Book Companion Logo  DEACON KING KONG
AUTHOR: James McBride
James McBride

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One of TIME Magazine's Ten Best 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. Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.

Characters: 134. Amazon rating: 4 1/2 stars. Genre: Fiction.

BOOK COMPANION participant Kim Bethea comments on Deacon King Kong:

“Deacon King Kong” is many things: a mystery novel, a crime novel, an urban farce, a portrait of a project community. There’s even some western in here. The novel is, in other words, a lot. Fortunately, it is also deeply felt, beautifully written and profoundly humane; McBride’s ability to inhabit his characters’ foibles and all-too-human interiority helps transform a fine book into a great one. He has written beautifully before, in his beloved memoir, “The Color of Water,” and, with terrifying irreverence, in his National Book Award-winning novel, “The Good Lord Bird.” But “Deacon King Kong” reads like he’s tapped a whole fresh seam of inspiration and verve. It’s clear that he’s having a blast, and his spirit of funning irreverence supercharges the entire narrative like home-brewed black lightning.




1   MapSouth Brooklyn.
15   MapGeorgia.
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