A Brief History of Seven Killings On December just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his

  • Title: A Brief History of Seven Killings
  • Author: Marlon James
  • ISBN: 9781780745879
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didn t return for two years Not a lot wOn 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didn t return for two years Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston, with information surfacing at odd times, only to sink into rumour and misinformation.Inspired by this near mythic event, A Brief History of Seven Killings takes the form of an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards drug dealer Marlon James s bold undertaking traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined and questions asked in this compelling novel of monumental scope and ambition.

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    One thought on “A Brief History of Seven Killings”

    1. congratulations and ADORABLE!!this book is a little challenging at the outset, but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded like a motherfucker. (note: if that word upsets you, this book is not for you)it's not the length that is challenging, although 700 pages is a nice chunky brick of a book, and it's not the dialect, unless this is your first exposure to patois. even then, this is a multi-voiced novel, with several characters who are not jamaican, so unlike The Book of Night Women, there ar [...]

    2. When I open a book and see a lengthy character list I know I'm in for a wild ride. 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 books of this decade so far. James weaves a Dickensian plot around Jamaican history and culture. The entire plot is based on the events surrounding the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in 1976. It's a fictionalised history of Jamaica from the 1970s through [...]

    3. I've finished the book at last. It is an incredibly long listen. You become involved in the stories of these Jamaicans, Cubans and Americans, dead and alive all acted out in the narration by actors who feel their parts. It is sheer genius and so I'm immediately reading the paperback. Once I've finished it, I'll review the book properly. Suffice it to say that it didn't resonate with me as The Book of Night Women did. It did take me, though, into a parallel universe that I have never experienced [...]

    4. Update I've just watched Autopsy: Bob Marley. Watching the true story of the politics and events surrounding the attempted assassination on Bob Marley involving the CIA, made this book, even in retrospect, really come alive. The spin the author put on it, was the same conclusion as the documentary, although they were very circumspect about putting it. It doesn't matter whether you read the book or see the programme first, each adds to the other. ______________I don't know how to review this book [...]

    5. Marlon James takes us through an insanely violent roller coaster ride where various actors in the drama surrounding the house invasion and assassination attempt on Reggae Uberstar Bob Marley's Kingston, Jamaica house in December 1976 tell the story in a series of Faulkneresque first person dialogs. How much of this is factual, I do not know, but based on the fact that James had a team of researchers and took four years to write the novel as well as the fact that the story does seem plausible if [...]

    6. Update 2: I found a BBC documentary about Marlon James, his work and his life, called Imagine. The link where you can see the film is: youtube/watch?v=Qj10m Update: Apparently there is going to be a TV series on HBO based on the book. It is going to be interesting. Can't wait to actually hear the patois!!4.5* I have to subtract half a star because I almost quit at page 400. It got boring at that point but I am very glad I stuck with it. Although there were times when I was counting how much more [...]

    7. I’ve been reading this book for an entire year, and it’s not been easy. At times I wanted to pull my hair out and scream, at times I wanted to throw the thing at the wall and be done with it, but I persisted. I made myself get to the end, and whilst I can say that I didn’t entirely enjoy the experience, I do appreciate James’ narrative style. His deft manipulation of language is clearly the success of his storytelling. The way he writes reflects his characters. This may sound like a simp [...]

    8. A Brief History of Seven Killings should not be evaluated based on its supposed brevity, nor on the amount of killings featured in the book. The title could be the source of misguided expectations in this regard, as it is being overly modest on both counts. But if you're expecting a clever, fast, insightful, colourful and authentic novel, you won't be disappointed.My first instinct when I see a book that has won a prize (in this case the Man Booker) is to have zero expectations of it. Even less. [...]

    9. Rating this book is a little difficult. I think I’m going to go with five stars, because it is quite amazing. There are a few small problems with the book, but they are the kind of problems that come from trying to be too ambitious, so it’s not perfect but it is great. An ambition is a good thing to have.Karen mentioned this in her review, and an unnamed person from disagreed with her in person, but I think he’s wrong. A Brief History of Seven Killings is a historical novel right out of t [...]

    10. Audiobook.d physical book.The story begins before the election the 1976 election. Thankfully Paul, my husband, listened to the first half of this book 'with' me. It was supportive to have conversations together.Fact-based story/Jamaica/KingstonCrime, politics, graphic violence, ( including rape), graphic sex, hard core criminals, Gangbangers, CIA agent, Rolling Stones, Teen- boy with his first gun, drug trafficking, more violence, more killing from 1976 1991. Characters we get to know at the beg [...]

