A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James is a very difficult book to start off on. It gets easier to get into after the first couple of chapters and talking walking ghosts though.

The novel starts off with the assassination attempt on Bob Marley and weaves a story that spans several characters and decades. I mean a lot of characters. It can get difficult to tell who is still alive from who is dead and now a ghost. Although most of the story takes place inĀ Jamaica, parts of the story also takes place outside Jamaica. It can be called an international story with characters from the CIA and all the talk of communists. Parts of it also reads like the political history of Guyana with politicians backed by the US government on one side and others on the other side.

The book has given me a new understanding of Jamaica, Bob Marley, reggae and the use of “isms” and “schisms” in his music. Has it made me want to visit Jamaica? Eh, nope. Not yet at least. It has increased my interest in visiting the Caribbean though.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize for 2015, it is a great read. Get it if you can. if you don’t like the story you will at least be in awe that someone actually started and finished writing it.