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I & I: The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh and Wailer Paperback – 26 Jan 2012
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"By the end, the three central characters, the force that they became together and the forces that drove them apart... are more vividly portrayed than in any previous biography. What's more, Grant's clear, concise book, as well as revealing the Wailers in the light of their own culture, helps us to see into the heart of Jamaica itself, through the lives of three of its sons" (Daily Telegraph)
"Grant has pulled off a remarkable feat in the telling of their individual stories... An absorbing read that sheds new light on the famous triumvirate" (Linton Kwesi Johnson Wasafiri)
"The main merit of this perceptive work is that, by not making Marley its focus, it gets closer to the truth about him than most other biographers... Colin Grant has composed a highly evocative and original account of a misunderstood group, and the misunderstood man at its core" (Literary Review)
"Provides a lively introduction to the life and times of the Wailers and, incidentally, to the neo-African religions and animist cults of beautiful, bedevilled Jamaica" (Sunday Times)
"In Grant's hands life in Trench Town in the 1960's is energetic and theatrical, rich in comedy and tragic irony... Grant's original and stylish second book... This brilliant book is not just about Jamaica, but about ourselves, no longer the country of The King's Speech but a post-imperial nation many of whose citizens have a buried history. Read it also for Grant's acute descriptions of its characters" (Guardian)
About the Author
Colin Grant is the author of four highly praised books: Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey (2008), I and I: The Natural Mystics Marley, Tosh and Wailer (2011), Bageye at the Wheel (2012), and A Smell of Burning (2016). He teaches creative non-fiction writing, most recently for Arvon and Sierra Nevada College. He is also a historian, Associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies and producer for BBC Radio.
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Overall then a great book about the Wailers and Jamaica, very readable and well researched. Guess the Barret brothers could have had more of a mention but isssues about their place in the development of the Wailers music was discussed.
This was probably more a social history of Jamaica than just a biography of the Wailers but I think this worked as it helped to provide a context for the Wailers. Their music is very much a reflection of what was happening in Jamaica at the time.
The book is very well and deeply researched and there are many revelations of what was going on behind the scenss. Being able to read the views and muses of Bunny Wailer was also a huge bonus.
This book just reminds us that in the words of many reggae artistes ' only the half has been told'. It is timely that historians and researchers are now seeking out the reggae icons and given them a platform to share their stories.
A good read which probably needs to be re read and revisited from time to time.
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