A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James – Audio Book Review

This book follows a series of characters over many years, starting in the seventies around the time of the freedom concerts in Kingston, Jamaica and the time of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, and through to the early nineties in the US. There is gang violence in Jamaica, drug dealing in the US, the dodgy US policies in Jamaica and Cuba with CIA and other involvement, there is love and lust and anger and release. It was wonderful to listen to it as an audio book as it is a very complex book that twists and turns across place and time. Having it narrated by a range of different voices worked beautifully to bring each section alive. I was not familiar with much of the history of the book, really I know very little about Jamaica, and it was fascinating to hear this story told. I grabbed the physical book from the library to check out a few passages (as several of the characters speak in Jamaican Patois and I’m a visual person, I felt the need to see the words written), and I found the afterword by the author enlightening. It was announced in 2015 that the book is being turned into a TV series by HBO, which would be amazing. I couldn’t find any further word on this. I hope that it eventuates.

A Brief History of Seven Killings won the Man Booker Prize in 2015.

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