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Book of Jamaica Paperback – March 27, 1996
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About the Author
Russell Banks is one of America's most prestigious fiction writers, a past president of the International Parliament of Writers, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into twenty languages and has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Common Wealth Award for Literature. He lives in upstate New York and Miami, Florida.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are several trips back to the island after the narrator's life is completely transformed by his experiences during the first. His wife no longer accompanies him however as their marraige was one of the first casualities of his abrupt new fascination with Rastfarianism, Marroon culture, and ganja. You can imagine! But what starts out as an adventure full of promise, unfortunately follows an inevitable course ending in sorrow and not a little horror. Any attempt to blithely transcend differences of race and class are doomed, the author seems to be saying. And ganja will not of its own power make a story turn out all right, regardless of it's enormous capacity to create an internal state that seems to be mystically protected from all outward harm. In fact the opposite may be true.Read more ›
I loved the atmosphere and plotline of the book, and Banks conveys much of Jamaican culture with great insight and skill. However it was hard for me not to despise the main character, a neurotic American writer who neglects his family to hang out with his fascinating, "exotic" Jamaican friends. An American trying to beat Jamaicans at rum drinking and dominoes is pure foolishness! But it rings true as something a typical American visitor would try to do. Eventually as the central character becomes more involved with the real Jamaica and the lives of his new friends, he gets a lot more than he bargains for. A book well worth reading.
This said, I found the communties and lifestyles described here to be fascinating reading and Banks (at least apparently) wrote with loving respect about the Jamaican culture and people. A nice change from the usual cliche descriptions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. I love Jamaica anyway. Been there several times to this book was a pleasure to read.Published 6 months ago by Patricia Yates
Written in the 80s, this is an interesting, sporadic account of Banks' adventures and investigations into Jamaica's glorious history and culture, including a crime scandal that... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Sagacious
Only bought this because it is on Michael Weatherly's favorite book list, (Tony Dinozzo) on NCIS. Finished the whole book but it wasn't easy. Dont recommend it.Published on September 16, 2013 by Nona J. Podschlne
If you want to really know about Port Antonio, Navy Island and Errol Flynn - there are MUCH better books to read. Read morePublished on August 14, 2009 by Harry Philips
I judged a book by it's cover and bought this book mostly because of the title. I am an American and have always had an unexplainable fascination with Jamaica. Read morePublished on July 20, 2005 by A. StJohn