The Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015…

Has just been announced and it is… Marlon James A Brief History of Seven Killings!!!

9781780746357

I haven’t read it yet, even though The Green Carnation Prize judges have been telling me to since they longlisted it as has Frances of NonSuchBook. So I know what is going in my bag to London with me on Thursday (or possibly tomorrow as I am in a weird book funk) for train rides and snatches of time that I get to myself from then until the weekend! Have any of you read it yet and what did you think?

6 Comments

Filed under Man Booker

6 responses to “The Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2015…

  1. Well, I read it, so now am glad for all the effort that I put into it. However, it was not my favorite of the nominees.

  2. lwardein

    Simon, here is my goodreads review. I gave it four stars:

    This is quiet possibly the hardest book to review and read and listen to on audio. I wanted to quit and continue after every sentence. I was pulled through the book with excitement as well as reluctance. I stayed with it and was rewarded like a motherfucker. If you don’t like that last word, don’t read this fuckery of a book. Fuckery, a new word from the Jamaican culture from which I realize I was completely ignorant. Jamaica to me was pretty beaches and reggae music and pot and braids. Where the hell have I been? The fuckery of it all.

    The book kept popping up on the best of lists of 2014 and every time I read the description I realized why I kept mentally shoving it aside. I have no desire to read about Bob Marley (never mentioned by name in the book, only “the singer”). Marlon James, the author, is brilliant and I would love to read anything he writes.

    This book is a multi-narrated book that is difficult to read because of the Jamaican dialect. I listened and although I speed up most audiobooks, I actually had to slow this one down in order to understand the language and sometimes I never did understand what they were saying. Some characters are Americans and some are easier to understand than others but the audio is well done. It’s also difficult material. The culture in Jamaica, especially toward women, is filled with violence and rape and no opportunity. The political environment is filled with corruption. There are kids using guns, plots to assassin leaders, heroin, cocaine, drug trade, etc.

    This book is one of the best written books and stories told. It will not be right for many readers but it interest the hell out of many readers. I saw that one other reviewer said “Tolstoy on crack”.

    Jamaican dialect provides interest, laughter and frustration. For example, Bumbaclot, A cloth or rag used to wipe ones anal region. However, most Jamaicans use it as a substitute for the word f*ck to express anger or surprise; also, the acme of Jamaican swearing, translates literally as “arsewipe”. Its real meaning is more like a slow, surprised “motherfucker”.

    I ended up listening to this book because it is in the 2015 Tournament of Books which is filled with some excellent books. If you decide to read or listen to this book, know that it is hard to get into but well worth the ride of sticking it out.

  3. Janakay

    After slugging (slogging?) my way through the long list (finally even managed “Lila” there at the end), I thought this was hands down the book that should win. And, no, I’m not a Bob Marley fan and know little about Jamaican politics or history, although I did a little (unnecessary) research during and after my read. To me, this particular novel had it all: great characters, vivid settings and an incredible technical virtuosity. It was also very, very funny in spots (and bloody. Certain sections are not for the squeamish). In a piece I read earlier tonight, James stated that as a child his father challenged him to “Shakespeare reciting contests;” to me, “Seven Killings” has something almost Shakespearean about it, perhaps because it creates such a convincing universe and some really outsized but believable characters. Besides, how could you not like a novel where one of the POV characters is a ghost?
    On the negative side, I at least found the slang and number of characters a bit of a barrier to getting started. After the first fifty pages or so, however, this largely disappeared.

  4. I read all 6 on the shortlist and this was the one I was dreading (it sounded too violent and Loooooong) but I was extremely surprised at how much I loved it! James is an incredibly talented writer and he pulled it off. I would never have picked this book up if not for the Booker shortlist, and it certainly won’t win everyone over, but I’m tremendously glad I read it.

  5. I read all 6 on the shortlist and this was the one I was dreading (it sounded too violent and Loooooong) but I was extremely surprised at how much I loved it! James is an incredibly talented writer and he pulled it off. I would never have picked this book up if not for the Booker shortlist, and it certainly won’t win everyone over, but I’m tremendously glad I read it.

  6. I’d read three of the longlist, and this was by far my favourite. I’m SO glad it won.

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