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Archive: Other Books > A Brief History of Seven Killings-Marlon James, 4 stars

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 696 comments A Brief History of Seven Killings is the story of Jamaica in the late seventies, the politics, the gangs, drugs and violence that fills the country. "Michael Manley’s People’s National Party (PNP) and their conservative opposition, the Jamaican Labour Party (JLP). How the US, fearing another communist republic in the Caribbean, sent in the CIA to infiltrate and influence events. How attacks by the rival factions worsened, and the police cracked down with draconian force. More than 800 people were killed – cops, innocents and those on both sides of the conflict." from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/bo.... During this time, Bob Marley performed a peace concert. He was shot and wounded while there in an attempt on his life.

This story by Jamaican author, Marlon James, covers this time in history and the characters make this very real, violent and the rough language fits the story. I listened to the audio book which was so well done, each character is well developed and the audio brings this out but especially the various Jamaican accents tell this story and bring it alive. The above article references James Ellroy, American crime writer, as an influence on the author. When there isn't a lot of violence, there is a lot of sexual language and acts in this novel. The author, who is gay, wanted this novel to have gay characters, in his words, "... it was very important to me that there were gay characters in the book – to reflect the gayness and hypocrisy in Jamaica.”

All that to say, I can understand why this would win the Booker. It was well done but reader be forewarned, you'll have a lot of violent, vulgar language swimming around in your head after immersing yourself in this very violent book.


message 2: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1476 comments Glad you could appreciate it, I loved it but it was indeed quite harsh.


message 3: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5499 comments Foul language and violence never bother me, so I think I should read this.


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