‘Brief, it isn’t. But it’s definitely brilliant’ – A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

With Marlon James A Brief History of Seven Killings just out in paperback, we revisit Fran Slater’s excellent review


51Z7YfD5EhL__AA160_Bob Marley’s story has been told a million times. Often brilliantly. With a biography like Catch a Fire out there, and a documentary as good as Marley, there seems little reason to search out more material that relates directly to the leading light of reggae music. This seems to have been apparent to Marlon James. Although the presence of Bob Marley pulses throughout the pages of this near 700 page epic, he is never actually named. He is known only as The Singer. Instead, we get the stories of a whole host of characters who were directly affected by The Singer, and, in particular, one event that played a major part in creating his legend.

In 1976, the night before he was due to play the free Smile Jamaica concert, gunmen broke into his Kingston home and attempted to assassinate Marley, his wife, and their entourage. Despite being shot…

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