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#1: Book Review - Leonard Cohen - Book of Longing

Posted on 2006-06-11 16:05:37 by John Metzger

Book Review - Leonard Cohen - Book of Longing

By Doug Heselgrave

If, in his restless pursuit of love and meaning, Bob Dylan somehow
encapsulates all of the disparate tendencies of old, weird America,
Leonard Cohen has his shaking, aging finger on the pulse of the Canadian
soul. Moody and aloof one moment, overeager, like a puppy waiting to be
kicked, the next, Cohen's plaintive cries evoke something from deep
within the northern psyche. To the uninitiated, the fuss surrounding
Cohen and his work can be perplexing. "Music to slash your wrists by"
and other dismissive summations that routinely are dished out completely
miss the humor that lies beneath the pathos in much of his work.

Cohen's new volume Book of Longing should do much to quell this shallow
understanding of his canon. Anyone who's ever witnessed Cohen ply his
trade in concert knows that if he hadn't chosen to be a musician and
poet, he could have done well as a standup comedian. The manner in which
he introduces his songs forces the listener to reconsider his underlying
motivations as an artist simply because he's so damn funny and
self-deprecating. This slender book deals mostly with the
disappointments of old age in such a way that the reader doesn't know
whether to laugh or cry when reading them.

This is an excerpt. To read the complete review, please visit:

<a href="http://www.musicbox-online.com/bookreviews-2006/leonardcohen-bookoflonging.html" target="_blank"> http://www.musicbox-online.com/bookreviews-2006/leonardcohen -bookoflonging.html</a>

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