Navid Kermani

The Book of the Listeners Slain by Neil Young

Navid Kermani
Foto: Navid Kermani
© Jürgen Bauer

Navid Kermani was born in 1967 in Siegen. He lives in Cologne.

Besides being an author, he is also an established Islamic scholar and a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature and of the Hamburg Academy of Sciences.

He has received numerous awards for his literary and academic writing, including the Kleist Prize (2012), the Hannah Arendt Prize, and the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal (2011). In 2015, he was awarded the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade), with the jury stating that he was »one of the most important voices in our society.«

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The Book of the Listeners Slain by Neil Young is more than just the most beautiful, wise, eccentric book ever written about rock ’n’ roll – it’s an ode to life itself.

It begins with the colic – night after night the narrator’s newborn daughter is beset by cramps. The only remedy: the songs of Neil Young. For father and daughter this means a journey through the Canadian singer’s cosmos, toward vanished illusions and fleeting moments of happiness. With a lightness of touch, Navid Kermani intertwines the daily routines of his young family with the big questions in life, and, as if by accident we begin to see where splinters of paradise might still be found: not only in music.


»You read this book and think, probably for the first time in all your years of Neil Young appreciation: that’s how you do it!« Edo Reents, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»The most engaging, funny, honest meditation on the intersection of music and life I’ve read in a long time.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»It makes you want to go down to the nearest record store in your pyjamas and buy everything Neil Young ever recorded.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»A 140-page declaration of love.« Goslarsche Zeitung