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Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

Beautiful Losers

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Leonard Cohen’s second novel, first published back in 1966 is now re-issued under the Blue Door flag. It comes under the label of “experimental novels” of the sixties and is considered a classic. A must for all fans of his music as well as those who aren’t it is erotic, poetic, funny and dry.


Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen

One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, this uninhibited tale centres on the hapless members of a love triangle, and their sexual obsession and shared fascination with a mythic saint.

Revolving around four central – and intrinsically flawed – characters, ‘Beautiful Losers’ is the frank and humorous story of a nameless narrator, his wife Edith, their domineering friend and mentor ‘F’ and Catherine Tekakwitha, a mythic 17th-century Mohawk virgin saint. The complexities of this three-way love, pain and lust are sent spiralling by the death of Edith and ‘F’ at the novel’s start, leading the damaged narrator to question the nature of love, sexuality and spirituality in a series of explicit flashbacks. The extraordinary and inimitable singer-songwriter’s classic novel, this is Leonard Cohen’s most critically acclaimed literary work, echoing the dark poetry and wry humour of his timeless songs of loss, love, sex and religion. Not just an extremely funny novel, but an incredibly original and explicit examination of friendship, sex and spirituality.


‘A fantasied eroticism which is wildly funny…An exciting book.’ Sunday Times

‘The literary counterpart of “Hair” on the stage and “Easy Rider” on the screen.’ Daily Telegraph

‘The most vivid, fascinating and brave modern novel I have read.’ Michael Ondaatje

‘Gorgeously written…one comes out of it having seen terrible and beautiful visions.’ New York Times

‘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

‘Fuses sexuality with spirituality…mystical and profane, poetic and obscene…an invitation to play Russian roulette with a phallic pistol.’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Cohen assaults the reader with words, images, pyrotechnics and love. It’s a raging, poetic, highly personal and eminently readable book.’ Toronto Star

About the Author

Leonard Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry, 'Let Us Compare Mythologies', in 1956 and his first novel, the semi-autobiographical 'The Favourite Game', in 1963. Cohen has recorded and collaborated on numerous albums, and published several books of poetry and an experimental and critically-acclaimed novel, 'Beautiful Losers' (1966). Cohen is renowned as one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the century (over 1,000 renditions of his songs have been recorded) and was inducted into the American Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. Lou Reed has described Cohen as among the 'highest and most influential echelon of songwriters'.

After years of seclusion as a Buddhist monk, Cohen is now back in the limelight with a sell-out world tour in 2008, the Perennial re-release of his novels and speculation of an album of new songs on the cards. Leonard Cohen lives in Montreal, Canada.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd July 2009


Leonard Cohen

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Blue Door


256 pages


Literary Fiction
Books for the Boys
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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