Marlon James has become the first Jamaican author to win the coveted Man Booker Prize with his incredible novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, a masterfully written novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.
James says ‘The Booker is that thing you hear about, and it just shapes your writing. This is so surreal. I feel like I’m going to wake up or fall into a barrage of tears.’
The novel begins in 1976 as seven men storm Bob Marley’s house with machine guns blazing. The reggae superstar survives, but leaves Jamaica the following day, not to return for two years.
Inspired by this near-mythic event, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards’ drug dealer.
Marlon James’s dazzling novel is a tour de force. It traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined – and questions asked – in a masterpiece of imagination.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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