Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer” as Want to Read:
The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trenchtown R&B crooners swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers—one of the most influential groups in popular music. Colin Grant presents a lively history of this remarkable band from their upbringing in the brutal slums of Kingston to their first rec ...more
Hardcover, 305 pages
Published June 20th 2011 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 27th 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Natural Mystics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Natural Mystics

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 157)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 01, 2012 Racheal rated it it was ok
While I think it's relevant to discuss the political and economic climate the Wailers were living in and how it shaped their personalities and their music, hardly any of this book was about the musicians themselves. His efforts to combine his vast knowledge of Jamaica's history with what little he knew about the band's history into one cohesive book was clumsy and made it hard to follow.
Jun 30, 2011 Mark marked it as to-read
Shelves: music
I just found out about this book. And then I found a used copy! I am so looking forward to reading it.
John Gribbin
Aug 01, 2016 John Gribbin rated it liked it
I bought the book to learn more about the Wailers, and ended up learning about Jamaica. This was unexpected, because of the depth of the social history, but thoroughly fascinating. I would, though, have liked more about the Wailers themselves, in particular their recordings. There isn't even a discography, which would have been particularly useful given the confusing nature of their early dealings with the corrupt Jamaican record "industry". But still a great read, just not quite what it says on ...more
George Roper
Aug 05, 2016 George Roper rated it liked it
I read Grant's superb "Negro with a Hat" a few years ago, therefore, when I stumbled upon this book and saw that it was by the same author I unhesitatingly made the purchase. "Negro with a Hat" was well researched and written with great sensitivity about a truly global icon - Marcus Garvey. Grant's "The Natural Mystics" is (i) part history (largely of mid-20th century Jamaica), (ii) part character study (of the three protagonists and key figures in their personal, religious and professional live ...more
Aug 23, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Saw this "by accident" in the library and it jumped all the books in my reading queue. Quite interesting idea, part history of Jamaica, part travelogue, part biography, part meditation on friendship and what it means to be a black man. Prose is good, he keeps it fairly linear so we can follow his points. the opening chapter is well chosen to draw us into the story of how Jamaica has changed since the Wailers were started. Can't put it down so far...

Really enjoyed this book. The only thing I can
Aug 07, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it
This is a compelling triple biography of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Livingston-Wailer; plus a fascinating look into the culture of the Island nation of Jamaica, and its political history.

I only knew of the Wailers through their music - I was introduced to Reggae with Jimmy Cliff's movie 'The Harder They Come' in the early 70's and have loved reggae ever since. I learned from reading this historic account that the music I love is the 'acceptable', perhaps 'whitewashed' version of reggae.

Marika Alexander
Nov 05, 2013 Marika Alexander rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting triple biography about the backgrounds of the three men who would come to be called the Wailers. And the conditions in Jamaica that led to their band, as well as how they have impacted the island and put it on the map. Truly, the Kings of Reggae! It's an easy and interesting read; my one complaint is there are a lot of analogies. Things like comparing the crime in Trench Town to pimples on a teenager's face. Other than that, it was a highly enjoyable read that gave me ...more
Laura Wood
Nov 28, 2011 Laura Wood rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of Marley, Tosh, and Wailer, while jumping around through 300 years of Jamaican history. It was a fascinating read, although sometimes it was a little confusing to keep the cast of characters straight. (Warning: I've been humming Redemption Song to myself for DAYS!)
Gary Lewis
Sep 11, 2012 Gary Lewis rated it it was amazing
One of the more comprehensive books written on Marley. Well researched with some interesting anecdotes about the great man and other influential people who made reggae great,
Barack Opiyo
Barack Opiyo marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2016
Aneeqa marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2016
Angel marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2016
Haydn Barlow
Haydn Barlow marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2016
Bethany Crouch
Bethany Crouch marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2016
Ben marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
johnny thompson
johnny thompson marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Hazel Field
Hazel Field marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
Gabriel rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2016
Katie marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2016
Guipaca marked it as to-read
Jun 15, 2016
d a williams
d a williams marked it as to-read
May 27, 2016
Kazio Staszewski
Kazio Staszewski marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2016
Amandii Serrano
Amandii Serrano marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Brian marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2016
Matthew Tannin
Matthew Tannin rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The author of Negro with a Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey, Colin Grant is an independent historian who works for BBC Radio. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he lives in London.
More about Colin Grant...

Share This Book