2 October 2014
| 3.9/5 |
| October 2, 2014 (hardcover), (electronic book)|
Booker Prize, American Book Awards
Booker Prize winners, Fiction books
A Brief History of Seven Killings is the third novel by Jamaican author Marlon James. It was published by Riverhead Books. The novel spans several decades and explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in Jamaica in 1976 and its aftermath through the crack wars in New York City in the 1980s and a changed Jamaica in the 1990s.
A Brief History of Seven Killings Wikipedia
The novel has five sections, each named after a musical track and covering the events of a single day:“Original Rockers: December 2, 1976”
“Ambush in the Night: December 3, 1976”
“Shadow Dancin’: February 15, 1979”
“White Lines/Kids in America: August 14, 1985”
“Sound Boy Killing: March 22, 1991”
The first part of the novel is set in Kingston, Jamaica, in the build-up to the Smile Jamaica Concert, and describes politically motivated violence between gangs associated with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and the People's National Party (PNP), especially in the West Kingston neighborhoods of Tivoli Gardens and Mathews Lane (renamed in the novel as Copenhagen City and Eight Lanes), including involvement of the CIA in the Jamaican politics of the time. As well as Marley (who is referred to as "the Singer" throughout), other real life characters depicted or fictionalized in the book include Kingston gangsters Winston "Burry Boy" Blake and George "Feathermop" Spence, Claude Massop and Lester Lloyd Coke (Jim Brown) of the JLP and Aston Thomson (Buckie Marshall) of the PNP.
The book was awarded the 2015 Man Booker Prize. This marked the first time that a Jamaican-born author has won the prize. According to the BBC: "[Man Booker judge Michael] Wood said the judges came to a unanimous decision in less than two hours. He praised the book's 'many voices'—it contains more than 75 characters—which 'went from Jamaican slang to Biblical heights'".2014 – National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
2015 – Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction
2015 – Minnesota Book Award for Novel & Short Story
2015 – Man Booker Prize
HBO has optioned the novel and is planning a television series, with no début date yet announced.