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Augustown

Narrated by: Dona Croll
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the wake of Marlon James' Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, Augustown - set in the backlands of Jamaica - is a magical and haunting novel of one woman's struggle to rise above the brutal vicissitudes of history, race, class, collective memory, violence, and myth.

Ma Taffy may be blind, but she sees everything. So when her great-nephew Kaia comes home from school in tears, what she senses sends a deep fear running through her. While they wait for his mama to come home from work, Ma Taffy recalls the story of the flying preacherman and a great thing that did not happen.

A poor suburban sprawl in the Jamaican heartland, Augustown is a place where many things that should happen don't, and plenty of things that shouldn't happen do. For the story of Kaia leads back to another momentous day in Jamaican history, the birth of the Rastafari, and the desire for a better life.

©2016 Kei Miller (P)2016 Orion Publishing Group

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  • 06-25-17

SUPERB

Beautifully written. Captivating story. Narration excellent. Felt such nostalgia with the detailed descriptions of Jamaican life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant Novel

I have Taught Caribbean literature at a university, and I think this is one of the very best new novels from this area. It is one of the best novels I have read this year: beautifully written, with memorable characters, humor, Pathos, tragedy, set in a very rich Caribbean setting. This author is one of the very best. I highly recommend this book. Edward Hower

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Addicting

When I started to listen to this book I wasn't really interested but I had to listen because of a book club and I am so glad I did, Ma Taffy surprises me every step of the way. I love how Gina had a romantic affair without her peers knowing, hated what the teacher did to her son, but I hated how it ended, is like the book took me on a high and it just ended like that. I never would have guessed the ended would have been like it is left me disappointed. But overall great story.

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Mesmerizing narration of a brilliant novel

This book was recommended by British author and journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge in an interview she had with Emma Watson so I decided to check it out. I had the paperback from the library but ended up listening to the audio version and it was fantastic. I highly recommend it in this case as Dona Croll brings out the full feel of being immersed in the Jamaican culture with her versatile narration. I don't think I would have had the same feel by just reading it myself. That said, the novel stands out entirely on its own with the languid feel of its prose, the tragedy of what could have been, the reality of what was. Never maudlin, it managed to be uplifting even in moments of bleak injustice. Weaves in aspects of Rastafari beliefs through the complex characters and offered the reader an intimate look at what oppression in Jamaica looked like, and the resistance movement that operated in plain sight in the 1980s. One of those books that mesmerizes you as you read it and stays with you in a haunting way. Kei Miller has a way of phrasing things that is original and unusually vivid beginning with the main character whose blindness sharpens all her other senses including her sense of foreboding.

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Best book I've read in a long time

This book touched my soul on so many levels. It was beautifully written. It took me through so many emotions, and it's crazy to think that all these events took place in one day. This will forever be one of my favorite books.

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Beautiful

Beautifully lyric and mind expanding. As amusing, at times, as heartbreaking. A great and memorable novel.

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A mosaic of Jamacia...

...comes to life through the authors deeply constructed character life and and visceral language to veiw his island. Through the deeprooted spirituality of Jamacia and rastafari lore, Miller's naritive of seemingly mundane life and old memories of Augustown rises up and becomes ethereal.