The Shower Posse: Background information when reading A Brief History of Seven Killings

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Brief History of Seven Killings

by Marlon Jones

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon Jones X
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon Jones
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2014, 704 pages

    Sep 2015, 784 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
Buy This Book

About this Book

The Shower Posse

This article relates to A Brief History of Seven Killings

Print Review

A Brief History of Seven Killings chronicles the rise of a Jamaican drug gang in the United States. This fictional organization seems to be loosely modeled after the real-life Shower Posse, a violent Jamaican gang linked with numerous killings, with strongholds in large American cities such as New York and Miami.

The origins of the gang date back to the early '60s, when Edward Seaga, a Jamaican politician belonging to the country's conservative Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) decided to embark on a project of urban renewal in the capital city of Kingston. It created a separate community called Tivoli Gardens. Citizens sympathetic to Seaga were housed in the new buildings, while many residents were forcibly evicted. To maintain such a precarious situation, Seaga hired a local thug, Lester "Jim Brown" Coke, who recruited the young men of Tivoli Gardens to form the Shower Posse. The origins of the name Shower are unclear, but some claim that it comes from Seaga's political sloganeering, which promised "showers of blessings" to citizens who voted for him.

Seaga pushed for free market investments in the '70s, something the United States was only too eager to indulge since the JLP's opposition, the left-leaning PNP (People's National Party) was making overtures to Cuba. The Cold War's long reach meant that the United States and the USSR used Jamaica as their playground, with the U.S. funding the JLP (and the Shower Posse) and the USSR funding rival gangs in communities set up by Michael Manley, the PNP leader.

Christopher CokeThe Shower Posse in Kingston soon gained a lot of influence and even controlled the seaports, which meant a strong conduit to the drug trade. Among the members of the Shower Posse who established branches in America was Vivian Blake, who American prosecutors allege was responsible for more than a thousand killings in the United States alone. Blake obtained entry to the U.S. in the mid '70s as part of a Jamaican cricket team and over the years established arms of the Shower Posse in New York and Miami. Gang members have slowly been arrested. In 1989, Charles "Little Nut" Miller was jailed on trafficking charges but was granted immunity if he testified against other leaders. In 2012, Christopher "Dudus" Coke (Lester's son) was sentenced to 23 years in an American prison, after pleading guilty to drug and racketeering charges. His 2010 arrest in Tivoli Gardens provoked large-scale riots among residents who viewed him as a philanthropist (much like the Medellin cartel's Pablo Escobar) who spent money on community projects that raised their standard of living.

Christopher Coke, courtesy of Jeraphine Gryphon

Filed under Places, Cultures & Identities

Article by Poornima Apte

This "beyond the book article" relates to A Brief History of Seven Killings. It originally ran in November 2014 and has been updated for the September 2015 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On
    The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On
    by Franny Choi
    Calamity can cohabit with joy, and you and I have, on some plane, accepted that absurd reality. We ...
  • Book Jacket: Bloodbath Nation
    Bloodbath Nation
    by Paul Auster
    In recent years, Booker Prize­–nominated novelist Paul Auster has increasingly turned to ...
  • Book Jacket: The Nazi Conspiracy
    The Nazi Conspiracy
    by Brad Meltzer, Josh Mensch
    The Nazi Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch was a big hit with our First Impressions readers...
  • Book Jacket
    by Jabari Asim
    The captivating historical novel Yonder turns an intimate lens towards the tragedy and survivorship ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Mitford Affair
by Marie Benedict
An explosive novel of history's most notorious sisters, one of whom will have to choose: her country or her family?

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    This Other Eden
    by Paul Harding

    A novel inspired by the true story of Malaga Island from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Tinkers.

  • Book Jacket

    by Wendell Steavenson

    A young woman struggles to break free of her upper-class upbringing amid the whirlwind years of the sexual revolution.

  • Book Jacket

    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks

    "Jamila Minnicks pulled me into pages of history I'd never turned before."—Barbara Kingsolver


Solve this clue:

It's A G T Me

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.