Friday, October 16, 2015

A Brief History of 7 Killings by Marlon James

This was the only one of the Booker Prize shortlisted books that I'd actually read. The others looked pretty dull and in truth this book wasn't the best either. Not bad certainly but not great either. The story was a good one - an assassination attempt on Bob Marley - and the events leading up to the hit and the consequences that flowed from it. But for me the book went on far too long and it just wasn't engaging enough. This was the flaw in The Luminaries too, a nice idea, good setting but after beating you over the head for 400 pages with pretty dense prose you finally just grew weary of the whole enterprise. This is the second crime novel in 3 years to win the Booker Prize so I guess its nice that the Booker judges are finally acknowledging crime fiction, it's just a pity that the crime novels that excite the Booker judges are a little on the tame and turgid side. It's also interesting that yet again the Booker judges are willing to give the prize to just about anyone anywhere in the world as long as they're not working class and living in the British Isles.