Deacon King Kong: A Novel

Deacon King Kong: A Novel

by James McBride (Author)

Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction   Winner of the Gotham Book PrizeOne of Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of the Year"Oprah's Book Club PickNamed one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly and TIME Magazine A 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.

Deacon King Kong: A Novel by James McBride is a powerful and moving story about a young man named Sportcoat who is drawn into a life of crime in the projects of Brooklyn in the 1960s. After a botched robbery, Sportcoat ends up in prison, where he meets Deacon King Kong, a larger-than-life figure who takes him under his wing.

Deacon King Kong is a former boxer who is now a respected elder in the community. He teaches Sportcoat about the importance of family, loyalty, and forgiveness. He also helps Sportcoat to find his own path in life, away from crime and violence.

Deacon King Kong is a story about the power of redemption and the possibility of change. It is a beautifully written and deeply moving novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. McBride's characters are unforgettable, and his story is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

This novel is a must-read for anyone who enjoys literary fiction, historical fiction, or stories about the African American experience. It is also a great choice for book clubs, as it offers plenty of material for discussion.

If you're looking for a powerful and moving story that will stay with you long after you finish reading it, then you should definitely check out Deacon King Kong. You won't be disappointed.


384 pages