It’s been probably 7 or 8 years since I read McBride’s novel “The Good Lord Bird” and it remains a favorite read of mine. So when my husband suggested I read this latest novel by McBride I was anxious to. Here is my book review Deacon King Kong by James McBride.
Deacon King Kong
I had a lot of distractions going on in my personal life while I was reading this book. Some days I didn’t have time to even pick it up…other days it was a great little retreat for me at the end of a crazy day. McBride’s writing is superb, and in fact even better in Deacon King Kong than in The Good Lord Bird. One of the reasons this book has enjoyed so much acclaim and awards.
The year is 1969 and the place is the “projects” in Brooklyn New York. A rundown neighborhood slowly becoming a drug capital. We are introduced to the men, women and children of the ‘hood, whose lives revolve mostly around each other and church. The majority are black from the South, some Puerto Rican and some Italian. The protagonist is Deacon King Kong who, we will learn, goes by many other names as well. A widower, a deacon, a gardener, an umpire, a coach, a janitor and a drunk. This is the story of Deacon King Kong and all the versions of his life, and all the people in his life and how the story is set in motion on the day he shoots a young drug dealer in the neighborhood.
Three Things I Loved About This Book
- Multiple storylines, each one fully developed and engaging, culminate beautifully in the end of the book.
- Spectacular character development. There are numerous characters and McBride is brilliant in this area. You truly are rooting for all of these people to make it and to come out happy on the other side.
- And the narrative setting of Brooklyn in the tumultuous 1960’s plays out so well in the writing as the multiple storylines follow cops (both good and bad), race and racism, mobsters and drug dealers, poverty, community and faith.
McBride shows us in this book how things may not always be what they appear, how lives can be entwined in ways we may not understand, and how compassion and gratitude can change lives beyond our own time on this earth. This book is about faith. I hope you enjoyed my book review Deacon King Kong by James McBride
*****Five stars for Deacon King Kong
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