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Publisher Description

Winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize

One of Entertainment Weekly's Top 10 Books of the Decade

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

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

In A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivaled skills of characterization and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling 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 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 much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumors abound regarding the assassins’ fates, and there are suspicions  that the attack was politically motivated.

A Brief History of Seven Killings delves deep into that dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica’s history and beyond. James deftly chronicles the lives of a host of unforgettable characters – gunmen, drug dealers, one-night stands, CIA agents,  even ghosts – over the course of thirty years as they roam the streets of 1970s Kingston, dominate the crack houses of 1980s New York, and ultimately reemerge into the radically altered Jamaica of the 1990s. Along the way, they learn that evil does indeed cast long shadows, that justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and that no one can truly escape his fate.

Gripping and inventive, shocking and irresistible, A Brief History of Seven Killings is a mesmerizing modern classic of power, mystery, and insight.

Fiction & Literature
October 2
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Raphael 23 ,

A motley crew in Jamaica

A Brief History of Seven Killings is one of the most entertaining stories I've read.It is told from the perspective of multiple characters living in Jamaica, and revolves around the blood feud of two political parties, the CIA,and the attempted assassination of Bob Marley.Marlon James has written a book that is excessively violent(it may be repugnant to some readers),wickedly funny,and ambitious in scope.It is an unforgettable story.

NoaJames ,


The story is gripping, the characters complex, and the takeaways endless.

Marqos82 ,

An amazing read/listen

It's one of the most rewarding listening experiences that I've ever had. James has a lifetime fan in me.

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