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Black Panther meets Lord of the Rings: the unmet ambitions of Marlon James’s new novel

The former Booker prize winner's new genre-bending fantasy falls short

The former Booker prize winner new fantasy novel is sure to attract Netflix adaptations. Photo: Cheese Scientist/Alamy Stock Photo

Marlon James’s Man Booker-winning novel A Brief History of Seven Killings channelled several voices—journalists, henchmen, psychopaths, bystanders—as it took us into the dark heart of 1970s Jamaica and an assassination attempt on Bob Marley. “Dead people,” as its first line observed, “never stop talking.” Seven Killings was a savage, intense and highly unusual book, but if you were asked to predict what its author would do next, your first guess…

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