I’m Your Man; The Life Of Leonard Cohen By Sylvie Simmons (The Daily Post – New Zealand)

The excellent Keith Richards biography Life, published in 2010, set the standard in terms of insights into the life of a world-famous musician.

But this brilliant and entertaining examination of the genius that is Leonard Cohen – songwriter, poet, author – by respected music writer Sylvie Simmons, may well have lifted the bar even higher.

Although much of the interest in Richards’ book was in the many and sometimes hilarious tales of rockstar excess, Simmons takes a thorough look at the life of the man responsible for some of music’s most enduring songs – Suzanne, Hallelujah, Bird on the Wire –  and some terrific modern poetry and writing.

Simmons interviews many people who are close to Cohen, including many of his former lovers.

Cohen’s mixed religious leanings – from his Jewish roots to his fascination with Christ and dabbling in Hinduism and becoming a Buddhist monk – shape him.

Cohen’s writing is all about light and darkness, and with this great book Simmons has managed to fill in all the shades in-between to uncover the magic of one of the world’s greatest modern wordsmiths.

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