Marlon James became the first Jamaican winner of the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction Tuesday with a vivid, violent, exuberant and expletive-laden novel based on the attempted assassination of Bob Marley.
The 680-page epic was "full of surprises" as well as being "very violent" and "full of swearing".
James was announced the £50,000 winner on Tuesday night at London's Guildhall.
The New York Times had described the book as "epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex".
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the wife of Prince Charles, presented James with the prize at a glittering ceremony.
"A Brief History of Seven Killings" was chosen unanimously by the judges after less than two hours of deliberation.
It beat bookmaker's favourite, US author Hanya Yanagihara's "A Little Life", a disturbing tale of male friendship with graphic details of child sex abuse, which had been the 6/4 favourite to win.
Also shortlisted were Briton Sunjeev Sahota's "The Year of the Runaways", "The Fishermen" by Nigeria's Chigozie Obioma, American author Anne Tyler's "A Spool of Blue Thread" and British writer Tom McCarthy's "Satin Island".