A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

This book was not really my jam, but it was incredibly well done. The writing is incredible. It’s very dense, stream of consciousness, Joycean prose, that isn’t exactly inviting, but remarkable for what it is. A lot of it is written to reflect characters Jamaican dialects, which makes it even less clear, but does a ton to show what these characters are like. It’s a book of many voices.

The initial action is focused on the days before Bob Marley (here always referred to as “the singer” in a nice piece of mythologizing) played a peace concert in Kingston. The plot is rooted into his attempted assassination, and the fallout of this event that goes on for decades. The different goals of rival gangs, local politicians, the CIA, and ordinary people are all in play. It’s creates a complex web.

This isn’t a piece of history I’m particularly knowledge about or interested in. If you are you’ll probably get more out of it. There were gay characters, which was awesome, but not many women.

I admire this book, and I’m glad I read it, but it didn’t really speak to me, which is fine. It’s important to take in art that’s outside of our passions.

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