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Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Chronicling the highs and lows that have punctuated the life of a musical genius, this in-depth biography reveals new insight into the legendary songs of Leonard Cohen. Covering each stage in his prolific careercited as one of the most dramatic periods in the life of this eloquent songwriter.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Chrome Dreams (first published January 1st 2009)
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Paul Bryant
What I really wanted to point out was that the old groaner after years of zero chart response managed to write a song that’s now almost compulsory in all those craptastic Simon Cowell Britain’s Got Oddballs X Factor shows and which because of that was No 1 AND No 2 in the charts in Britain a year or so back – yes, Hallelujah. It rules! It went viral! Everybody sings it! Even people that hate Leonard Cohen – especially those people. They sing it and they record it, and then they find out who wrot ...more
Brook Bakay
Jan 08, 2014 Brook Bakay rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book, but calling it a biography is a lie. Interestingly, Footman calls it a "New Biography", by which I think he means it's in a new biography style, not that it is "yet another Cohen biography." He spends a lot of time admiring the precision of Cohen's language, and I suspect he put a fair bit into that word choice himself.

The first line is "Very well, let's play this as straight as we can." Footman does make an effort at biography but it is very half-hearted, and he needn
Gary Patella
Jan 28, 2013 Gary Patella rated it it was ok
I give this book two and a half stars. I feel that it is somewhere between two and three, and up until the last few chapters, it was leaning towards two.

The book is described as a biography-- don't believe it. This is NOT what I would call a biography. In my opinion, this book is best described as a descriptive anthology, interspersed with a few tidbits of biographical information.

For the most part, the book describes the works of Leonard Cohen in chronological order. First the book of poems, th
Jennifer (JC-S)
Oct 08, 2011 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it it was ok
Shelves: librarybooks
‘I don’t have much of a memory, and I’m not at all given to reflection and nostalgia.’

I’ve been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen music lately, I have at least one book of his poems on the shelves, and I know he’s been around for a long time. But apart from that, I knew next to nothing about him. So, I read this book and while I’m dissatisfied with it, I came away knowing a little more.

Why the dissatisfaction? After all, there’s lots of detail included about the lives and loves of Leonard Cohe
Jun 08, 2010 Rosie rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Leonard Cohen for a long time, but knew only a small collection of anecdotes about him gleaned from stories my parents told me. Tim Footman does an excellent job of looking at a compelling individual in a smart, analytical, respectful, and humorous way without rhetorically fellating his subject (and subsequently ending up a sony lyric? Ahem, sorry.)

Footman shows many sides to Cohen, weaving in Cohen's lyrics, poetry, and relevant quotes to set off new chapters. He describes Co
John Eliot
May 24, 2016 John Eliot rated it it was amazing
I liked this a lot, as it was not a 'fan' book but a serious consideration of Cohen's work. There are times when Mr Footman is positively critical of Cohen's work. Very good on looking at all the published books of poetry, two novels as well as the music. I enjoyed the essay on Hallelujah and comparison of Cohen and Dylan. Probably in need of an update. Worth looking out for though. I got mine for 20p in a charity shop.
Gabriel C.
Feb 06, 2012 Gabriel C. rated it did not like it
I hope "famous blue raincoat" wasn't in his list of his top ten leonard cohen songs because he took extremely clear lyrics (the author writing to a man who had an interaction with his lover) and misinterpreted them in a totally insupportable way (the author writing to an old lover about the new one). Just the most glaring example of the carelessness that goes all through this book.
Sep 28, 2010 Ryan rated it it was ok
Every so often I have to relearn the lesson that I've learned a million times. Music biographies suck, they are ALWAYS about the author. STUPID STUPID STUPID. I can't recommend this book.
Jun 27, 2010 Corey rated it liked it
At under 200 pages a gloss on his life. It's also a little sloppy and the writing gets a tad cute sometimes. However, anything about Mr. Cohen can't help but be interesting.
David rated it it was ok
Dec 21, 2014
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Jun 28, 2014
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Jul 06, 2012
Bob Peru
Dec 04, 2009 Bob Peru rated it really liked it
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Peter rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2014
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Will Buckingham
Will Buckingham rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2012
Mia Maguire
Mia Maguire rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2011
Apr 21, 2010 Captain_Howdy rated it liked it
Not too bad as far as a review of his life. I wasn't that impressed with the writing style.
Nahal Babaheidari
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Jul 05, 2015
Sep 04, 2011 Michele rated it liked it
56 I don't really remember this book at all.
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