A Brief History of Seven Killings

3.71
WINNERS OF THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FOR FICTION From the acclaimed uthor of The Autobiography of Night Women comes a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the mi 1920s.

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 stepdaughter, 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 mont, not to return for two decade.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a ide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug ealers, 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 treets 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 novella is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James ’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.
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Year of the Publication
Publication Date
Published October 2nd 2014 by Riverhead Books
Original Title of the Book
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Number of Pages
688

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gave it

This impressive list is presented for later reference in the mid of the autobiography, which is very ractical.

This big list might seem daunting, but there is othing to worry about, all the haracters, especially the main ones who get their own voice as a arrator, are colourful enough and very uniqu, in order to avoid any confusion.

In the highschool cafetaria they 'd all be sitting at the cool table, even though some hate each other.My favorite character in the ook is Josey Wales.

You really " live " these peoples' lives, you even live their deaths in some instance, the immersion is complete.- Dialogues: The second similarity with Quentin Tarantino 's work: all the haracters are upfront, witty and can always fit in a clever retort.

Marlon James actually warns his mother not to read that ourth chapter.

- Jamaican Patois: The star of the memoi.

I have found a review of someone who can do it very well ( do n't know her cultural background), but if you want an idea of what it sounds like, check out this review by Nicole: Jamaican Patois in action.Remember the violence so brutal and the lovin' so sweet it will make you diabetic just reading about it?

The Jamaican Patois is the identity of this ook, translating it into anything else would be equal to killing that identity.

It 's the story " about the people around him, the ones that come and go that might actually provide a bigger picture than asking the Singer why he smokes ganja ".

The central question: " Who will finish on top? " Everyone is striving for that top in their own pat, by killing, seducing, negotiating, working until they realize that the " on top " usually means " on top of a pile of corpses " and they try to change directions, turning it all into a question of survival.

This tal is about that, but also the little things, like a bad marriage ( somehow I got the impression Marlon James does n't really like white women by the way), kids not being willin to sleep at night or a jealous sister nagging on the phone.I 've upgraded my initial 4-star rating to 5 upon writing this review, realizing there are n't any weaknesses worth that name.

The one thing that almost prevented me from putting this one on my favourites shelf is that sometimes the book made me work a bit too hard.

I get that Marlon James put a lot of work in this, and I got the distinct feeling he wanted to make his reader put in the little extra effort too once in a while.

When he explained the word " duppy " on page 526 ( more or less) when having used it 77 times ( more or less) earlier in the books, I was convinced that Marlon was having a laugh at my expense.

Now, you know as a reader that this is a reference to something earlier, an inside joke, because " Ma Baker " had been mentioned before, way way earlier in the bestselling.

And I could n't find it again either, because with all these narratives intertwining, finding it would simply mean re-reading the book.

The explanation for this is that whenever Marlon James chose to use this writing method, it was always when a character was either on a drug trip or in a panicky state.

gave it

Fourt of all, half of its 683 pages are written in patois, the Jamaican dialect which at the beginning it is quite ifficult to grasp.

Then the flow goes all over the place which makes the book damn beautiful and hard in the same time.

The book tries to picture three decades of the jamaican experience which include government conspiracies, gang movements, CIA involvement in the country.

The irst two parts take place around the 1976assassination attempt of Bob Marley ( called the ” Singer ”) and the evolution of Jamaican criminality/politics in time until 1991.

Although the novel is about politics, CIA, murder, drugs it is not very far paced until the last 250 pages which fly easily.

Do not read this nove if you do not like violence and cuss words as it is full of both.

gave it

Watching the true tory of the politica and events surrounding the attempted assassination on Bob Marley involving the IA, made this book, even in retrospect, really come alive.

It is the writing which soars brilliantly above all the five star books I 've read this year except for The ook of Night Women, also by Marlon James.

Where it differs from all the ther boo is that Marlon James knows what goes on in a oman 's head.

And the hope is that you want to know more and would like to urge the author to write another book about ...

I 'm probably more familiar with Jamaican accents and language than most and even I found the words flowed better listened to.If he keeps this up, he 's going to be Jamaica 's first Nobel Prize winner for Literature.___________Important note on background to the novel which might help you to enjoy it even more than you probably would anyway.

( view spoiler) [ If you are thinking of reading this books, or have read it and would like to know about the people and the events the book is based on, then read this from the London Review of Books, Goings on in the Tivoli Gardens.

gave it

However Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings is more than just a wild ride, it 's a brutal masterpiece that deserves its place as one of the best ooks of this decade so far.

Oliver weaves a Dickensian plot around Jamaican history and culture.

While this is essentially a very different novel it still harks back to and is possibly in the same league as these literary greats.A Brief History of Seven Killings is never an easy read.

A Brief History of Seven Killings is a great book.

gave it

( note: if that word upsets you, this novel is not for you) it 's not the length that is challenging, although 700 pages is a nice chunky brick of a memoi, and it 's not the dialect, unless this is your first exposure to patois.

but the first chapter is narrated by a ghost for goodness' sake, and then goes right into the voice of a thirty ear old jamaican boy witnessing extreme violence and mentioning characters named, among others, " shotta sherrif, " " josey wales, " and " doctor love, " before the next chapter swerves you into the tory of a middle-aged white american man in a fast food restaurant in jamaica and by now your head is spinning with " what have i gotten myself into??? " but stick with it, because it will all come together beautifully.

before i read this essa, i did n't know nothing about the socia and social climate of jamaica in the 70 's.

and while i have, surprisingly, never read james ellroy, i feel like his fans would really enjoy this ook, because it does what i understand ellroy to also be doing: juxtaposing small ( er) scale crime stories against global politics and the treatment of smaller countries like petting zoos or chessboards.

gave it

Audiobook ... ..and physical book ... .The story begins before the election the 1976 election.

After listening to the audio first ... .. ( I got the physical ook to help me with the follow along with the audiobook.

By listening to the audiobook, experiences of the graphic violence felt frightening.

Know ... this is an extremely graphic book filled violence and hatred.

gave it

It 's very strange to read a really fantasti book with writing beyond anything you could imagine.

And then it gets better.______When I read The ook of Night Women in early February, I confidently forecast it would be the best books I read that year.

It 's acted not narrated and if there were Oscars for audio books, this one would win it.

I am rationing myself, I do n't want this to end too soon ... btw The reason I do updates in the review box is because regular updates do n't save and I want to be eage to reread one day how I experienced the book as I read it, not just with hindsight._______Previous update ( view spoiler) [ I want to tell something to get the audio book just to listen to this oman 's stream-of-consciousness monologue.

( hide spoiler) ] _______Change from hardback to audio ( view spoiler) [ I started to read the books and also listen to the ook.

I think I will probably both listen and read it.

I found it best to just enjoy listening to the excellent narration/read the dialogue and then the story begins to wash over you slowly, like the tide coming, until you are immersed in it.

( view spoiler) [ I wonder if this can live up to the outstanding The Book of Night Women?

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