I started reading Cohen's poetry when I was in high school, but I had no conception of him as a musician. It took me till I was in my early 20s to fall in love with his music, with his voice. At that time I was falling in love with a great many people and things. Leonard is still with me, unlike most of the rest. His music rewards contemplation, it rewards analysis, and it rewards showing up. I have seen hundreds of concerts in my life, and the two that were best by miles were Cohen's- so much so that I'm content to never see another concert.It's fair to say that I brought a bucket-full of expectations to this book. I was crushingly disappointed by the abysmal [b:Leonard Cohen: A Remarkable Life|8724761|Leonard Cohen A Remarkable Life|Anthony Reynolds|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328705877s/8724761.jpg|13597719]. I was pretty sure that this would be better, and it is, by at least one order of magnitude.It still, on some level, fails to satisfy. As a chronicle of the life of a man- what he does, where he goes, who he spends his time with, it works. As a window to the man's own self, it fails in comparison with the body of work by the man himself. I know more about the essential Cohen from his poetry, from his songs. That's not to say that Simmons has written an inadequate book, just that her book doesn't scratch my itch to climb inside that mysterious head and drown in the river of Song.