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A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel…
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A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel (2014)

by Marlon James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (69)  Piratical (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I just could not get into this book. I tried and failed. (Do you know how long it takes to read a 688-page book that you cannot get into? It takes a very long time.)

I know a lot of people really love this book. It just wasn't for me. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
I am not sorry that I read it but this is a book about ghetto living, gangs & drugs & violence, which I find distasteful. For me the best aspects were the political ones (the CIA involvement etc.).

I found the book to be confusing at first but as I progressed the various narratives started to link up and form a picture. For me, a lot of the initial confusion was due to 2 things: 1) I didn't know anything about Jamaica (culture, politics, history) & 2) the dialect. The characters (many of whom I was surprised to learn were real people, not just "The Singer") assume a background knowledge of terms & situations that I just didn't have. That had its positive aspect as well since it forced me to investigate and thus learn something about Jamaica of this period (say 1976-1985) (something I doubt I would have done otherwise). ( )
  leslie.98 | May 23, 2018 |
This stunner of a novel spins an ambitiously encompassing portrait of late 20th century Jamaica out of the real life incident of reggae singer Bob Marley's attempted assassination: a gripping, propulsive, violent, and deeply felt crazy quilt of power, politicians, CIA agents, crime, gangsters, thieves, art, music, DJs, and everyday life. Great for fans of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, Don Delillo's Underworld, or Garth Hallberg's City On Fire. ( )
  Chamblyman | May 20, 2018 |
This stunner of a novel spins an ambitiously encompassing portrait of late 20th century Jamaica out of the real life incident of reggae singer Bob Marley's attempted assassination: a gripping, propulsive, violent, and deeply felt crazy quilt of power, politicians, CIA agents, crime, gangsters, thieves, art, music, DJs, and everyday life. Great for fans of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, Don Delillo's Underworld, or Garth Hallberg's City On Fire. ( )
  Chamblyman | May 20, 2018 |
I absolutely understand how this book won the Man Booker and I am amazed it has not won more awards. The storytelling craftsmanship is pristine. The characters are rich, varied and feel undoubtably authentic. The plot is so intricate and smart that as it unfolds, it's a marvel to discover. This is not an easy book- not in subject matter, not in dialect, not in plot- but it's such a powerful one. The politics, from the micro to the macro is so vast and sweeping that you feel different having read it. A masterful work and one that I will look forward to reading again. ( )
  HardcoverHearts | Mar 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
If, like James, you’re from Jamaica, then recent history might suggest a gangster chronicle, and the central plot and metaphor of his novel is an intricate set of connections between the attempted assassination of the Singer and the rise and fall of a J.L.P.-connected crime boss called Josey Wales. The man who comes to kill the Singer, icon of peace, is a gangster whose export business is not reggae but cocaine. It doesn’t matter whether this hypothesis is factually verifiable. It isn’t. What matters is whether the story is persuasive and suggestive.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, ZACHARY LAZAR (Oct 23, 2014)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marlon Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Anderson, RyanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bacquie, DwightNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boothe, CheriseNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kulick, GreggCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McClain, JonathanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monton, RamonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rivera, ThomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, SusanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Younis, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Gonna tell the truth about it,

Honey, that's the hardest part.

—Bonnie Raitt, "Tangled and Dark"

If it no go so, it go near so.

Jamaican proverb
Dedication
To Maurice James

An extraordinary gentleman in a league of his own.
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Listen.

Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159448600X, Hardcover)

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s. 

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the ‘70s, to the crack wars in ‘80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the ‘90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:22 -0400)

"From the writer of The Book of Night Women comes a novel framed as a fictional oral history that explores the events and characters surrounding the attempted assassination of Bob Marley during the political turmoil on Jamaica in the late 1970s"-- On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer's house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped, and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica's history and beyond.… (more)

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