The spirit of Bob Marley dominates this novel, which evokes the rich, bottom-heavy sounds of Marley’s music. You can’t tell the living and the dead here without a score card, and a score card would be too linear… Think of this book as a haunted island with spectral voices and inscrutable mysteries.

Kirkus

The ancestors have awakened. Somebody has called them. The long-dead are stirring. Jah ways are mysterious ways

Available July 31, 2018

The Marvellous Equations of the Dread

Fiction by Marcia Douglas

“Is me—Bob. Bob Marley.” Reincarnated as homeless Fall-down man, Bob Marley sleeps in a clock tower built on the site of a lynching in Half Way Tree, Kingston. The ghosts of Marcus Garvey and King Edward VII are there too, drinking whiskey and playing solitaire. No one sees that Fall-down is Bob Marley, no one but his long-ago love, the deaf woman, Leenah, and, in the way of this otherworldly book, when Bob steps into the street each day, five years have passed. Jah ways are mysterious ways, from Kingston’s ghettoes to London, from Haile Selassie’s Ethiopian palace and back to Jamaica, Marcia Douglas’s mythical reworking of three hundred years of violence is a ticket to the deep world of Rasta history. This amazing novel—in bass riddim—carries the reader on a voyage all the way to the gates of Zion.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published July 31, 2018)

ISBN
9780811227865
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
304pp

Ebook (published November 16, 2017)

ISBN
9780811227872

Marcia Douglas

Jamaican American writer

The spirit of Bob Marley dominates this novel, which evokes the rich, bottom-heavy sounds of Marley’s music. You can’t tell the living and the dead here without a score card, and a score card would be too linear… Think of this book as a haunted island with spectral voices and inscrutable mysteries.

Kirkus

A rollicking, music-rich, dream-filled, polyphonic tour through Jamaica’s past and present, both in this world and, on the “dub-side,” beyond it, The Marvellous Equations of the Dread is a masterpiece of linguistic and narrative inventiveness, a contemporary literary marvel.

—John Keene

A magical realist journey through the history of Rastafarianism, Bob Marley & Jamaica—not necessarily in that order. Rhapsodic, poetic, scripturally engaged and endlessly inventive. Not only is the electric atmosphere of Jamaica evoked with sensuousness, delicacy and love; so is the ‘dub-side,’ a studio yard just the other side of death, where Bob Marley and a toothless and lisping Haile Selassie discuss the relative merits of routes to Zion.

Review 31

A vast panorama of a small corner of Kingston, a musical novel where the music is reggae, a historical documentary set in the present: As the illustrious and anonymous living and dead materialize to reenact, retell, and undo their life stories, it’s impossible to resist reading these voices out loud, adding your own to this orchestrated hubbub.

—Eliot Weinberger