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Paperback Beautiful Losers Book

ISBN: 0771098758

ISBN13: 9780771098758

Beautiful Losers

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good


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Book Overview

One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless members of a love triangle united by their sexual obsessions and by their fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk saint.By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, Beautiful Losers explores each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment, in which the sensualist...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

I cant review this book as I didn't even receive it. Multiple messages I've sent to customers servic

I unfortunately cant review the book as I hadn't received it!

A Searing & Ecstatic Vision

"Beautiful Losers" merges the profane with the sacred to create an unforgettable, disturbing and wildly elated vision. Using masterful stream-of-consciousness, Leonard Cohen breaks the barriers: nothing is off-limits, nothing is too precious, nothing is too spiritual. Everything, including all forms of erotic acts, will be desecrated on these pages: but none of the writing is gratuitous. With every blasphemous thought and image, we are drawn into an ecstatic spiritual quest, such that in the midst of an insanely orgasmic scene, replete with blood, violence, debilitating pleasure, we find this treasure: ("O Father, Nameless and Free of Description, lead me from the Desert of the Possible. Too long I have dealt with Events. Too long I labored to become an Angel. I chased Miracles with a bag of Power to salt their wild Tails. I tried to dominate Insanity so I could steal its Information. I tried to program the Computers with Insanity. I tried to create Grace to prove that Grace e isted. ... We could not see Evidence stretched our Memories. Dear Father, accept this confession: we did not train ourselves to Receive because we believed there wasn't Anything to Receive and we could not endure with this Belief.") At the center of the novel is the unforgettable "F", the great iconoclast, the sexualist searching for the divine experience, the man who betrays with joy, who gives and receives pain with bliss, who howls out his darkness in a search for light. Readers who relate to "Beautiful Losers" may also be open to "Miss MacIntosh My Darling", "Art and Lies", and (of course) Satre's "No Exit." Still, to see such roaring poetry and prose bundled into a novel is rare, and "Beautiful Losers" is one-of-a-kind.

Cohen the Novelist

Having avoided Leonard Cohen for so long, lumping him with the "classic rock" I found annoying, I'm now in the midst of a serious Leonard Cohen Obsession by way of a Jeff Buckley cover and then this massively brilliant, inspired and dense, genuis, pornographic, and simply awesome novel. The language in this book is so alive, you would think it would grow flesh on the page. Any passage rivals Henry Miller, James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If you're looking for a plot-driven page turner, go elsewhere. This is the stuff of serious linguistic revelry, for people who like to read books that make you jealous that he wrote it, and you didn't. Like: Days without work. Why did that list depress me? I should never have made the list. I've done something bad to your belly, Edith. I tried to use it. I tried to use your belly against the Plague. I tried to be a man in a padded locker room telling a beautiful smutty story to eternity. I tried to be an emcee in a tuxedo arousing a lodge of honeymooners, my bed full of golf windows. I forgot that I was desperate. I forgot that I began this research in desperation. My briefcase fooled me. My tidy notes led me astray. I thought I was doing a job. Or: Oh God, Your Morning Is Perfect. People Are Alive In Your World. I Can Hear The Little Children In The Elevator. The Airplane Is Flying Through The Original Blue. Mouths Are Eating Breakfast. The Radio Is Filled With Electricity. The Trees Are Excellent. [It goes on for two pages like this, beautiful, perfect.] So, I would have to say that I give this an effusive six out of five stars. And, I should add, Leonard Cohen is NOT dead! He is a Zen monk. Where are the novels that he was supposed to write for us? He was cheated out of his retirement fund by an ex-wife/manager. You should buy this book so he can retire comfortably, as he should, one of the great genuises of the English language that has been overshadowed by the filthy stupidity of the rock industry of America. The end !


Beautiful Losers is really a poem disguised as a novel. The farther you get into the book, the more stream of consciousness it becomes. Basically, it is about a man who has suffered great loss finding redemption amidst the turmoil of 1960s Quebec. It also is the story about an indigenous woman obtaining sainthood during the turmoil of the age of exploration.The only criticism I have ever heard when discussing this book with others is that it is vulgar (and only from one person), and he completely dismissed the whole book on this basis. That completely misses the point. It does get vulgar, but the novel is about ordinary people finding enlightenment within the physical world, with all its blood and detritous, and finding hope amongst suffering vs. going up into the mountains and seeking a guru or denying the body as evil like the Cathars. It is about the spirituality that can be found even in the physical world. As a result, if you read it in a bad mood, it may at first reinforce your mood, but it will ultimately pull you out the other end and help you get through.The book is disturbing at times and requires careful reading, but it is ultimately beautiful.

A Work Of Poetic Genius By Leonard Cohen

When this book was first published in the mid-sixties, the NewYork Times reviewer said that he had discovered that James Joycewasn't dead; he was alive and writing in Montreal under the name of Leonard Cohen. Younger fiction fans are likely ignorant of just how influential and omnipresent Leonard Cohen, a young Canadian Jew living in Montreal was in the late 1960s. He was a novelist/poet/songwriter/folksinger, running with the likes of Dylan, Eric Andersen, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, etc. etc. etc. His poetry put to music reamins perhaps the most haunting and beautiful to come out of that fabled time. You've surely heard his work, but may not be aware of just how much he influenced his fellows. Here, however, is the ultimate portable testament to the sheer creative powers Cohen wields; Beautiful Losers. The title comes from one of his earlier poems, which having a mysterious coda of "So you're the kind of vegetarian/ Who only eats roses/ Is that what you mean't/ with your beautiful losers?". Given that context, this title refers to the cast of incredibly beautiful losers at life's game in this fantastic cruise through Cohen's imagination and a stream of consciousness. I promise, this trip will be quite unlike anything you have ever experienced in print. It revolves around four characters, three of whom are dead, one of whom is a French-Canadian Indian nun who's been dead for over three hundred years, and who's currently being considered for cannonization by the Cathloic Church. From its opening question, "Catherine Tekakawitha, who are you?" to his final plea to "poor men, poor men such as we, they've gone and fled", this is a book that will leave you breathless. This is one book you should run out to buy, but also is one for a long and slow reading. On virtually every page is a stream of word pictures best experienced fully and deliberately. Don't pick this one for your book report, kids, it is a four letter word tirade, and an exploration into the grittiest aspects of life. it is at turns hilarious, hysterical, profound, mystical, and absolutely unbelievable. For Cohen, "God is alive, and magic is afoot", and nowhere is his power of observation moe powerful than in this novel. I remember having read it in hardcover in the mid-sixties and then passed it on to a friend, who of course passed it on and so on. So I lost the hardcover forever, but began a life of loving serious and well-written literature. This is a book for the ages, friend, one you can pick up and read a page at random at any moment and still enjoy completely. At the risk of committing the terrible sin of hyperbole, this is a wonderful work of art, and will last for centuries. Read it now, and then read it later. It ages very well. Like "Ulysses", or "Finnegan's Wake', or "Death In Venice", it is a one of a kind experience. Enjoy.

Astonishing intensity.

As soon as you open this book, you are drawn into a beautiful, disturbing, enchanting, harrowing and humerous world. The images are startlingly intense, and due to the sheer number of them, it sometimes takes an enormous amount of time to reach the end of each page. The reader is required to give serious consideration to every sentence in order to fully aprechiate the meaning and feeling behind it. I was frequenly astonished that such a work of art seems to have come so fluently from a human mind, but having previously experienced his utterly beautiful songs, I should expect no less. Cohen here prooves his talents extend to the writing of novels, as well as poetry. I thoroughly recommend this book, and if you do not go into it with an open mind, you will certainly come out of it with one.
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