NCL 153 – Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen


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Beautiful Losers  was not included in Series One and Series Two.


Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen (New Canadian Library N158) front coverSeries Three

From the Back Cover:

“Fuses sexuality with spirituality…mystical and profane, poetic and obscene…an invitation to play Russian roulette with a phallic pistol.” – Kirkus Review

BEAUTIFUL LOSERS is unlike any novel ever published in North America. A literary work that assaults the senses, it is an explosion of powerful prose, blazing erotic imagery and astounding fantasy.

Its original publication in 1966 aroused a furious storm of controversy, with charges that the novel was ‘obscene’ and ‘profane’ countered by exceptional critical acclaim throughout Europe and North America. It has since claimed permanent stature as a brilliant, continuously best-selling work.

Combining spirituality with intensely graphic sexuality, and comic-book humour with deadly serious intent, BEAUTIFUL LOSERS has a cast of four characters – a husband and wife, their ultimately corrupting mentor and a mythic seventeen century Indian virgin. The interweaving and ultimate melding of these four form the boiling core of the novel.

Raw and often shocking, this is writing that moves to the very frontier of pornography. Swept along by the sheer verve of Cohen’s prose, BEAUTIFUL LOSERS adds up to one of the most impressive artistic statements in contemporary literature.


Beautiful Losers by Leonard Cohen (New Canadian Library) front coverSeries Four

From the Back Cover:

One of the Best-known experimental novels of the sixties, BEAUTIFUL LOSERS is Leonard Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless members of a love triangle: the nameless narrator, an authority on the vanishing A __ tribe; his wife, Edith, one of the tribe’s last members; and their maniacal and domineering friend, F. The three are united by their sexual obsessions and by their fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, a seventeenth-century Mohawk saint.

By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, BEAUTIFUL LOSERS explores each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment in which the sensualist cannot be distinguished from the saint.


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