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Jennifer Helton Hatfield
5.0 out of 5 starsOrder as Advertised
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2019
The book arrived earlier than expected and was as advertised.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2018
Clearly this was a work by the older Cohen but delivered in a hurry by demand?. It was shaped by the retrospection and introspection of an ageing and depressed flame. It lacked form and any sense of music. However, it did harbour a few gems that were worth delving for, which in the end made it all seem worthwhile.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 22, 2018
The foreword by Leonard's son, Adam, is touching. The poems and scraps of prose are hit and miss, as always with Cohen. Some radiant, others merely charming. The man's company, especially after his death, is most welcome. He is a giant in a time of mediocrity.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2019
As an admirer of Leonard Cohen's songs but not a diehard fan, I enjoyed a large part of this book. The first 90 or so pages contain poems written towards the end of Cohen's life. I was struck first of all by rather conventional verses talking of 'heart' and 'soul', but then I grew aware of a great variety of themes and accomplished styles, rhymed, unrhymed, lyrical, prose-like. He can address beloved women, American politics or a fellow singer like the Spanish flamenco artist Enrique Morente. The following 70 pages of the later song lyrics show Cohen to be a talented and erudite songwriter. A religious yearning runs through this section, e.g. 'Born in Chains'. However. the editors have also included 100 pages selected from his notebooks, including also a lot of facsimile handwriting. I found this section mostly consisted of rough work and often fragmentary. For the general reader (rather than scholars), most should have been omitted.