Book Review: Deacon King Kong

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

 Meet Sportcoat, Miss Izi, Deems, Hot Sausage, Sister Gee, Pots, Elephant, Hettie, Cheese, Ants, Soup, and many more characters in this delightful novel situated in the 1969 era of the projects in the Bronx. James McBride (author of The Color of Water) tells the story of a community of different races, religions, and skin colors, and how this particular community both fought with each other and supported each other through both benign and bizarre situations. The community rallied together regardless of gangsters and cops to maintain a sense of equilibrium, all the while enduring the drastic and inevitable changes that any community experiences.

McBride dispenses with political correctness as he describes the characters who live in community, artfully weaving a story that includes violence, humor, loyalty, dreams, justice, and a smidgen of romance to warm the heart.

Review by Harriet Engle