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5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Tekakwitha
Funny, I was reading this book. I was dating a girl that looked like Catherine Tekakwitha, as described by Cohen. Might have wanted to live the same experiences. Did not. Now I've driven her away. Cheers Catherine Tekakwitha for your sainthood. I'll never be a saint. It's a great poem, by a great Canadian singer, songwriter, writer and just plain Canadian icon...
Published 20 months ago by Marc-Andre Sharpe

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World of Beauty
Songwriter/singer/poet/novelist Leonard Cohen is a writer who, through the use of a few words alone, can send a thousand different emotions and images through your head. His writing is powerful and touching, though often too poetic. Beautiful Losers is, in fact, a poem disguised as a novel. It is a postmodernistic work of Canadian fiction that, although beautiful, refuses...
Published on March 4 2002 by Sebastien Pharand


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars World of Beauty, March 4 2002
By 
Sebastien Pharand (Orléans, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
Songwriter/singer/poet/novelist Leonard Cohen is a writer who, through the use of a few words alone, can send a thousand different emotions and images through your head. His writing is powerful and touching, though often too poetic. Beautiful Losers is, in fact, a poem disguised as a novel. It is a postmodernistic work of Canadian fiction that, although beautiful, refuses to make sense.
The story's nameless narrator is scarred by the death of his wife, Edith, and of his best friend, F. As the three were part of a very strange romantic triangle, the posthumous revelations the narrator comes to during the course of the story are highly revealing and often shocking. As he mourns his wife, he cannot hide the fact that he was also in love with F. and his strange view on life.
A historian in disguise, the narrator is also doing research on an Native saint named Catherine, who's story is an echo of the things the narrator has went through and is going through. As these four chracters entertwine, and as more and more painful secrets are revealed, we are forced into a chaotic world where sense does not exist, where order and sanity are always at stake.
A highly poetic effort, Beautiful Losers ins't a book that should be read quickly. Just like the prose, the reader should take his time while reading it. It's too easy to miss the great irony and humour behind all the darkness and sadness of the prose. Cohen created a world where surrealism, sexuality and violence are part of the ordinary, where order seems to fail with a shocking consistancy and where disorder seems to rule.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I could not get through this book. I picked ..., July 5 2014
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
I could not get through this book. I picked it up for a book club, but it was definitely written for the 60s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Tekakwitha, Oct. 31 2012
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This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
Funny, I was reading this book. I was dating a girl that looked like Catherine Tekakwitha, as described by Cohen. Might have wanted to live the same experiences. Did not. Now I've driven her away. Cheers Catherine Tekakwitha for your sainthood. I'll never be a saint. It's a great poem, by a great Canadian singer, songwriter, writer and just plain Canadian icon. Period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, May 18 2001
By 
Blahblahblah (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing to find this in print!, Aug. 31 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
I read this book in the sixties during a painful, searching time in my youth. At the time, the book had a powerful formative effect. As I recall, it was extremely moving, but its most profound impact was not in the detail, but in a sort of metaphysical reaction to the story as a whole. As time past, and I thought I had learned all my lessons, "grown up," (though at times I would recall the character F as, like him, I would hum Great Pretender). So I really didn't give this sort of thing a thought any longer. But now, it seems to me again that Cohen has something to teach about the lessons that maybe I didn't actually complete as well as I thought. I would like to hear more about his life in his zen retreat. I'm glad this book is back.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars YUCK!!!!, Sept. 22 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
I had to read this book for a university course onCanadian novels, so I couldn't throw it away or burn it as I would have liked to do. It is without a doubt the most painful and difficult book I've ever had to read. It is without question Cohen is a master at what he does--not just anyone could leave such a lasting distate in my mouth more than six years after I read the book! However, the subject matter, the style, the imagery, and especially the various kinds of loveless sex...everything seems to feel terribly sick and twisted, and the overall impression the book leaves is one of profound and lasting oppression.
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5.0 out of 5 stars leonard cohen, Feb. 2 2010
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This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
Written more like poetry then a novel, Beautiful Losers was for me a very good book but also not very easy to read. Anyone that is interested in reading something outside the box and is not offended by sexual language, then you will enjoy the book. I loved the story of Catherine Tekadwitha, a seventh century mohawk saint that the author refers to throughout the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Contemporary Master, July 16 2001
By 
Okla Elliott (Columbus, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
While his songs and poetry are among some of my favorite, I must say I wish Cohen had written more novels. Beautiful Losers is brilliant in both conception and structure. Cohen's use of historical and religious data is truly innovative. His depiction of Canada is likewise wonderful. For fans of such literary greats as Thomas Pynchon, Gore Vidal, and Henry Miller, Beautiful Losers will simultaneously be a mental scrambling, an intellectual feast, and an emotionally staggering event. Read this book; it belongs to those books that truly matter.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Brave exploration, May 22 2001
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This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
The language in Beautiful Losers may not be as prolifically dirty as it might first appear and once again we bow our heads to James Joyce but only for a second as we attempt to mould something else that we hope will survive.
Difficult to describe why Beautiful Losers is an essential read because it's difficult to analyse poetic prose. Cohen bravely wrote of love, relationships and sex without apparent blushes and restrictions so come and take a peek, open your flowers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IT__WILL__FRIGGIN__BLOW__YOU__AWAY, July 16 2000
This review is from: Beautiful Losers (Paperback)
I've been listening to Leonard Cohen for about a year. Yesterday I saw his book at Barnes & Noble and started reading. The first page without the context of the next two is completely unintelligible. I almost put it back down. Then, in an instant, with one phrase, he transformed the nonsense I thought I was reading into beautiful truth. His power as a writer is usurpassed. With sickly dramatic rant he paints a portrait of you, whoever you are. The darker corners you don't tell anyone about, in plain view under a brilliantly twisted light. One of the greatest books of all time.
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Beautiful Losers
Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen (Paperback - April 8 2003)
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