Deacon King Kong

Cori’s Pick: Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Hands-down, this is the best book I have read all year.  The synopsis: 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. 

This alone was enough to intrigue me, but once the characters and story line were established, I was entranced by this book.  It is all at once hilarious and profoundly real and touching.  McBride so carefully weaves the character’s lives together – including churchgoers, police, Italian mobsters, drug dealers – in the most unexpected of ways.  For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t racing just to see how a book ended.  The story slowly and carefully unfolded in front of my eyes and I didn’t want it to end.  But it did, and I absorbed everything it had to offer.  I strongly encourage you to add this one to your TBR (to be read) list.