First Lines Friday: 8th January

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words.  Judge a book by its opening lines, and not by its cover!  I’ve given the banner a revamp, so it fits in much better with the rest of the site now – I’ll be going back through my old FLF posts and jazzing those up too.  Feel free to use it with your own First Lines Fridays posts!

The rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (or your current read) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!


Dead people never stop talking.

Read on to find out which book this extract is from…



A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James


Goodreads | The Book Depository

Blurb (from Goodreads):

On 3 December 1976, just weeks before the general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions, seven gunmen from West Kingston stormed his house with machine guns blazing. Marley survived and went on to perform at the free concert, but the next day he left the country, and didn’t return for two years. Not a lot was recorded about the fate of the seven gunmen, but much has been said, whispered and sung about in the streets of West Kingston, with information surfacing at odd times, only to sink into rumour and misinformation.

Inspired by this near-mythic event, A Brief History of Seven Killings takes the form of an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards’ drug dealer. Marlon James’s bold undertaking traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined – and questions asked – in this compelling novel of monumental scope and ambition.

If this book looks familiar, it is because it won last year’s Man Booker Prize, and my post about the winner can be read here.  I actually got it out from the library a little while ago to read, but with a whole pile of other books to read first, I might end up just returning it, sadly.

Have you read this book?  Have you ever chosen to read a book based purely on an extract, nothing more?  Share your experiences!

Also, if you want to try First Lines Fridays yourself, copy and paste the rules above and tag me/comment below, so I can take a look!

Happy reading!

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