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A Brief History of Seven Killings (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

I have been waiting eight long and terrible years for a novel to be as good as the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. The wait is over. I know I'm a little late to the party (A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker prize in October), but I would be neglecting my duties as a human being and rabid lover of Postcolonial literature if I allowed you to walk past this book without figuratively grabbing you by the coat collar and screaming READ ME READ ME in trite but completely justified capital letters. An anecdote about how good it is: We here at Changing Hands have been tasked with writing a review of our single favorite book of 2015, and I had one all ready to go to print. Now I have to delete it and start over because it would have been a lie. In actuality, it took until December 12th for me (unwittingly) even to start the best book I'd read all year, and I read the giant, wonderful, fascinating, historical, multilingual, murderous brick of a novel in thirty sleepless, frantic, more-coffee-in-my-veins-than-blood days and nights. A Brief History of Seven Killings. I can't say any more about it that it doesn't say for itself. Except one more thing: much like the still-living characters in the book can't, once you've finished A Brief History of Seven Killings, you'll never forget the name Josey Wales.



Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

A recipient of the 2015 American Book Award

One of the Top 10 Books of 2014 - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Named a best book of the year by:
The New York Times
Chicago Tribune
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
The Huffington Post
The Seattle Times
The Houston Chronicle
Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
BuzzFeed Books
Kansas City Star
L Magazine

A "thrilling, ambitious . . . intense" (Los Angeles Times) novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines masterful storytelling with his unrivaled skill at characterization and his meticulous eye for detail to forge a novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

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 unnamed 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 rumors abounded regarding the assassins' fates. A Brief History of Seven Killings is James's fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica's history and beyond. Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters--assassins, drug dealers, journalists, and even ghosts--James brings to life the people who walked the streets of 1970s Kingston, who dominated the crack houses of 1980s New York, and who reemerged into a radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Brilliantly inventive, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an "exhilarating" (The New York Times) epic that's been called "a tour de force" (The Wall Street Journal).

About the Author

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow's Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was a New York Times Editors' Choice. James lives in Minneapolis.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781594633942
ISBN-10: 1594633940
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: September 8th, 2015
Pages: 704
Language: English
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