“A man ain’t got to stand in church every Sunday to do God’s work.”Deacon King Kong
I can honestly say I have never read a book quite like Deacon King Kong by James McBride. The audiobook is narrated by Dominic Hoffman. It is 1969 in Brooklyn. Nothing sets off a series of aftershocks quite like when the old Deacon, named Sportcoat, walks up to a young drug dealer and promising athlete, named Deems, on the street and shoots him. Deems manages to move and only suffer a minor injury rather than death. But Sportcoat has no recollection of the crime, but there are plenty of witnesses.
First, I have to give the narrator a shoutout. His performance is spectacular, especially with every single accent that appear in this story. And when I say accents, this book is FILLED with beautifully rich cultural diversity. The story showcases the lives of the citizens of New York which includes African Americans, Irish, Italians, Puerto Ricans, and so much more. It shows the complexities and power of a close community. We see the reactions of the mob, police officers, and the residents.
The beginning is slow and while the I knew what was happening, I was also trying to make sense of it. But the author’s prose and descriptions kept drawing me in. While there are many serious themes, there is also a humorous underlining to the story. All the characters are flawed but wonderful. I enjoyed them all immensely. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars!