7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 1999
"There is a mood for which Beethoven is too loud, and Bach too wise, and silence too good for a filthy heart such as beats in my breast." --It's Probably Spring
And for all of these moods, there is Leonard Cohen.
To many, Leonard Cohen is known only as a sub-mainstream musician and sometime theologian; yet the scope of his artistic genius reaches far beyond music and religious thought. Stranger Music, a collection of his works from 1956-1993, provides the uninitiated Cohen reader with a broad sampling of poetry and prose excerpts, offering everything from lucid and uplifting spirituality (a la Book of Mercy) to darker confessional stylings. Any fan of modern literature would be well advised to incorporate this anthology into his collection. At times conventional, at times avant-garde, Cohen is a writer that transcends genre and accurate definition, and in doing so probes the collective unconscious for themes which pertain to all of modern humanity. His questions, and many of his answers, all presented in his easily accessible style, are universally applicaple, and an experience well worth the reading. For any passionate-literate individual who seeks an artistic alternative to the nihilism of our time, this man speaks for you.
Spend the twelve bucks. You'll congradulate yourself on the investment.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
In 1996, I received this book as a present from my (then) best friend. I remember being initially skeptical of "Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs", and wondering, 'What can this old man tell me about life?' Leonard Cohen could tell me plenty, apparently: life, love, beauty, sex, passion, death, religion. His words spoke to me and now they continue to resonate with me.
The friendship with my friend has since ended; however, this book has now become one of my most favourite and prized possessions. It's the perfect starting place for anyone who is curious about Leonard Cohen's work or is looking for poetry that is beautiful (and accessible), It is truly a wonderful anthology.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2004
I've been reading Leonard Cohen since I was 13 and in love with the words "freakish nipples". In Stranger Music, I find myself presented with a feast of words by the man I crushed on from the first moment I heard his voice.
My copy is dog-eared and coffee stained after years of returning to it again and again. Covering everything he's ever written in as lush a way as a volume this tightly edited will allow, everyone will find something to fall in love with in this book.
Highly recommended and I'd say that even if I wasn't crazy in love with him. ;)