The Favourite Game by LEONARD COHENThe Favourite Game by LEONARD COHEN

The Favourite Game

byLEONARD COHENAfterword byPaul Quarrington

Mass Market Paperback | May 1, 1994

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 55 plum® points

Out of stock online

Available in stores


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.
Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal in 1934. He received his B.A. from McGill University and pursued graduate studies in English at Columbia University. Soon thereafter, he returned to Montreal and worked in his family’s clothing business while he continued to write poetry. His artistic career began in 1956 with the publication of Let U...
Title:The Favourite GameFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 6.97 × 4.25 × 0.52 inPublished:May 1, 1994Publisher:McClelland & Stewart

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771099541

ISBN - 13:9780771099540

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Overall a nice read Hectic work commitment and schedule had pulled me away from enjoying a work of fiction for quite a long while. The Favourite Game was a great re-introduction to reading, my long time passion. The beautiful first chapter tasted like poetry, rich and delicate. A novel by a poet, I was impressed. Then the book took a different turn. It had become a coming of age story following the common journey of sexual exploration by the main character with indeterminate personality. Just when I was about to be disappointed, bringing to the forefront of my mind the negative reviews I read before, the story has thankfully transformed itself once again. Along with the plot of the central character's best friend leaving him to another place to work, in parallel, Leonard Cohen had all of a sudden allowed all his characters to be more concrete and with life. A much more gripping story until the end. It was overall a nice read. I was glad that I came across this nice work.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic piece of CanLit. This book is a must read!! It is Canada's answer to Catcher in the Rye, but MUCH funnier, sexier, and more interesting in general. At the same time, it is a very thought-provoking portrait of the artist as a young man , and what an artist Breaveman/Cohen is!!! This is among the best books written in Canada in the 20th century.
Date published: 2005-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Canadian Favourite This book was wonderfully written and if you want to enhance your vocabulary this book by Leonard Cohen is the one to read. This fiction/autobiography really gives you an in depth reality of the character Breavman and his struggle with life. So if you are looking for the perfect Canadian book I would suggest "The Favourite Game", it is a truly touching story and is a great book.
Date published: 2000-06-28

From Our Editors

The Favourite Game by Leonard Cohen is a richly satirical novel about a Montreal Jewish boy who confronts his vocation as a poet. A semi-autobiographical work, The Favourite Game was the legendary poet's first novel and is a shrewd appraisal of the human comedy and the "game" of love. It charts Lawrence Breavman's personal odyssey as he discovers himself and the world around him and finally discards family, friends and mistresses to move on through life alone.

Editorial Reviews

“Is there any Canadian novel as compelling and as good at capturing youthful anxieties as J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye? Absolutely.…Leonard Cohen’s first novel, The Favourite Game.…One of the 10 best Canadian novels of the 20th century.…”— Globe and Mail (January 2000)“The Favourite Game is a morally brave book, intimate and unflinching.…Leonard Cohen sustains the highest level of poetic craftsmanship throughout.”— Paul Quarrington“He is a writer of terrific energy and colour, a Rabelaisian comic and a visualiser of some memorable scenes.”— The Observer (U.K.)“It is the kind of book that becomes a law unto itself, simply because there is nothing with which to compare it.”— Calgary Albertan