The Favourite Game Paperback – 23 Jul 2009
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‘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
About the Author
Leonard Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. His first book of poetry, ‘Let Us Compare Mythologies’, was published in 1956 and his first novel, the semi-autobiographical ‘The Favourite Game’, in 1963. Cohen has recorded numerous albums and published several books of poetry and an experimental novel, ‘Beautiful Losers’ (1966). Cohen lives in Montreal, Canada.
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Top Customer Reviews
Hugely enjoyable and recommended.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked this book so much I kept it so that I could read it another time. The prose is like poetry. Not surprising, coming from Leonard Cohen.Published 7 months ago by Neater
Evocative and splendid. You've got to be slightly crazy to read Beautiful Losers, but this is entirely different.Published 9 months ago by Ian Franklin
Big LC fan but the written word wasn't of the same standard as the music.Published on 22 July 2014 by Geoffrey R. Wilson
Excellent. Perfect condition. Thanks. Sent goods as described. Excellent customer service and fantastically fast delivery. Will definately use the seller again.Published on 9 April 2014 by Ms Sally P Boreham