Deacon King Kong
In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Causeway Housing Projects 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.
Drawing from both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel that's as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water - and that demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.