Beautiful Losers

Beautiful Losers

Book - 1970
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One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Leonard Cohen's most defiant and uninhibited work. As imagined by Cohen, hell is an apartment in Montreal, where a bereaved and lust-tormented narrator reconstructs his relations with the dead. In that hell two men and a woman twine impossibly and betray one another again and again. Memory blurs into blasphemous sexual fantasy--and redemption takes the form of an Iroquois saint and virgin who has been dead for 300 years but still has the power to save even the most degraded of her suitors.

First published in 1966, Beautiful Losers demonstrates that its author is not only a superb songwriter but also a novelist of visionary power. Funny, harrowing, and fiercely moving, it is a classic erotic tragedy, incandescent in its prose and exhilarating for its risky union of sexuality and faith.

Publisher: London, Eng. : Cape, 1970.
ISBN: 9780224618335
Characteristics: [11], 243 p. ;,23 cm.


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Jun 14, 2017

You cannot separate a person from his work, and until this book, I was familiar with Leonard Cohen's songs, and of course, his very distinct voice. While reading this book, I could hear that voice telling the story. It feels like stream-of-consciousness writing, almost effortless. Still, there is a context and a plot, going back to the 17th Century and filled with historical facts.

The beautiful incantation "God is alive. Magic is afoot." made famous by Buffy Sainte-Marie is in this book.

I came to this book sideways, while reading the biography of Alanis Obomsawin. It mentioned that she and Cohen were friends in the 1960s in Montreal. I love tangential thinking and where it might lead.

Aug 25, 2016

I couldn't finish this book. I wanted to put it down after 40 pages but kept reading hoping it would get better but finally gave up on it 80 pages in.

Aug 12, 2012

One of my favorite books! Highly recommended.

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Aug 12, 2012

originaloflaura thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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