A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel

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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 

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes a “musical, electric, fantastically profane” (The New York Times) epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over the past three decades.

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.


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About the author

Marlon James was born in Jamaica in 1970. His most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. James lives in Minneapolis.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Reviews

3.8
1,232 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Oct 2, 2014
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Pages
704
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ISBN
9780698170506
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Paul Beatty
Winner of the Man Booker Prize

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction

Winner of the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature

New York Times Bestseller

Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Named One of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

Named a Best Book of the Year by Newsweek, The Denver Post, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly

Named a "Must-Read" by Flavorwire and New York Magazine's "Vulture" Blog

A biting satire about a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty's The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality—the black Chinese restaurant.

Born in the "agrarian ghetto" of Dickens—on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles—the narrator of The Sellout resigns himself to the fate of lower-middle-class Californians: "I'd die in the same bedroom I'd grown up in, looking up at the cracks in the stucco ceiling that've been there since '68 quake." Raised by a single father, a controversial sociologist, he spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. He is led to believe that his father's pioneering work will result in a memoir that will solve his family's financial woes. But when his father is killed in a police shoot-out, he realizes there never was a memoir. All that's left is the bill for a drive-thru funeral.

Fueled by this deceit and the general disrepair of his hometown, the narrator sets out to right another wrong: Dickens has literally been removed from the map to save California from further embarrassment. Enlisting the help of the town's most famous resident—the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins—he initiates the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.

Marlon James
Pe 3 decembrie 1976, în perioada preliminară alegerilor generale din Jamaica și cu două zile înainte ca Bob Marley să apară în concertul pentru pace Zâmbește, Jamaica!, menit să atenueze tensiunile politice din Kingston, șapte indivizi înarmați au luat cu asalt locuința cântărețului. În atac au fost răniți Marley, soția sa și impresarul lui, plus câteva alte persoane. Vinovații nu au fost prinși și ancheta oficială a rămas prea puțin transparentă, dar pe străzile capitalei jamaicane sângerosul eveniment a căpătat, cu timpul, proporții aproape mitice.

Scurtă istorie a șapte crime este o explorare în profunzime a acelei perioade instabile și primejdioase din istoria Jamaicăi și a urmărilor sale pe termen lung. Marlon James plăsmuiește cu măiestrie cronica vieții unui șir întreg de personaje memorabile — asasini profesioniști, lorzi ai drogurilor, jurnaliști, prostituate, agenți CIA —, pe parcursul a treizeci de ani și traversând mai multe continente, pentru a le reuni destinele în Jamaica anilor ‘90, radical schimbată. Palpitant și inventiv, ambițios și irezistibil, Scurtă istorie a șapte crime este unul dintre cele mai fascinante și remarcabile romane ale secolului XXI.

„Cum am putea descrie monumentala Scurtă istorie a șapte crime? E un roman epopeic în toate sensurile cuvântului: copleșitor, mitic, excesiv și amețitor de complex. in plus, e brut, dens, violent, sarcastic, comic, zguduitor și epuizant — o mărturie a ambiției și talentului prodigios ale autorului.“ – The New York Times

„Scurtă istorie a șapte crime este un roman extraordinar despre putere, corupție și minciuni. Nu cred că există unul mai bun în acest secol.“ – Irvine Welsh, autorul romanului Trainspotting

Clasici contemporani Litera pune laolaltă scriitori contemporani laureați sau nominalizați ai unor prestigioase premii literare, care le prefigurează statutul de „clasici“. Ficțiunile cele mai noi, cele mai vândute, cele mai iubite din zilele noastre — cărți pe care abia aștepți să le citești.

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