A lot of musicians have tried their hand at writing (Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Jewel), but Leonard Cohen was an established poet before he turned to songwriting. Better know for his poetry, he also wrote two novels, of which this, released in 1963, is the first. It combines to great post-war themes: the coming of age novel and the Jewish novel. If you know his music well, its tone and content will be familiar. His second novel, "Beautiful Losers," is dripping with sex.
I think this book is about self-isolation ... a traditional Canadian literary theme.
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