    11. Meh still alive, y'hear? Dem try an' try hard teh bus' me up, eh. Rahtid Papa-lo, Pavarotti, Weeper, an' Josey Wales wit him gang, what him say it name, Storm Posse? shadow dancin' on meh like dem is Duppy Conqueror or somet'ing. Nasty political JLP and PNP crammin' dey rassclat dicks up meh pom pom an' use me hard like some cokehead prostitute dey plant at de street corner, even dey bloodclat corrupt police make papapapapapa! across meh heart wit what you call it? dam AK-47 shit dey ship out he [...]

    12. Absorbing, Brutal, Brilliant Novel about Jamaican Drug Gangs and Bob MarleyMarlon James, born in Kingston, Jamaica, is a very gifted writer. And obviously, he can write about Jamaica with authority, as well as about Jamaicans in New York City.So this is a pretty amazing book. It's really well written and packed with action and surprises.But be forewarned. It's not for the faint of heart. There's a lot of violence, which escalates in brutality towards the end. (I was able to deal with it, because [...]

    13. "God puts earth far away from heaven because even he can't stand the smell of dead flesh. Death is not a soul catcher or a spirit, it's a wind with no warmth, a crawling sickness." -- Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven KillingsFirst, it is hard to push all that is into this novel into a bottle. So, I'll just say it felt like some weird hybrid of (here is my brief history of seven fathers/mothers): James Ellroy (think Jamaican Tabloid), Don DeLillo (think Libra), Zadie Smith (think Shiny Teet [...]

    14. I remember school days painfully toiling over my Latin translations and it all came back to haunt me with this!Crikey, chinas! Thought I'd need the ambo! I was a cot case. At first I thought, she'll be apples. I'll give it a burl!! But then I realised my noggin was cactus! I was cheesed off and about to do my lolly. Fair crack of the whip! I had buckleys of sussing out the lingo! Thought I was a drongo! A no-hoper! But stone the crows!!! This was a stinker for me as a reader! A write off!Seeing [...]

    15. What is it with 2015 and genuinely interesting authors winning awards this year? Svetlana Alexievich earned her Nobel, and Marlon James claimed his Man Booker. youtube/watch?v=sjUGXSo what can I say about A Brief History of Seven Killings that isn't already in other reviews or the back blurb? This is above all a book with multiple voices, one which skips fluently from Jamaican patois to African-American vernacular c. 1980-1990 and a few Middle Americans trying to grapple with the former two. I w [...]

    16. [4.5 Stars]I’d taken off on the odd run over the years, but it wasn’t until this January that I started to take it seriously. A friend mentioned a 10km race along the water in early May. It’s funny how a simple deadline is enough to inspire, but with a race on the horizon, I began my training program. One thing I’d never quite wrapped my head around was the driving force behind those humans that ran extremely long distances. Surely no razor-tooth beast chased them. How did they motivate [...]

    17. First, let’s pause and pay homage to the genius of a novel well written.Because make no mistake about it: Marlon James has infused sheer genius into this masterwork. Throughout these pages, he is, simultaneously, a lyricist, a historian, a dialect master, a craftsman, and a ventriloquist. In a series of first-person narrations, he channels gang members, informers, drug dealers, CIA agents, a Rolling Stone reporter and even a particularly insightful ghost. Lurking on the periphery is also a fin [...]

    18. As I write this review I listen to Bob Marley, ahhh reggae. “Because every man who fight monster become a monster too ”What a misleading title: it is neither brief, nor are there only seven killings. It should be called “A Long-ass History of a Ton of Murders”A novel that spans decades and characters, from 1976 and the assassination of the Singer(Bob Marley) to to crack wars in the 80′s and the politics of the 90′s. It tells the story of the assassins, drug dealers, ghosts during the [...]

    19. Me Bredren, a Lectrifyin' Novel bout Jamaican MobSuch a riveting novel -- the best novel I can recall focused on organized crime, and maybe the best ever mob-centered novel in terms of literary structure and scope. It's destined to make all the lists for best books of this decade, already garnering author Marlon James the 2015 Man Booker Prize.I cannot remember a novel published in the past two decades that is so searing in its combination of unique voice, intriguing characters and captivating s [...]

