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I'm Your Man
Cover of I'm Your Man
I'm Your Man
The Life of Leonard Cohen
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The New York Times-bestselling, definitive biography of lengendary artist Leonard Cohen

Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years—and one of the most elusive. In I'm Your Man, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock 'n' roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen.

I'm Your Man is an intimate and insightful appreciation of the man responsible for "Suzanne," "Bird on a Wire," "Hallelujah," and so many other unforgettable, oft-covered ballads and songs. Based on Simmons's unparalleled access to Cohen—and written with her hallmark blend of intelligence, integrity, and style—I'm Your Man is the definitive biography of a major musical artist widely considered in a league with the great Bob Dylan.

Readers of Life by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, and Patti Smith's phenomenal Just Kids will be riveted by this fascinating portrait of a singular musical icon.

The New York Times-bestselling, definitive biography of lengendary artist Leonard Cohen

Singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential musical artists of the past fifty years—and one of the most elusive. In I'm Your Man, journalist Sylvie Simmons, one of the foremost chroniclers of the world of rock 'n' roll and popular music, explores the extraordinary life and creative genius of Leonard Cohen.

I'm Your Man is an intimate and insightful appreciation of the man responsible for "Suzanne," "Bird on a Wire," "Hallelujah," and so many other unforgettable, oft-covered ballads and songs. Based on Simmons's unparalleled access to Cohen—and written with her hallmark blend of intelligence, integrity, and style—I'm Your Man is the definitive biography of a major musical artist widely considered in a league with the great Bob Dylan.

Readers of Life by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, and Patti Smith's phenomenal Just Kids will be riveted by this fascinating portrait of a singular musical icon.

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About 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.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Listeners may find this carefully written biography of Canadian-born musician, poet, and writer Cohen to be both astute and moving. Joshua Pollock bring this insightful and multilayered examination to life. With superb pacing, inflection, and tone, Pollock's restrained delivery and deep vocal tones are a delight. Cohen's genius, creativity, bouts of depression, and financial successes and difficulties are presented in one's earphones with well-researched analysis and the genteel manner of the musical artist himself. The listener can't help but notice the importance of persistence in Cohen's story. W.A.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from August 27, 2012
    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."

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2012

    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.

    Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from September 15, 2012
    An elegant, deeply researched life of the Canadian musician, poet and novelist. With the resurgence of his career in the last decade, Cohen has been the subject of several new books, but it's hard to imagine a better one than veteran music journalist Simmons' (Neil Young: Reflections in Broken Glass, 2001, etc.) work. Born into a wealthy family of Jewish clothiers in Montreal, Cohen became one of Canada's leading young literary lights with his early volumes of poetry and two well-received novels. He was already in his early 30s when he became a professional musician, after folk singer Judy Collins brought his songs to the world's attention with her cover of "Suzanne." Beginning in 1968, the globe-trotting, seemingly driven Cohen recorded a series of wise, dark albums that made him a star in Europe and brought him a far smaller but devoted following in the United States. He was enjoying renewed commercial and critical success in the mid-'90s when he withdrew into a Zen Buddhist monastery for more than five years. Upon his return to the world, he discovered that his longtime manager had embezzled millions; his unexpected penury prompted a wildly received 2008-2009 world tour that grossed $50 million and finally lifted him, as a septuagenarian, into the top echelon of international stars. Simmons follows every step of Cohen's peripatetic artistic journey with acuity and no small measure of poetic observation. Drawing on interviews with Cohen and most of his important collaborators and paramours, she paints a deep portrait of a man seemingly torn between the spiritual and the worldly, deeply gifted but plagued by abiding depression and frequent self-doubt. Simmons offers an abundance of revealing stories about Cohen's ardent womanizing, restless pursuit of enlightenment through sex, drugs, alcohol and spirituality, and sometimes excruciating artistic perfectionism. He emerges in his full complexity, brimming with both seemingly boundless brilliance and abundant human imperfection. Taking on a looming subject with intelligence and wit, Simmons manages to take the full measure of her man.

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from September 15, 2012
    As a teenager in Montreal, Leonard Cohen learned six chords on a guitar from a young Spanish teacher that would form the foundation for all of his songs. In this compelling biography, Simmons chronicles the career of the courtly, elegant I was born in a suit singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist, from his first band in Montreal (a country-and-western trio, no less) to his early days in New York, where he lived at the famous Chelsea Hotel, to his most recent world tour, during which the seventysomething Cohen literally skipped onstage. Simmons includes fascinating anecdotesCohen meeting Judy Collins, who would later record one of his signature songs, Suzanne; encountering fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell in Greenwich Village (Mitchell's A Case of You was inspired by Cohen); scary recording sessions with the gun-toting record producer Phil Spector, and spending time at a Zen monastery. Simmons also discusses at length Cohen's impressive body of work, including poetry and prose as well as songs (his iconic Hallelujah has been covered by more than 300 artists), mentions his numerous bouts of depression, and recounts his unfortunate financial difficulties when his former manager stole funds from his retirement account. A must for anyone interested in one of the most influential songwriters of our time.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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The Life of Leonard Cohen
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