• I'm Your Man

  • The Life of Leonard Cohen
  • By: Sylvie Simmons
  • Narrated by: Joshua Pollock
  • Length: 18 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (239 ratings)

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I'm Your Man

By: Sylvie Simmons
Narrated by: Joshua Pollock
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Publisher's Summary

The legend behind such songs as "Suzanne", "Bird on the Wire", and "Hallelujah" and the poet and novelist behind such groundbreaking literary works as Beautiful Losers and Book of Mercy, Leonard Cohen is one of the most important and influential artists of our era, a man of powerful emotion and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life - sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Cohen is also a man of complexities and seeming contradictions: a devout Jew, who is also a sophisticate and ladies' man, as well as an ordained Buddhist monk whose name, Jikan - "ordinary silence" - is quite the appellation for a writer and singer whose life has been anything but ordinary. I'm Your Man is the definitive account of that extraordinary life.

Acclaimed music journalist Sylvie Simmons crafts a portrait of Cohen as nuanced as the man himself, drawing on a wealth of research that includes Cohen's personal archives and more than 100 exclusive interviews with those closest to Cohen - from his lovers, friends, monks, professors, rabbis, and fellow musicians to his muses, including Rebecca De Mornay, Marianne Ihlen, Suzanne Elrod, and Suzanne Verdal - and most important, with Cohen himself, whose presence infuses these pages.

Starting in Montreal, Cohen's birthplace, where he first found fame as a poet in the '50s, Simmons follows his trail, via London and the Greek island of Hydra, to New York in the '60s, where he launched his music career. From there she traces the arc of his prodigious achievements to his remarkable retreat in the mid-'90s - when on the cusp of marriage to a beautiful actress and enjoying the success of his best-selling album to date, he entered a monastery on a rocky mountaintop above Los Angeles - and finally to his reemergence for a sold-out world tour almost 15 years later. Whether navigating Cohen's journeys through the back streets of Mumbai or the countless hotel rooms where he has stayed along the way, Simmons explores with equal focus every complex, contradictory strand of Cohen's life - from the halls of academia to the arenas of rock 'n' roll - and presents a deeply insightful portrait of both the artist and the man whose vision, spirit, depth and talent continue to move people like no one else.

©2012 Sylvie Simmons (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What listeners say about I'm Your Man

Average Customer Ratings
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Biography from a room

Any additional comments?

last week I took Ms. Simmons "I'm your man" out on the road with me for a second read. Here are my thoughts after that pass.
This book reads like literature, and to me, that is everything. The authors idiosyncratic voice and style shine through just enough to light the many rooms her subject (Mr. Cohens life) inhabits. This is a working journalist, writer and songwriter doing what she does best, working.
I honestly did not know about her vast body of work before reading this book and so have had the luxury of going back through years of the top music publications that are rich with her prose. I suggest you do the same, you will be better for it.
"I'm your man" is excellent and I want to Thank Ms. Simmons for writing this gem of a biography.
Now on to "A fistfull of Gitanes."

Sincerely,
John Reynolds

7 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend !!!

What did you love best about I'm Your Man?

The writing was thorough, and well done, the story is fascinating, and the performance excellent. What more can I say?

What did you like best about this story?

This story of a man I just discovered through his music a few years ago, answered a lot of questions for me. Such as, "This guy is fantastic, why have I not heard of him before?"
He was known world wide as a celebrity, but not in America, why?

I was also fascinated by his spiritual journey, and the extremes he went to, to find his answers.


What about Joshua Pollock’s performance did you like?

Joshua Polluck never wavered, I could listen to him all day.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and no, I found the book one, that I could not put down, but also, wanted to savor, each little morsel.

Any additional comments?

This book could be displayed not only in biography, but as stands alone as a historical document of the music industry.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Way too nice.

What disappointed you about I'm Your Man?

I do not know Leonard Cohen. However, I felt that this book was written by someone who knew him personally and was a friend or someone who really favors him. In other words, this book paints a very rosy portrait of a person. I realize I am at a disadvantage because I do not personally know Mr. Cohen, but I am not naïve and just had a very strong gut feeling that this book was very, very nice to him. I would not waste my time again and actually returned this book. However, I suppose in a very general biographical way you can get a sense of what Cohen did and where he moved and why he wrote or performed in this way or that way.

3 people found this helpful

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Sloppy Narrator Interferes with Excellent Story

I think the book is in the top tier of popular music biographies--well written, great details, impressive research.

The problem with the audio version is the narrator's use of upspeak in the MIDDLE of sentences, an annoying and unprofessional tic that accelerates as the book progresses. The cloying Valley Girl habit of stating declarative sentences as questions here becomes the more recent affectation of intra-sentence questions, as if the narrator is begging the listener to ok each detail of a sentence (as in "On that day? Leonard walked to the studio? Sat down? And started to play."). Can you imagine Cohen (or the author, for that matter) talking this way? It's a depressing and lazy American habit that is robbing oral communication of its potential power to move the reader.

I'm astounded that so many narrators of books seem to have had no performance training. As a listener now for four years, I've found British narrators to be far more professional, appropriately dramatic, and understandable than most American narrators.

2 people found this helpful

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Facts a plenty a person not so much.

This biography was disappointing at best. This biography was like reading a menus. The author started at point A and completed at point Z. Where was the heart and soul of this deep rich talented man? I am left information and facts about the life of Leonard Coen - longing to meet the human being.

2 people found this helpful

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Narrator voice

I really wish they would've gotten someone else to narrate this. Great story but I only got four hours and because I couldn't handle the voice, alternately monotone and lilting in all the wrong places.

1 person found this helpful

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Leonard Choen is my man ! Hallelujah !

Couldn't be better. great music, great man. Now he's in The Tower of Song singing Hallelujah with Hank.

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kind of a yawn fest

Not very interesting. I have now determined that my life is way more interesting in Leonard Cohen's.

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Another World with Leonard Cohen

I didn't want this book to ever end... I will listen to it over and over, again and again! It taught me how to love.

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mispronunciations made for a distracting listen

There really should be a law of some kind that requires narrators to look up how to pronounce foreign words. while the narrator did an excellent job with most of the text, his mispronunciation of many names as well as French and Hebrew words was very distracting.

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  • Carol
  • 05-10-21

brilliant!

Leonard Cohen's life, written so beautifully and really captured the man i always wanted to know about and knew very little apart from his humble but brilliant words.

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  • Christopher Selth
  • 06-10-20

Utterly affecting

The story of a poet struggling to become the transcendent insight he names in his words, through light and shadow. Utterly powerful statement on great art, a great artist, touching us all.