Harvey Kubernik: Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows

Affectionate celebration gets inside the outsider.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Literally and figuratively a man of many hats, to unpick the fierce intelligence and cross-fertilised career of Montreal’s most famous disaffected aesthete is not a job for the mediocre or sensationalist.

Kubernik’s impeccable credentials – editor, journalist, A&R man, documentary producer, not to mention prose stylist – and association with Cohen, place him close to the spiritual, witty heart of a remarkable trajectory. Bolstered by a seriously impressive collection of rare and unseen photos, Kubernik charts the poetry, prose, music, romance, drugs, bankruptcy and 500-plus covers of Hallelujah that go some way towards illustrating a life still very much in progress.

Generously quoting those captivated and inspired, either directly or not – Joni Mitchell, Nick Cave, Judy Collins… (it’s a long list) – lends the book an even more insightful and humane air that befits its subject. An apt tribute./o:p

Tim Batcup

Tim Batcup is a writer for Classic Rock magazine and Prog magazine. He's also the owner of Cover To Cover, Swansea's only independent bookshop, and a director of Storyopolis, a free children’s literacy project based at the Volcano Theatre, Swansea. He likes music, books and Crass.