In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.Log in Create account
Gift audiobook credit bundles
You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.Start gifting
Deacon King Kong (Oprah's Book Club)
“Deacon King Kong centers around an uncharacteristic event life in the projects in 1960's New York City. McBride’s highly energetic story encompasses a multitude of characters that circle the Five Ends Baptist Church, where his main character, Sportcoat, is a Deacon. Sportcoat is a hard-drinking, odd-job handyman that lost his wife two years ago (but continuously argues with her ghost), defies death multiple times, coaches a youth baseball team, and teaches Sunday School. The reader bounces around from character to character learning about the internal dynamics of the community; the mysteries, myths, and urban legends of the community and each individual’s take on shared events. The characters felt so real and the interactions often made me laugh out loud. The semi-chaotic writing style, jumping from one character’s perspective to another, was a bit challenging for me to get into at first, but soon the style clicked and I was swept away! And somehow, despite the chaos, everything ties up brilliantly at the end.”Emma,
“ James McBride has written a masterpiece with Deacon King Kong. The writing is a tapestry of story lines woven together with the skill of a master craftsman. The narrating is in a class by itself. This is absolutely the perfect book to lose yourself in. Straight up 10!”Mary,
“It's been a while since I wanted to listen to an audiobook from the beginning right after I finished it. Deacon King Kong, narrated by Dominic Hoffman, is well-crafted storytelling with memorable characters and oddball humor that I just loved. It's also gritty and heartbreaking. What more can you ask of an engaging story when you are house-bound by a viral pandemic. Thank you, James McBride!”Becky,
“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”Stuart McCommon,
“An amazing cast of characters and compelling storyline coupled with fantastic dialogue delivers a dynamic novel. One one level this is a great story, but on so many other levels it touches on the Great Migration and class and society - and also how regular folks cross many divides to simply just support each other through life. A great audiobook as well.”Jamie,
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
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.