    20. (3.5) James, the son of Jamaican police officers, has spoken of his intention to write about violence in such a way that it is shocking every time, and he certainly succeeds here. This is an edgy, worthwhile Booker pick, but not for the faint-hearted. For the most part, James alternates patois and standard speech, but nearly every section is packed with local slang and expletives. Whether in monologue or dialogue, the many voices form a captivating chorus. One stand-out perspective is Bam-Bam’ [...]

    21. *2015 Update: Earlier in the year I read Marlon James's first novel, John Crow's Devil, and really enjoyed it. So I think I'm going to try a reread of this book sometime in 2015.* Original review below:"Dead people never stop talking and sometimes the living hear."I'm really torn with this one. I feel like I should possibly try reading it again. The book is a big sprawling epic that explores a huge colorful cast of fictional characters, all linked to the aftermath of the true life 1976 assassina [...]

    22. Marlon James' third novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is set in a Jamaica that lies exposed like a dead badger at the roadside with all its glistening innards hanging out, being picked at by carrion birds. I mean this in a good way, you understand. James writes like he's painting the Sistine Chapel with words. I've never been to Jamaica but after reading this book the place lives and breathes inside my mind nonetheless. When the focus shifts to the US in the second half of the book, thou [...]

    23. What a book. Almost a year after it won the Booker and The Green Carnation Prize, which I founded, and I have finally read it. It's not been an easy read, it's not been a pleasant read but it's a fantastic read. Gritty, violent, thought provoking, confronting and a real challenge but I've come away from it feeling as enriched and shocked as I have put through the ringer. I need more time with my thoughts.

    24. Reader Response A: Hey, waiter! What the hell gives, mac? There's a goddamned experimental novel in my crime novel! You expect me to read this shit?Reader Response B: S'il vous plaît, monsieur? Terribly sorry to be a bother, but there must have been some confusion with my order. You see, there seems to be a crime novel in my experimental novel. I'm afraid I don't have quite the palate for such things.

    25. This book is not brief; it has many more than seven killings; it redefines what a novel is. As a reader I was gratified to read in the Acknowledgements that James himself didn’t know this was a novel, either, until someone pointed to possible parallels for the style in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. James drew inspiration from Roberto Bolaño, Orhan Pamuk, Salman Rushdie, and Gay Talese among others, and the work is staggering in sheer inventiveness. The storyline is anything but simple, told fr [...]

    26. This book is probably not for you. I know that seems an odd way to begin a book review, especially a book that you’ve given 4 stars. But allow me to explain.A Brief History of Seven Killings is hard work….unless you are Jamaican or a Jamaican history scholar, unless you are familiar with drug culture and the workings of the CIA. Or unless you are like me, a person who loves politics and foreign cultures, who doesn’t have delicate sensibilities and who doesn’t mind doing some research to [...]

    27. Can you dig it, dingledoodies?Futile to say that this is not for the faint of heart, as they would never get past the four page cast of characters, past the opening chapter written by a dead man, his head a smashed pumpkin and two arms bent in a way that arms aren't supposed to bend, past the screams and the blood and the vomit, the dirt rising in a flood then back down like a reflux, past the first chapter in Bam-Bam's voice, gut-wrenching, harrowing: you want change? We will have to wait and s [...]

    28. Honestly, I don't really know how to rate this one. It's technically brilliant, weaving together disparate voices into a unified story across multiple decades. The subject matter is brilliantly researched. James's use of Jamaican patois in a prize-winning literary novel is incredibly important. But, I just kept bouncing off this book. The violence of the first half is indelible and unrelenting (as intended) and, for me, made it an incredibly difficult read. The characters tend to be profoundly d [...]

    29. ”Breve História de Sete Assassinatos” - recebeu o Man Booker Prize for Fiction em 2015 - é o terceiro romance de Marlon James um escritor que nasceu em 1970 em Kingston, na Jamaica. A premissa de ”Breve História de Sete Assassinatos” é avassaladora: a 3 de Dezembro de 1976, o cantor jamaicano Bob Marley sobreviveu a um ataque perpetrado por sete homens armados que invadiram a sua casa em Hope Road, em Kingston, Jamaica, acabando ferido sem gravidade no peito e num braço. Dois dias d [...]

    30. I should have hated this book. When I picked it up, I saw the quote from The New York Times's review comparing it to a Quentin Tarantino film. I hate Tarantino. I have tried several times to get into his movies, but I have yet to be able to watch one the whole way through. When another student saw me reading it between classes, he mentioned how much he liked it and compared it to Palahniuk. I hate Palahniuk. I have tried Invisible Monsters and one of his short stories, both of which seemed fratb [...]

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