Since, like many of you, I’ve been hearing such good things about James’ new book, A Brief History of Seven Killings, I thought I’d try one of his earlier books while I waited for Seven Killings to come out in hardback. I have to love an author a lot to buy a hardback. Soon, I will go out and buy Seven Killings in hardback. The Book of Night Women is an astonishing book.

It defies classification. It echoes everything and nothing and is completely original. There are passages that are beautiful and lyrical, and there are passages that are absolutely brutal. The characters, with their names largely chosen for them by a master who loved Greek mythology, are so fully realized though sometimes all we get from them is dialogue. Lilith, the protagonist, is one of the most complex characters I’ve ever encountered.

On top of all of that, it’s an exciting novel. As tempted as I am to break my rule, I’ve made it a policy not to spoil anything. I hope it’s convincing enough to say that I read the final 230 pages in one sitting. And I’ll read it again. There are so many layers here.

Please read it. I need to talk about it with someone!!!

http://daytonliterarypeaceprize.org/2010-fiction_winner.htm

http://marlon-james.blogspot.com

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