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I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012
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|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.'
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Sylvie Simmons has put together a cleverly balanced book that really does justice to her subject. There is a lightness to the writing that avoids getting too bogged down in every word that Leonard puts down in a poem or song. Indeed I found it refreshing that she doesn't try to cover every song on every album, but rather picks out the ones that have significance to the overall life-story of the man.
I particularly enjoyed the sections on his struggles to express his songs in the recording studios of the time, and then in the final section, the momentum that gathered towards his triumphant return to the touring circuit.
It's a story of a man who has lived life to the full and has been open to the journey of self-discovery. Like all humans he's flawed, and struggles with the meaning of it all. From poet to performer, from womanising rascal to Zen Budhhist monk, what a story. I'm just glad he made it to old age, as the wisdom he's picked up along the way has something to teach us all. A fine book.
I thought it would be much heavier going but congratulations to the author for making it a light read of a potentially heavy subject.
My daughter, who is half my age, is just starting it. I am betting that a younger, non-fan will enjoy it almost as much.
I must go now, I need to book a visit to Hydra.
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