I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

( 6 )

Overview

The legend behind such songs as ?Suzanne,? ?Bird on the Wire? and ?Hallelujah? andthe poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life?sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.79
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $4.49   
  • New (16) from $7.45   
  • Used (9) from $4.49   
I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.49
BN.com price

Overview

The legend behind such songs as “Suzanne,” “Bird on the Wire” and “Hallelujah” andthe poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life—sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies’ man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan—“ordinary silence”—is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary.

I’m Your Man is the definitive account of that extraordinary life. Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of research that includes Cohen’s personal archives and more than a hundred exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen—from his lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis and fellow musicians to his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne Elrod and Suzanne Verdal—and most important, with Cohen himself, whose presence infuses these pages.

Starting in Montreal, Cohen’s birthplace, where he first found fame as a poet in the fifties, Simmons follows his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the sixties, where he launched his music career. From there she traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat in the mid-nineties—when on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop above Los Angeles—and finally to his reemergence for a sold-out world tour almost fifteen years later. Whether navigating Cohen’s journeys through the back streets of Mumbai or the countless hotel rooms where he has stayed along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex, contradictory strand of Cohen’s life—from the halls of academia to the arenas of rock ’n’ roll—and presents a deeply insightful portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth and talent continue to move people like no one else.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
There is a familiarity to much of Simmons's material, the sense of being on the inside, as though the reader were sitting at the table during the conversations Simmons reports, and the overall experience is of a thoughtful celebration of the artist's life…Simmons has deftly narrated Cohen's evolution, bringing the past into the present and reminding us of the breadth of the journey…In her interview excerpts, Simmons captures the elliptical nature of Cohen's speech, the wry turns of phrase that are almost like stand-up comedy…And in the end, this biography has the oddest effect: as soon as you finish reading it you feel an overwhelming impulse to go back and begin again, revisiting the story with what you've learned along the way.
—A. M. Homes
Publishers Weekly
In this vibrant and enthusiastic chronicle of Leonard Cohen's life, music critic Simmons (Neil Young: Reflections in Broken Glass) draws extensively on interviews with Cohen's friends and associates, as well as on his private archives, his unpublished writings, and his published stories and poetry. The author narrates Cohen's life from his childhood and youth in Montreal—where he started writing poetry and stories when he was 15—through his aborted college career to his move to Manhattan in pursuit of music; his rise to fame with such songs as "Suzanne," "Bird on a Wire," and "Hallelujah" (one of pop music's most recorded songs); his often difficult relationships with women; and his search for tranquility and order in his embrace of Buddhism. Carefully weaving the threads of all of his songs and albums through the patterns of his life, Simmons craftily explores the themes that regularly mark Cohen's work: desire, regret, suffering, love, hope, and hamming it up. Cohen emerges from this definitive biography as a sensitive and intensely serious artist whose reverence for the word and deep love and respect for his audiences continues "to dissolve all the boundaries between word and song, between the song and the truth, and the truth and himself, his heart and its aching." (Oct.)
Rolling Stone
“This is the bio Cohen has long deserved, and it makes every prior Cohen book practically unnecessary.”
MOJO Magazine
“Leonard fought darkness through his work and... the light ultimately prevailed when he triumphantly toured the world for three years beginning in 2008... ‘You could hear the hairs stand up on people’s arms,’ writes Simmons of the hushed reverence of his audience. This book demands a similar reaction.”
A.M. Homes
“A thoughtful celebration of the artist’s life...Simmons has deftly narrated Cohen’s evolution... In the end, this biography has the oddest effect: as soon as you finish reading it you feel an overwhelming impulse to go back and begin again, revisiting the story with what you’ve learned along the way.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Compelling biography. . . A must for anyone interested in one of the most influential songwriters of our time.”
Los Angeles Times
“A new gold standard of Cohen bios.”
The Onion A.V. Club
“The book is a seductive tribute to a master seducer.”
Shelf Awareness
“This is a revelatory biography that investigates not just an artist’s life, but the life of his art.”
New York Jewish Week
“In I’m Your Man, we see not only the life of one man who was transformed by words, but how we ourselves may be transformed by them.”
Jewish Journal Los Angeles
“Simmons’ rich, compelling and provocative book... is a star-studded but also frank account of how the music industry really works and, at the same time, a discerning portrait of one especially important musician.”
Paste Magazine
“Simmons is a wonderful writer... the book informs like carefully researched non-fiction, but engages like enchanting fiction... Like listening to one of Cohen’s songs, this complex, beautiful biography requires you to think about it. This book will stay with you. It will change the way you hear Leonard Cohen.”
BookPage
“In this elegantly crafted biography, Simmons captures the artist who, in spite of all his highs and lows, is still sharp at the edges, a wise old monk, a trouper offering up himself and his songs.”
Dallas Morning News
“Exquisitely researched and elegantly written.”
San Jose Mercury News
“The success of Simmons’ book is the way it deftly integrates each facet in a unified portrait.”
Booklist
"Compelling biography. . . A must for anyone interested in one of the most influential songwriters of our time."
The Oregonian (Portland)
“A deep, enlightening book. . . Simmons, a music journalist and short-story writer, knows how to research and write and keep a critical distance from Cohen, who opens up some but uses his usual weapons, politeness and self-deprecation, to maintain an air of mystery.”
The Tuscon Citizen
“Cohen is a complex man and Sylvie Simmons has captured every essence of it in her remarkable book. This is a deeply insightful portrait that is guaranteed to haunt the reader much like his “Suzanne” and “Bird on the Wire.”
Janet Maslin
I’m Your Man is the major, soul-searching biography that Leonard Cohen deserves... a mesmerizing labor of love.”
Library Journal
At age 78, iconic musician Leonard Cohen is enjoying a remarkable comeback. The singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist has started his fourth major tour in five years and released the highly acclaimed album Old Ideas in January. Veteran music journalist Simmons (Neil Young: Reflections in Broken Glass) spent three years tracking Cohen’s life, career, and travels. The result is the most extensive biography of the man to date—more substantial and insightful than Anthony Reynolds’s 2010 Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life. Simmons covers every aspect of Cohen’s fascinating life, the highs and the lows (and Cohen had many lows). She interviewed the musician at length, as well as his friends, lovers, and associates (including Judy Collins, Lou Reed, and Philip Glass). The book discusses Cohen’s creative process and his endless search for enlightenment at length. Simmons also provides a revealing account of Cohen’s five years in a Zen Buddhist monastery and the financial and legal woes that propelled him back on the road as a performer.

