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A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon…
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A Brief History of Seven Killings (2014)

by Marlon James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,572737,147 (3.87)292
  1. 10
    Born Fi' Dead: A Journey Through The Jamaican Posse Underworld by Laurie Gunst (brianjungwi)
  2. 00
    Caribbean by James A. Michener (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: A tolerably good overview of Caribbean history (including Jamaica), dressed as historical fiction.
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» See also 292 mentions

English (76)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
2018 Read Harder #9 - Read a book of colonial or postcolonial literature
  Muhrrynn | Jul 11, 2019 |
Reading this book is a chore. I can appreciate what Marlon has done but I didn't enjoy reading it. Only made it 30 percent through. ( )
  ghefferon | Apr 24, 2019 |
Wow. As dense a book as I've read in a good while. Thoroughly satisfying. The blurb mentions Tarantino and DFW but I was more reminded of Ellroy via Mailer's Harlot's Ghost. I'll need some recovery time as well as an extended visit to Wikipedia to sort out fact from fiction. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
After closing the book I'm feeling 4 stars, but I know that looking back it will rise to 5, so why wait. This is a brutal book about a brutal lives, made ultra readable and compelling thanks to a large cast of fascinating characters, much wit, and James' astounding ability to juggle a thousand plot points and weave them together in a way that keeps everything clear and moving along. Chapters are mostly very short, and narrated by a handful of major characters - you get to know each of them not only through their own thoughts, but through what the other characters think about them. Sometimes the reader knows more than the characters, and sometimes they know more and spring some surprises on you. The first fifteen or so pages give you a heavy dose of the brutality you are in for, so you'll know fast whether you are up for it. A lot of the book is written in Jamaican patois, but once I got the rhythm of it, the book read really quickly. I listened to some of it on audio and it was fine, but it's a slow way to get through a long book. I rarely read a book this long without thinking it would have been better if it was shorter, but I don't feel that way about this one. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
James book is a dense novel told in a plethora of voices and from a similar number of perspectives. I have no idea how truly he reflects Jamaica here, but he has certainly created a fully inhabited, complex country with that name, a place that might well be a point to point analog of the "real" Jamaica. James' country is real, as are his characters. This is a masterwork, much of it written in Jamaican slang but one can pick up the rhythm of the language and meaning of unfamiliar words quickly as one reads. ( )
  nmele | Feb 24, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (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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