I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen, By Sylvie Simmons


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The Independent Culture

Though it's a big book, this closely observed account of a counter-culture bard might have benefited from being longer still.

Sylvie Simmons, a UK rock writer transplanted to California, tells us in almost hallucinogenic detail about Cohen's loves, spiritual addiction, self-medication ("On Prozac, I actually stopped thinking about myself for a minute or two") and the financial woes that prompted "a resurrection".

Yet the literary wellsprings of his astonishingly sustained oeuvre – did Borges' "Library of Babel" influence "Tower of Song"? – are left largely unexplored.