The Favourite Game

The Favourite Game

Book - 2000
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Random House, Inc.
In this unforgettable novel, Leonard Cohen boldly etches the youth and early manhood of Lawrence Breavman, only son of an old Jewish family in Montreal. Life for Breavman is made up of dazzling colour – a series of motion pictures fed through a high-speed projector: the half-understood death of his father; the adult games of love and war, with their infinite capacity for fantasy and cruelty; his secret experiments with hypnotism; the night-long adventures with Krantz, his beloved comrade and confidant. Later, achieving literary fame as a college student, Breavman does penance through manual labour, but ultimately flees to New York. And although he has loved the bodies of many women, it is only when he meets Shell, whom he awakens to her own beauty, that he discovers the totality of love and its demands, and comes to terms with the sacrifices he must make.

Publisher: Toronto : M&S, 2000
Edition: Paperback ed
ISBN: 9780771022012
Characteristics: 244 p. ; 22 cm


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Mar 20, 2018

This is a beautifully poetic novel. I was amazed on rereading it after many years how often I felt the phrasing was familiar, like half-remembered poems. Moreover, it displays Cohen's mischievous humour and gentle critiques of our societies.

Dec 19, 2013

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.

Dec 10, 2009

I think this book is about self-isolation ... a traditional Canadian literary theme.


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saintjennifer May 02, 2018

“Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as a secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

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