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Death of a Lady's Man: A Collection of Poetry and Prose + Let Us Compare Mythologies + Beautiful Losers
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch; Reprint edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233003002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233003009
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,083,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A pure and profane pleasure."  —Record Collector


"Brilliant, explosive, a fountain of talent . . . James Joyce is not dead . . . he lives under the name of Cohen . . . writing from the point of view of Henry Miller."  —Boston Herald on Beautiful Losers


"Book of Longing has exceptional range. It is clear yet steamy, cosmic yet private, both playful and profound."  —New York Times on Book of Longing

About the Author

Leonard Cohen published his first book of poetry in 1956, followed by nine others over the years. He turned to music in the 1960s, creating numerous albums, earning a classification by Lou Reed as of the "highest and most influential echelon of songwriters," and earning a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He is the author of Beautiful Losers, Book of Longing, and Let Us Compare Mythologies. He lives in Los Angeles and Montreal.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
but until a proper review is posted this will have to do...
Mr Cohen is using an old notebook, reworking compositions, poems, notes etc. and commenting on them to describe (I hope!) the loss of his persona to a relationship and what it has done to him and his art. I have assumed that each piece is related, although I haven't read it all as I got half way through and felt like I was illiterate.
However, it is thought provoking with some excellent rants, raves and disgruntled observations.
As a book to dip into occasionally to jar the mind and start thinking on a new level it is very good One very good poem is scathing about the facile use of histrionics to emphasise what one is saying, because words themselves are constructed to describe the object and meaning. It probably has a deeper meaning which I haven't fathomed but it kept me absorbed for a few days.
Sorry I can't be of more help but from this review you will know whether it's your cup of tea. I can recommend this book if you are not afraid of dying and are looking for something that will test your patience. It is a challenge. You will appreciate the quality of Cohen's art even if you don't understand the cultural references. The effort does pay off.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on February 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
While Cohen has never been a very abstract poet, Death Of A Lady's Man (a sly re-titling of his album of the previous year) was perhaps his first foray into more unique poetics. The vast majority of the book, indeed, is not poetry at all (really), but a sort of very loose type of prose. Rather than being the straight up poetry that his earlier volumes mostly were, this is a collection of rants and raves, almost all of them followed by a commentary on the poem, or a type of analyzation. Highly sarcastic. Cohen seems to be analyzing the deconstruction of his former persona (the "Lady's Man") through a failed relationship with his "wife." Pretty heavy stuff. It can be difficult to penetrate at times; and, indeed, you will probably be asking yourself at times if there is any meaning to it at all. Overall, I'd have to say it's not Cohen's best book of poetry (try The Energy of Slaves for that), it is an interesting one. If you're not a fan of him already, this book certainly won't convince you. However, a fan will want it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
this is one of the best books ever written. there is no one who is as honest as cohen when it comes to marriage combined hate and love all in one person.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By josh on March 8, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This is Cohens darkest album as he was in a manic state while recording this master work. The title track is one of his best lyrical works ever. A song about despair and love lost fade into a Death of A Ladies Man.
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Format: Vinyl
Death Of A Ladies' Man is a work of tortured intensity expressed in striking songs so it will sound abrasive to some, especially those who prefer his spare style of the 1960s & later works like Recent Songs. As for the complaints about Phil Spector's production, the sound is not that far removed from songs like Is This What You Wanted? and Lover Lover Lover on 1974's New Skin for the Old Ceremony that are characterized by raw vocals & heavy rock instrumentation.

Even earlier, on 1971's Songs of Love and Hate the track Diamonds in the Mine was anything but gentle. Why, even his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen contains the anguished One Us Cannot Be Wrong which addresses the lover in a sequence of strange images before moving on to melodic whistling and exiting with bitter shouted la la lahs.

So there definitely was a precedent for this heavy approach. His own dislike of the album - he completely ignored it in compiling The Essential Leonard Cohen - probably has more to do with unpleasant recollections of the recording process, which reportedly was quite stressful, than with the actual music. There is simply nothing wrong with the melodies or the lyrics whilst the arrangements and the vocals are a matter of taste.
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