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*WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2015*
Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley’s house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.
From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – slum kids, drug lords, journalists, prostitutes, gunmen and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.
‘Vast and vastly ambitious... much to admire...fascinating...the author's imaginative and stylistic range are impressive.’ Sunday Times
‘It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come” but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja. It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting – a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.’ Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
‘Marlon James’s writing can be at once punchy and lyrical; can alternate strange, dreamy poetry with visceral action; and can bring persuasive life to a kaleidoscopic range of characters. His gifts are expansive…Extraordinary...a writer whose importance can scarcely be questioned.’ Independent
‘A vivid novel that deserves all the praise it has received.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘This seething, hot, violent, action-packed novel is enormous in every sense…the ambition is huge, but [James] pulls it off with huge style, confidence, imagination and wit...Extraordinary.’ The Times
‘When reading reviews of The Book of Night Women, James apparently became bored with comparisons to Toni Morrison; and with A Brief History, he’s got bored with comparisons to Quentin Tarantino. But it is hard not to see the strength of that comparison. This is a novel that explores the aesthetics of cacophony and also the aesthetics of violence.’ Guardian
‘James has triumphed in capturing the tension, the politics, the heat, chaos, beauty and music of Jamaica.’ Financial Times
‘A vivid plunge into a crazed, violent and corrupt world, told through multiple narrators and executed with swaggering aplomb…the most original novel I’ve read in years.’ Irvine Welsh
‘With comparisons to the works of David Foster Wallace and Quentin Tarantino, James has garnered the highest of contemporary praise.’ Wired
‘Breaks new ground…a very fluid and superbly controlled work.’ Spectator
‘Manages consistently to shock and mesmerise at the same time…Best of all is the dialogue …its musicality is tinged with menace…this tale of a country and its people ravaged and transformed by tragedy packs quite a punch.’ The Economist
‘A prismatic story of gang violence and Cold War politics in a turbulent post-independence Jamaica.’ The New Yorker
‘A Brief History of Seven Killings is a masterpiece.’ Chris Salewicz
‘This novel cracks open a world that needs to be known. It's scary and lyrically beautiful – you'll want to read whole pages aloud to strangers.’ Russell Banks
‘Marlon James has done a hard thing. He's taken a complex, myth-like chapter in the story of an international legend, and given it new life...Poetic, vivid, this is a deeply entertaining read.’ ShortList
‘An excellent new work of historical fiction…part crime thriller, part oral history, part stream-of-consciousness monologue.’ Rolling Stone
‘Thrilling, ambitious…Both intense and epic.’ Los Angeles Times
‘A tour de force…an audacious, demanding, inventive literary work.’ Wall Street Journal, Best Books of 2014
‘Epic, immersive, acutely observed and deeply moving, it’s worth every long hour it demands of the reader…James’s meticulous characterization makes his writing exceptionally vivid and compelling …a brilliant, heartbreaking and searing [novel] that will burrow its way deep into the reader’s soul.’ Huffington Post, Best Books of 2014
‘James’s sprawling, daunting, messy effort is a great – if grim – success…Brilliant.’ New Statesman
‘This is the go-for-broke BIG BOOK of the year, a vast, challenging kaleidoscopic historical novel, as told from the edges of history. Hilary Mantel would approve.’ Chicago Tribune
‘The hottest name in Caribbean literature right now.’ GQ, Best Books of 2014
‘It may sound daunting, but the way James uses language is amazing … Vigorous, intricate and captivating, A Brief History of Seven Killings is hard to put down. Book clubs come running.’ Ebony
‘This compelling, not-so-brief history brings off a social portrait worthy of Diego Rivera, antic and engagé, a fascinating tangle of the naked and the dead.’ Washington Post, Best Books of 2014
‘James has written a dangerous book, one full of lore and whispers and history … a great book.’ Boston Globe, Best Books of 2014
‘An exuberant, Balzacian novel by a self-described ‘post-post colonialist’ writer who is at ease with several canons, traditions and dialects. You’ll also find a political novel on the level of Don DeLillo. It’s the rare ‘revelation’ that will easily outlive its hype-cycle.’ Flavorwire
‘Nothing short of awe-inspiring.’ Entertainment Weekly
‘This novel should be required reading.’ Publishers Weekly, Best Books of 2014
‘[A] magisterial, viscerally lyric epic…The sharp-edged pleasures of this book come from its protean, potent language. Each of James’s characters speaks in a distinct (though sometimes shifting) voice and dialect…[like] reading a pulp fiction version of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.’ Barnes & Noble Review
‘A brilliant novel, highly recommended; one of those big, rich, magisterial works that lets us into a world we really don’t know.’ Library Journal
From the Inside Flap
Seven gunmen storm Bob Marley's house, machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but the gunmen are never caught.
From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a dazzling display of masterful storytelling exploring this near-mythic event. Spanning three decades and crossing continents, A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters - slum kids, one-night stands, drug lords, girlfriends, gunmen, journalists, and even the CIA. Gripping and inventive, ambitious and mesmerising, A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most remarkable and extraordinary novels of the twenty-first century.
MARLON JAMES was born in Jamaica. He is the author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld 2014), which also won the American Book Award and the Anisfield-Wolf Fiction Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and featured in over twenty best books of the year lists. His debut novel, John Crow’s Devil (Oneworld, 2015), was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and his second novel, The Book of Night Women (Oneworld, 2009), won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches at Macalester College, Minnesota, USA.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #2468 in Books
- Published on: 2015-06-04
- Released on: 2015-06-04
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 3
- Dimensions: 7.80" h x 1.18" w x 5.08" l, 1.30 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 688 pages