A Brief History of Seven Killings (CD-Audio)

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Staff Reviews

This novel gripped me from the very beginning. Chaos, drugs, and gang violence rule this depiction of Jamaica in the 70's, with little room to breathe. It's narrated by dozens of different characters, each with their own unique voice (a similar narrative style to Savage Detectives, one of my favorite books), many speaking in various degrees of Jamaican Patois. It has an epic feel to it as well, with violence reaching monumental crescendos and falling away through the decades in which the novel takes place, as the characters struggle for survival both inside and out. It's certainly a side of Jamaica most have never realized existed.

— ben


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 1970s, to the crack wars in 1980s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the 1990s. 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.

About the Author

MARLON JAMES was born in Jamaica. He is the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He teaches at Macalester College.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781622315376
ISBN-10: 1622315375
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication Date: October 15th, 2014
Pages: 1560
Language: English