I & I: The Natural Mystics, By Colin Grant


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"Natural Mystics" may seem a fanciful term for Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailers, the Trenchtown hipsters turned reggae stars whose devotion to ganja became the "habit of a lifetime".

Yet Colin Grant's potent account suggests a more deep-rooted mysticism: "Marley could not resist the thought he was at the mercy of a shape-shifting duppy, a malignant evil force intent on stealing his shadow." If this stemmed from childhood stories, the evil was real enough. Marley survived a shooting in 1976 while the flamboyant Tosh was executed during a robbery.

This insightful book explores the roots and legacy of the trio. Meeting the surviving Bunny Wailer, Grant notes: "His courage was not mysterious: it was plain."