Deacon King Kong - James McBride

Deacon King Kong

By James McBride

  • Release Date: 2020-03-03
  • Genre: African American
Score: 3.5
3.5
From 1,503 Ratings

Description

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction
 
Winner of the Gotham Book Prize

One of Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of the Year"

Oprah's Book Club Pick

Named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and TIME Magazine

Washington Post Notable Novel

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.

Reviews

  • Indelible

    5
    By A Fellow Bibliophile
    Deeply engrossing and satisfying storytelling with energetic yet poignant prose. Everyone once in awhile a book comes along that so captures the imagination that you mourn its ending. This is one of those books.
  • Excellent

    4
    By Try to do better
    Serious but with humor, sensitivity, and love
  • What a Read

    5
    By GLC2551
    I started out confused with all of the fabricated names. The middle seemed to drag, but then Wow! All of the description and character development crescendoed into a touching, moving, funny yet sad ending. Excellent book and I feel I gained insight and a new thoughtfulness.
  • Deacon King Kong

    4
    By SmoothAces13
    I read to the end. Liked Sister Gee. The Eric arc was foolish.
  • Fabulous thought provoking tapestry

    5
    By Lucretiawb
    A complicated tale of loyalty, the repercussions of a diaspora, god, gangsters, and love, but most of all a touching depiction of Sportcoat Deacon who in his inimitable bumbling drunken fashion turns his world upside down.
  • Struggle and fulfillment in the Heart of New York City

    5
    By Becca L. Rockwood
    This is an action-packed book, filled with plot twists and fascinating characters. The plot has a Dickensian feel to it, and many of the main characters seem a bit absurd at first, particularly the main character. However, as the story progresses, their painful life stories come into focus, and we cannot help admire them. Above all, the book describes the failed promises of life in New York for its many transplants, such as African Americans who fled the South and other places, as well as the Italian community. This is a good book to read and re-read, as the author packs many important details and insights into every page.
  • Beautiful

    5
    By Jx3davisal
    This books starts off so rocky. The names alone are enough to make you stop reading. But they also so intriguing you want to know more about what the heck is going on. The development of each character evolves into the people you know someway or another. No matter what walk of life you are from you can relate to someone in this book. This is the first book that I have read by McBride but I will say he captured what it means to build a community. It truly does take a village and sometimes your village is surrounded by demons but with faith and trust in what is right God smiles on you and gives you exactly what you need to be the best version of yourself. Bravo for showing the world that good old fashion values are always what is most important no matter what walk of life you come from or what is thrown in your way. Even a fast ball!!
  • Awesome Book!

    5
    By tquenton
    This story had so many twists and turns in it to keep you reading in want of knowing what happens next. Anyone looking for a great story this is it.
  • A Good Ole Black Story

    5
    By Yolopoli
    One of my favorite reads. So specific and visceral. MUST READ!
  • Too much

    2
    By MamawBrooke
    Waaaaaay to many characters whose lives where too unimportant to invest myself in. I only made it 1/4 of the way thru, and literally had to force myself to go THAT far.