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A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS

JAMES, Marlon

19,807 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1594633940 / ISBN 13: 9781594633942
Published by Riverhead Books (2014), New York, 2014
Condition: Fine Soft cover
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About this Item

8vo. Publisher's yellow wraps. SIGNED at the title page. Clean, bright and tight. Fine. First paperback edition of the best-selling novel, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Bookseller Inventory # 16749

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS

Publisher: Riverhead Books (2014), New York

Publication Date: 2014

Binding: Wraps

Book Condition:Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Paperback Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

A recipient of the 2015 American Book Award

One of the Top 10 Books of 2014 – Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times


A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Named a best book of the year by:
The New York Times
Chicago Tribune
The Washington Post
The Boston Globe
Time
Newsweek
The Huffington Post
The Seattle Times
The Houston Chronicle
Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
Popsugar
BookPage
BuzzFeed Books
Salon
Kansas City Star
L Magazine


A “thrilling, ambitious . . . intense” (Los Angeles Times) novel that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s. 


In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines masterful storytelling with his unrivaled skill at characterization and his meticulous eye for detail to forge a novel of dazzling ambition and scope.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven unnamed gunmen stormed the singer’s house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but rumors abounded regarding the assassins’ fates. A Brief History of Seven Killings is James’s fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, drug dealers, journalists, and even ghosts—James brings to life the people who walked the streets of 1970s Kingston, who dominated the crack houses of 1980s New York, and who reemerged into a radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Brilliantly inventive, A Brief History of Seven Killings is an “exhilarating” (The New York Times) epic that’s been called “a tour de force” (The Wall Street Journal).

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014: This is a book that I did not expect to enjoy. Having finished it—and feeling, as I do now, that A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the best books I’ve read all year—I went back and identified the reasons why I did not expect to like it. Reason #1— The story is an oral history told in multiple voices: that’s true, but James’ enormous talent makes the multiple voices work. Reading the novel is an immersive experience—the characters are real, they are engaging, and James uses them to look at all sides of the story. Yes, the multiple points-of-view are difficult at first, but each voice quickly distinguishes itself as unique and important; the payoff is a novel of sweeping scope and emotion. Reason #2—Many of the characters speak in Jamaican patois: like many readers, I’m not a big fan of dialect on the page. Tell me what they say, not necessarily how they say it. But James pulls it off with remarkable ease. I expected the patois to start to grate once I got further into the book. It never did. The language only added to my understanding of the story and its characters. Reason #3—Violence: this is not an easy book, particularly when it comes to violence. It starts early, and there’s a lot of it (certainly more than seven killings). But it’s there for a reason. By showing the violence, the poverty, and the struggle to survive in 70s Jamaica, James illustrates how the ghetto can change a person. Over time, we see how every man and woman is changed. Reason #4 –It’s about Jamaica: I hesitate to admit that I wasn’t initially interested in a book set in Jamaica. Am I just not interested in a world so different from mine? Whatever the underlying reason, I was wrong to think that way. I could take the easy route and say that this novel is about something more than Jamaica, but that seems obvious. All I can say is: these people were real to me. And like all great novels, James’ work drew me in, entertained me, and changed me in ways I could not have anticipated. –Chris Schluep

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I focus on intrinsically interesting, important, or unusual books in all fields. Specialties include popular culture; esoterica; modern & contemporary literature; John Steinbeck; The Beat & NY schools; poetry & small press; the avant-garde; little magazines & lit. journals (especially those associated with the Mimeo Revolution); manuscripts & archives; literary ephemera; Americana; as well as vernacular, folk, and outsider books of all kinds. A sense of the eclecticism I strive for can be seen in some of material I've recently handled. From an illuminated 15th-century manuscript Book of Hours to a collection of photographs and collages by Beat great William S. Burroughs, from a Yosemite tourist album containing some of the earliest images of a Sierra Club expedition to an important archive of letters from writer Henry Miller to his agent, I seek material that will fascinate and endure. I am always looking to purchase fine books in any of my areas of interest, from single titles to collections. Please inquire. Search and want services are available, as are appraisals and collection development. For three years I maintained an open shop in Monterey, CA (formerly the Cannery Row Old Book Co.). I now work in the Washington DC area and maintain office space in downtown Silver Spring MD. I am open by chance or appointment. I also exhibit regularly at book fairs around the country. Please check my website for upcoming events. To date, I've issued five catalogues of rare books. Copies may be downloaded on my website (briancassidy.net). Print copies may also be requested. Please email to be added to our mailing list. Proud member: Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), International Online Booksellers Association (IOBA).

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