Paint the Town Red
Brian Meeks's novel is a requiem for the years of an extraordinary ferment in Jamaican society, when reggae and Rastafarian dreams reached from the ghettoes to the University campus, and idealistic young men and women threw themselves into the struggle to free independent Jamaica from its colonial past. In portraying the temptations towards tribal revenge that corrupted the vision of change, Meeks's novel speaks to the present, when even now, Jamaica's political divisions erupt in killings on the streets.
As Mikey Johnson takes a minibus through Kingston on his release from eleven years in jail, what he sees and the persons he meets provoke memories of those years of virtual civil war when over eight hundred Jamaicans lost their lives. His encounters reveal that few have escaped unscathed from those years: there are the dead (in body and in spirit), the wounded, the turncoats, and those like himself who are condemned to carry the burden of those times.
Mikey's particular quest is to discover why he survived when his friend, Carl, and his lover, Rosie, were killed in a shootout with the police. It draws him to look for Caroline, the other woman he was involved with before his imprisonment. From her he discovers a bitter truth about Jamaica's unwritten code of class and its role in his survival.
One of the encounters, we learn in a postscript to the novel, is with Rohan, Rosie's brother. Rohan has suffered his sister's loss deeply, but has survived to move forward, while Mikey, with the stigma of his imprisonment, appears trapped in the past. It is Rohan who tells Mikey's story, determined that those who died should not be forgotten.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
anyting ball Barnett blue bout bredren BRIAN MEEKS bwoy Caleb Carl's Caroline cemetery Charlie Chinee Clarice comrades Constant Spring cyaa dance Don Johnson dreadlocks eyes father fighter ganja Garcia gate goin gone Greenwich Farm gwaan Half Way Tree Ital Jamaica College Junior knew know seh Kwame Dawes likkle live looked Manley Maxfield Avenue Michael Manley Mikey asked Mikey thought Mikey's Miss Maud morning Morris Oxford mother neva never night nuttn Papa Legba Party Peepal Tree Prof Rasta Reuben Richard Garcia Richmond Park Rohan Roots reggae Rosie Rosie's Seaga Selassie sister smiled smoke Spanish Town spliff Sunday tell yu ticky ticky ting Tivoli told troo turned verandah voice walked Whaappen widdin woman yard Yeah yout Yu ave yu know yu nuh Yu tink