A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel

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A Brief History of Seven Killings is a fictional account of the cataclysmic 1976 attempted assassination of Bob Marley and its tumultuous aftermath. But don’t let this launching point fool you—this novel isn’t about Bob Marley, referred to throughout the book only as “the Singer,” a man grown too big to be referred to by name.

This is the story of the city of Kingston, Jamaica, told by those raised in its ghettos, fixing its elections, or reporting on the mess. The failed assassination launches crime boss Josey Wales, whose rise and fall spans decades. James stays steady in his intimate examination of a rotating cast, including CIA operatives, a Rolling Stone reporter gone rogue, and a self-loathing gay hitman with horrible luck.

Written in a stream-of-consciousness style, often in Jamaican patois, this is a highly readable literary work. It reads gritty, ugly, and angry in every way a novel about a country at war should. It’s also darkly hilarious. Regularly named one of the top books of 2014, A Brief History of Seven Killings will take you to a Kingston you never wanted to see but can’t turn away from. Compelling, disturbing, painful, brilliant.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 704 pages
Publisher Riverhead Hardcover
Publish Date 2014-Oct-02
ISBN 9781594486005
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category Modern Literature


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