Three nineteen-year-olds: an Indian, a German and an African ´prince´, thrown together by fate, share a tiny Soho apartment in hippie London. There they enjoy their music and new found freedom until prejudice, the drug mafia, the Secret Service and the Summer of Love ruins it for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Time Travel with the Keys from Tomorrow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 August 2018
Reading of this novel is just like you are assembling the puzzle. You are in India, Germany and London of the 60s. Different places, different persons. Questions are coming to your mind: Who are all these people? What I’m doing in their company?
Just keep reading. And you are in…
Chelsey, London, Summer of Love in 3 D. The author himself was there and he masterfully recreates atmosphere of the place and the time through the eyes of the young musician from Germany. All You Need Is Love is on TV, The Rolling Stones are on the scene, you can meet Marc Bolan who sings about elves and goblins at the party, hippies, drug dealers and skinheads are on the streets, everyone reads Tibetan Book of the Dead, everyone is interested in Indian teachings and philosophy and searching for the new way of life. Sex, trips and bad trips, gurus and false-gurus, hippies as an object of new social technologies… But all these things are a kind of background landscape for the main heroes (anti-heroes?) of the novel. They are trying to survive in foreign for them London, they are searching for their paths in life and for the answer: Can music really change the human soul and behavior? You’ll find the answer if you’ll read the novel. On more general level Al Gromer Khan tries to understand what’s going wrong with our civilization since the 60s.
Warning. Al Gromer Khan is very honest writer and he is very honest and sometimes even cruel to his heroes. No glamour Sixties and no glamour hippies are there.
Rolf Silvio Andreas
5.0 out of 5 stars A hippy book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 July 2017
What's going on here? Another hippie book? Ah, yes: Summer of Love, 50 years jubilee – 1967-2017. Right. Ghostwriters on your starting blocks … Ah, but not this one. This one rings true; even though the author, a musician and composer of some renown and contemporary himself, claims that none of it is autobiographical, some of the descriptions you couldn't dream up. And no, there is no VW bus sporting psychedelic colours and frilly curtains. Instead the author supplies remarkable views from the inside, in regard to music, the illusions of the young, the ever present prejudices prior to hippiedom. Prejudices which became obsolete during the Summer of Love as if by magic intervention. Yes, there's sex and drugs and rock and roll – however in specific detail, which elates you as a reader, keeps your interest from waning The lower aspects, on the crime level if you like, some threads remain unresolved, but that doesn't really harm the storyline. And just when you think that everything's been said and written about music, pop and rock music in particular, Mr Gromer Khan comes out with a turn of phrase that nearly makes you cry. And, by the way, the book also makes you laugh out loud. Yes, I should like to recommend this story, it makes excellent summer reading – in The Summer of Love, fifty years on.
Michael L. Schramm
5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous look at '60s/'70s London music scene
Reviewed in the United States on 4 July 2019
A fun, well-told tale of the Summer of Love in England, from the perspective of a German musician who wanted to be part of it. Great characters and dialog.
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CHRIS SPECTOR, MIDWEST RECORD - Lake Zürich/Chicago
ZUSTAND-AL GROMER KHAN/The White Mogul: Suppose Nick Hornby had other aspirations than being a Limey writing about music in hipster, American neighborhoods. Would he have it together to write this world wide novel of eye opening proportions that reads like a modern day “On the Road” with music as the driving force? Enough with the “Eat, Pray, Love“ already, guys have to have a few eye opening journeys as well when given the time and tide to pursue such opportunities. As compelling as any of the eye opening novels by Cohen, etc, Khan takes you on a journey that feels like Townes Van Zandt taking a side trip through the Indian music underground and perhaps coming out of it with his teeth intact. A thick tome that could easily be a commuters pal for several weeks of urban scooting, this is a dandy read that’s musically vibrant enough along the way to almost open your ears as well. Seekers, start your engines and check it out.
02.02.2014 Stephen Hill, Owner, Hearts of Space, California, USA National Radio
I use this salutation more knowingly than before now that I've finished the book. Quite a splendid tale, Al. I think it's the best and most fully personal work of art you've given us; the book format gives you ample room to expose all aspects of your personality. And who knew you were such a good raconteur? The translation and proofing were both excellent. The only thing I had trouble with was the occasional bit of German, which I've never had the occasion to learn. I hope it's a big success. Keep writing novels and eventually you'll sell the film rights, which will allow your golden years to be truly golden!
Personal regards :: Dr. Space
Nick Campbell: Senior partner of CZWG Architects LLP, London
04.11.2013 I am engrossed in your book which I am enjoying immensely... and have learnt that in life "everything has an end" except a German sausage. The piece about the 102 year old tabla player was thrilling and proves that point that we all like a happy ending. The translation, with a few very minor exceptions, is excellent and the translator should be congratulated. I will continue to read avidly. Thank you.
A most excellent novel at many levels! Respect!
Craig Sams 04.04.14
The book was very atmospheric - I think even if I'd never been to India I would have understood the state of mind that one enters there. It was more of a page turner than I expected at the beginning - you want to see how things turn out along the various threads that weave in and out, sometimes quite unexpectedly, of the narrative. Your willingness to be servile as a student combined with your need to survive and your increasing awareness that the masters are just like the rest of us comes through again and again. I really enjoyed it, though it hasn't really greatly altered the way I listen to music, either yours or other music...except perhaps the drums - that old boy Feroze really registered in my memory and I've read it a few times, with your onomotopoeic tickatickaticka or should I say Dirdindir dhin dhin dhinna - dirdir dhina dhin dhin that needs to be read aloud by the reader to illuminate the text.
Anyway, many thanks for an enjoyable read that also brought back many memories of my own times in the region back in 1965.