? And just as strange, not attending even one of his shows, and never even tried to meet him?

It is clear that this book had been written hurriedly to cash in on Mr Cohen's renewed popularity while on tour.

As for Diamond Jill, why not visit the Leonard Cohen Forum and see for yourself what people really think of this book and its numerous inaccuracies.
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