Brought together in India through a series of hare-brained adventures are Arthur, an old bohemian from Cologne; Albert, otherwise known as Bear, a snack bar owner who emigrated to Goa; Gerd, a German businessman with a mid-life crisis; and Sherie, a stunningly good-looking prostitute from Bombay. Together, they embark on a mission to find a mystic figure in the Himalayas: The Golden Biker, who supposedly cruises through the mountains on a golden motorbike, to punish the evildoers and give to those who mean well some of his not less mystical marihuana…known among aficionados as the best grass in the world.
*I received a review copy of the book.
The Golden Biker is a tongue-in-cheek book, written by Alexander von Eisenhart Rothe. There is a lot of dark humor, which involves Nazis, drugs, shady characters, and a lot of adventure.
Told through multiple points of view, the story is follows (at least) four main characters who, through a series of coincidences, end up traveling together in India. They are searching for the elusive Golden Biker, a legendary man who creates strong, top-quality marijuana. When smoked, the Golden Biker weed can make people find inner peace.
The tone of the story is very friendly and conversational, and the writing style reminds me of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s a bit experimental, with asides from the narrator, and chatty characters.
Because there are multiple storylines told through multiple points of view—some of them happening years apart from each other in different parts of the world—it can be hard to keep track of all that’s going on at times. But by the end, everything comes together.
Even with having to deal with so many characters, Alexander manages to make them all multi-dimensional. Not all the bad guys are pure evil. For example, a group of former thugs turned therapists offer their help to a high profile gangster’s nephew, Rajnesh, who has spent his life trying to get his uncle’s approval. Towards the end of the story, Rajnesh’s uncle runs into the former thugs, who admonish him for the way he treats his nephew. The idea of these violent men coming together for a therapy session makes me laugh.
Shaki had a hard time to restrain himself. “Yes, sorry to say, why?”
“Well, I think, you are handling him in the wrong way, you knkow? He is harbouring a lot of aggression. Maybe you’re too hard on him?”
Shaki’s mouth fell open. “I am…what???”
“All I mean is” Ashok continued, “there seems to be some potential for unresolved personal issues. I could offer my help, maybe all three of us should…”
There’s a little bit of everything in this book. Aside from violence and drugs, there is a love story threaded throughout, mixed in with tales of spies, crazy old Nazis, soldiers, Bollywood, and any other possible elements that could be part of an action-adventure story.
And at the end there is an added bonus: an appendix that explains potentially unfamiliar words or phrases—in the same tone as the rest of the story—along with several recipes.
For anyone who is a fan of Douglas Adams and his type of humor, I recommend reading the Golden Biker. It’s a light, entertaining read, and packed with fun twists and mini stories.
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Action-Adventure
Published: July 2012 by Outside the Box, ~524 pages