I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012
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"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)
'There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.'
Leonard CohenSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Although I have followed Leonard's career consistently since 1968, Sylvie's book still brings many revelations. Stories that were only touched upon by the music press are explained more fully; Leonard's tour of mental hospitals in the late Sixties; his communication with artist/psychiatric patient Daphne Richardson, his stint with the Israeli army, his arrival onstage at a festival in France on a horse, his interest in Velikovsky, and most surprisingly an early encounter with Jimi Hendrix.Read more ›
You know you're in for a classy ride when Simmons describes Cohen, in his early teens, avidly reading "25 Lessons in Hypnotism: How To Become An Expert Operator". The manual tells the young Canadian: "Your features should be set, firm and stern. Be quiet in all your actions. Let your voice grow lower, lower till just above a whisper. Pause a moment or two. You will fail if you hurry." As Simmons notes, this might have been written as career advice to the singer and performer Leonard would become.
The book has a really intelligent index so you can find whatever song or topic you're looking for. My only quibble is the reproduction of the photos is not the same standard as Simmons's excellent text or Cohen's brilliant songs.
Whilst it is true that one can discover a vast amount about the mind of Leonard Cohen through his songs and books, this book is the glue that binds everything together and puts it in context. It covers in depth his spiritual journeys – he has explored Zen Buddhism, Scientology and of course Judaism.
The final part of the book tells the story of how Leonard Cohen lost all his money as a result of a hideous betrayal of faith by a trusted friend, who not only stole his money but also sold his precious songs. Yet out of this setback, we see Leonard find new vigour and set out on a world tour at the age of 74 and rebuild his fortune. The way that Sylvie Simmons describes all this is deeply moving and left me with a feeling of joy and hope.
Perhaps she will complete this biography when Leonard departs this worldly life – but the way he’s going now, from strength to strength, there’s a good chance he’s going to outlive a large number of his younger fans.
Very strongly recommended for all Leonard Cohen fans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully researched and well written book. It is evident all her material is original and she has met the great man and made an honest portrayal. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Ellen Ley
Leonard Cohen has always had a place in my life from my very angst filled teenage years. So I was looking forward to this book
Well I had to stop reading it, because I... Read more
I'm a member of the 1970s generation of students which spent as much time listening to Leonard Cohen's penetrating lyrics as to studying so when I spotted this in a second-hand... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Fitzpatrick
A very enjoyable read. I was sorry when I got to the end of it. It is well-written and informative.Published 1 month ago by Sarah Jane Barnard
The best ever Leonard Cohen biog - the man needed a woman to write his tale and long term muisc scribe Sylvie Simmons has achived it in stlylePublished 2 months ago by Chloe Plus
An interesting and informative book. A pleasure to read from start to finish.Published 2 months ago by James Hudson Soulsby
This was a compulsive read, especially strong in informing us about the conditions and circumstances behind the recordings of the various albums, giving faces and stories to the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr. Stephen Hendry