Jamaica is an island that holds many stories and mysteries. Some of them are told by guide books such as Lonely Planet. But if you want to reach beyond Montego Bay you should check out The Dead Yard – A Story of Modern Jamaica. A book that reveals many sides of this well documented island.
The Dead Yard is not a book about reggae. Nor is it an ordinary guide book. It is a scholarly written document about the past, present and future of a tropical paradise that has been subject for colonialism for many years. And the author Ian Thompson digs deep in the dark history of the former British Empire.
Ian Thompson must have spent many long hours in the library to research this book. He has also spent two years walking the streets, riding the buses and talking to a broad range of people of many different classes and colors.
He has interviewed artists, expats, religious leaders and ordinary Jamaicans as well as a host of others. This gives The Dead Yard its unique character with its mixture of an academic essay and journalistic documentary.
All the stories told in The Dead Yard show the beauty and tragedy of contemporary Jamaica. I have never been there, but when I do get there, I have a feeling I am thoroughly prepared for my journey.