Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.95
  • Save: $5.82 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: hardcover with dust jacket - no writing or highlighting, no rips or tears, all pages intact
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Book of Longing Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 9, 2006


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$19.13
$12.92 $2.96


Frequently Bought Together

Book of Longing + Let Us Compare Mythologies + Poems and Songs (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)
Price for all three: $47.05

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006112558X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061125584
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Renowned singer-songwriter Cohen also boasts a reputation as a writer for the printed page, especially in his native Canada. This capacious collection (his first since 1993's Stranger Music) compiles musings, jottings, quatrains, brief lyrics, prose meditations and offhand epigrams, along with Cohen's ink drawings and work in his own handwriting. The melancholy Cohen displays both a surface humility and an underlying self-confidence as he reflects on women (as when recalling his seduction of "the most beautiful girl/ on the religious left"), Zen doctrine, his own advancing age (Cohen turned 70 two years ago) and the legacy of the '60s. Many poems feel like his song lyrics: "Sometimes just a list/ Of my events/ Is holier than the Bill of Rights/ And more intense." The volume will get a boost from Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, a documentary scheduled for theatrical release. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Book of Longing has exceptional range. It is clear yet steamy, cosmic yet private, both playful and profound.” (New York Times)

“. . .alive and contradictory. . . you should read the whole volume. . .” (LA Weekly)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
49
4 star
12
3 star
4
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 67 customer reviews
Good to read aloud or on your own.
Clairex
Leanard Cohen is obscure and beautiful and has plumbed the depths of love.
Rainer Neumann
This Book is Beautiful & Magnificent in every Aspect!
Chandler R. Yergin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

114 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Schonbek on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
These are just some of the themes explored by Leonard Cohen in this very excellent volume of verse.

But hold on - how do cigarettes qualify as a theme? Well perhaps they don't quite make it to the thematic level, but they do put in enough appearances to be seen as noteworthy.

Here is an excerpt from a poem entitled "The Cigarette Issue":

But what is exactly the same
is the promise, the beauty
and the salvation
of cigarettes
the little Parthenon
of an unopened pack of cigarettes

and Mumbai, like the Athens
of forty years ago
is a city to smoke in

Cohen manages to weave a smoke into his deft handling of the tension and attraction of opposites in "What Did It", which follows in its entirety...

An acquaintance told me
that the great sage
Nisargadatta Maharaj
Once offered him a cigarette,
"Thank you, sir, but I don't smoke."
"Don't smoke?" said the master,
"What's life for?"

And so it goes, dealing with life and death, love and lust, spirit and truth, and the path the author has walked in his quest for God, or G-d, as he chooses reverentially to refer to him.

While Cohen's wry humor and self deprecating detachment are at times in evidence, some verses are almost terrifying in their seriousness and immediacy. The following is from "By the Rivers Dark" which makes up the lyrics of a song by the same name on the excellent CD "Ten New Songs"...

then he struck my heart
with a deadly force
and he said, "This heart
it is not yours.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Eckhout on May 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is Leonard Cohen. You get tongue-in-cheek self portraits dispersed amongst words that are sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, sometimes brilliant observations and sometimes self depricating honesty that reveals the always human-ness and always unique voice of this living legend of a song writer, writer and poet, Mr. Leonard Cohen.

This guy is Interesting with a capital "I." Reason enough to check out his long awaited book of poems, drawings and essays. Another reason is that unlike most books of poetry it is 'entertaining' without sacrificing intelligence. His wry humour is laugh out loud funny in the the short essay, "The Luckiest Man in the World" and poems such as, "Never Once."

He speaks of things that matter to him: his teacher, Roshi, pine trees, G-d, women, sex, laughter, mists, women and most of all from what I see the unending mystery of "self" (and women). When that self is Leonard Cohen it is worth stopping what you are doing and reading what he has to say.

Then, if you are not familiar with Cohen's music, you are missing some of the best written lyrics and music, ever.

Enjoy,

Laurie
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Anne T. on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone who loves Leonard Cohen's music, this book is a wonderful collection of poems, drawings, images, rants, recollections and celebrations. Some of the material is in the film called Leonard Cohen/I'm Your Man, and like the songs, the book speaks of love and loss, pain and sorrow in his inimitable, elliptical style. Fun to read and easy to pick up and put down at any point.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Reinaldo Garcia on June 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cohen calls himself "a competent minor poet." He's right. But minor competence these days is a supreme thing. Cohen is wry, profound, and always surprising. His humility never cloys. He means what he says, even when he's kidding. The illustrations, by the way, add much to the reader's experience.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By F. W. Macneill on November 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Okay, it's a mixed bag, like most of Cohen's work - ranging from the confusing and chaotic through to the sublime. It's a bit like the curate's egg, only the other way around, in that it's mostly good, and even the bad bits are still pretty good. For me, part of the pleasure of Cohen is precisely the chaotic mass of material, from which many gems emerge, glowing into the strange half-light of Cohen's percetions and vision.

It's also filled with fundamental material for those with an interest in Cohen's life, evolving 'philosophies' and emerging opus.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fixed Stars Govern a Life on February 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing

Aside from being a creative genius in a multitude of artistic disciplines, Leonard Cohen is an old man. And with age comes wisdom. Take for example, this stanza from "Better."

better than art
is repulsive art
which demonstrates
better than scripture
the tiny measure
of your improvement

No dummy, this guy. But then, you knew that already.

Twenty years in the making, Book of Longing [Ecco/HarperCollins]was written on southern California's Mount Baldy and in Los Angeles, Montreal and Mumbai. The author of twelve books and seventeen albums of music, this collection of poems follows his highly acclaimed 1984 publication, Book of Mercy. Containing his own wonderful, playful and provocative line drawings, Book of Longing is a celebration of one of contemporary times' best and truest flesh-and-blood examples of unlimited artistic expression.

Leonard Cohen's poetry is loaded with Bukowski's truth and simple statements, but without the ugliness. There are tons of love poems, reflections on drinking and God (oops, I mean "G-d"--he's Jewish, you know), loneliness, philosophy, aging, friendships, food, sober highs, celebrations of the body and sex, sex, sex. But it's all done with manners--a classiness Bukowski never knew-- a masculine sensitivity that's never maudlin, and a ripe, heavy, juice-laden life that few words in print have ever had the strength to carry.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?