Deacon King Kong

Front Cover
Penguin, 2020 - Fiction - 384 pages
OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird and the bestselling modern classic The Color of Water, comes one of the most celebrated novels of the year.

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and, in front of everybody, shoots the project's drug dealer at point-blank range.

The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride's funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters--caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York--overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Nancyjcbs - LibraryThing

This is a difficult book to review. I found the first half a definite struggle, put it down so frequently that I finished 8 books before getting to the point where I cared about Sportcoat and his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RidgewayGirl - LibraryThing

The story begins in 1969 when an elderly alcoholic named Sportcoat stumbles into the central plaza of a Brooklyn housing project and shoots a drug dealer. What follows is just the kind of novel we all ... Read full review

Contents

Jesuss Cheese
1
A Dead Man
14
Jet
21
Running Off
34
The Governor
46
Bunch
62
The March of the Ants
71
The Dig
91
Dirt
101
Soup
118
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

James McBride is an accomplished musician and the author of the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird, the bestselling American classic The Color of Water, the novels Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna, the story collection Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a biography of James Brown. The recipient of a National Humanities Medal, McBride is also a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

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