Verdict Die-hard fans will appreciate the many details of album production and business deals, while casual fans will enjoy the personal drama and the origins of Cohen’s best-known songs, such as “Suzanne,” “Hallelujah,” “Sisters of Mercy,” and “Famous Blue Raincoat.”—Thomas Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal
To craft this portrait of the man who gave us such immortal songs as "Suzanne," prolific music journalist Simmons conducted more than 100 interviews with Cohen's friends and fellow musicians. Audience potential: Cohen has just wrapped up a sold-out three-year world tour after a 15-year hiatus.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061995002
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 199,282
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvie Simmons is an award-winning writer and one of the foremost music journalists working today. Born in London, she moved to Los Angeles in the late seventies and started writing about rock music for magazines such as Sounds, Creem, Kerrang! and Q. She is the author of acclaimed fiction and nonfiction books, including the biography Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes and the short-story collection Too Weird for Ziggy. She has lived at various times in England, the United States, and France, and she currently lives in San Francisco, where she writes for MOJO magazine and plays the ukulele.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

One Born in a Suit 3

Two House of Women 16

Three Twenty Thousand Verses 32

Four I Had Begun to Shout 51

Five A Man Who Speaks with a Tongue of Gold 72

Six Enough of Fallen Heroes 91

Seven Please Find me, I Am Almost 30 110

Eight A Long Time Shaving 135

Nine How to Court a Lady 155

Ten The Dust of a Long Sleepless Night 179

Eleven The Tao of Cowboy 198

Twelve O Make me a Mask 222

Thirteen The Veins Stand out Like Highways 245

Fourteen A Shield Against the Enemy 267

Fifteen I Love you, Leonard 294

Sixteen A Sacred Kind of Conversation 314

Seventeen The Hallelujah of the Orgasm 334

Eighteen The Places Where I Used to Play 355

Nineteen Jeremiah in Tin Pan Alley 375

Twenty From this Broken Hill 398

Twenty-one Love and Theft 427

Twenty-two Taxes, Children, Lost Pussy 448

Twenty-three The Future of Rock 'n' Roll 472

Twenty-four Here I Stand, I'm your Man 488

Twenty-five A Manual for Living with Defeat 509

Epilogue 526

Author's Note 529

Notes 535

Index 561

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 20, 2012

    If you're a Leonard Cohen fan, then this biography is for you.

    If you're a Leonard Cohen fan, then this biography is for you. Sylvie Simmons has captured Leonard Cohen's multi-faceted personality and gives wonderful insight into this complex man. I received this book from Goodreads First Reads free of charge, but I would certainly have paid to read it.
    BookerjJG

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)