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The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen

The Favourite Game

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The coming of age story of Lawrence Breavman the only son of a Jewish, Montreal family, this is Leonard Cohen's first novel and is semi-autobiographical so bound to hold extra interest for fans of the songwriter. His novel writing is as lyrical as his songs and the story of a young man growing in to adulthood is moving, funny and heartfelt.


The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen

This warm and lyrical semi-autobiographical first novel by singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen charts the coming of age of Lawrence Breavman, the only son of a Jewish Montreal family.

‘Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the world is made flesh.’ Lawrence Breavman seeks two things: love and beauty. Beginning with the innocent games of delicious misadventure with first love Lisa and the absorbing wanders through Montreal with best friend Krantz, Breavman's tale is a distant echo of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ – injected with 1960s aesthetics and Cohen’s unique poetry. As Breavman grows into a young man, the emerging writer continues his quest for beauty and love, finding himself in the arms of Shell and a burgeoning realisation of his own talent for appreciating majesty in the grotesque. Semi-autobiographical, the angst and beauty of Cohen’s voice deftly channel the painful confusion of the journey into adulthood, and the friendships, wars and lovers that are our guides.


‘He is a writer of terrific energy and colour, a Rabelaisian comic and a visualiser of some memorable scenes.’ Observer

‘’The Favourite Game’ is a morally brave book, intimate and unflinching…Leonard Cohen sustains the highest level of poetic craftsmanship throughout.’ Paul Quarrington, author of ‘Whale Music

‘Is there any Canadian novel as compelling and as good at capturing youthful anxieties as J. D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”? Absolutely…Leonard Cohen’s first novel, “The Favorite Game”…One of the 10 best Canadian novels of the 20th century.’ Globe & Mail

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


248 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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