A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Read in Feb 2015  4.5 stars.  The more I think about this book, the more I like it.

This story is about the assassination attempt on Bob Marley and his family in December 1976 and then subsequent decades leading up to 1991. Its told in multiple view points, varying from Copenhagen City gang don, to his lackeys to American CIA agents to a young girl living in Kingston at the time. I thought that telling the story through the multiple views was very effective and added a lot of tension and intrigue.

At times it was funny, sad, violent, terrifying, and everything in between. The characters were richly drawn out and felt like real people – flawed but fascinating.

The only reason I didn’t give the book five stars was because there was a bit of a slow period in the middle that didn’t feel as tightly narrated as the rest of the book. It felt a bit sluggish compared to the rest.

I’m not at all surprised that this book is getting a lot of literary attention now that I’ve read it. It is much deserved.

Newly added note: HUGE Congrats to Marlon James for the Man Booker nod.  I hope it gets shortlisted in September and it is currently my fave contender to win.  I was so pleased when this book got nominated.  In my opinion, it got ROBBED of the Pulitzer.

I am also obsessed with the beautiful yellow cover.


2 thoughts on “A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

    1. I really enjoyed it. It’s a pretty long book (over 700 pages) and much of it is told in Jamaican patois, so I’d recommend reading it when you can spend some time on it. It’s a very rewarding read, especially Book 1/Part 1.

      Liked by 1 person

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