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Oprah's Book Club Pick A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book 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.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK 'A hilarious, pitch-perfect comedy set in the Brooklyn projects of the late 1960s. This alone may qualify it as one of the year's best novels.' The Washington Post From the winner of a National Book Award, author of the million-copy selling COLOR OF WATER, and THE GOOD LORD BIRD, soon to be a TV series starring Ethan Hawke The year is 1969. In a housing project in south Brooklyn, a shambling old church deacon called Sportcoat shoots - for no apparent reason - the local drug-dealer who used to be part of the church's baseball team. The repercussions of that moment draw in the whole community, from Sportcoat's best friend - Hot Sausage - to the local Italian mobsters, the police (corrupt and otherwise), and the stalwart ladies of the Five Ends Baptist Church. DEACON KING KONG is a book about a community under threat, about the ways people pull together in an age when the old rules are being rewritten. It is very funny in places, and heartbreaking in others. From a prize-winning storyteller, this New York Times bestseller shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, and that the communities we build are fragile but vital. 'Deacon King Kong is deeply felt, beautifully written and profoundly humane; McBride's ability to inhabit his characters' foibled, all-too-human interiority helps transform a fine book into a great one' The New York Times Book Review ______________________ What readers are saying: ***** 'Deacon King Kong is one of those novels whose brilliance sneaks up on you. I haven't been this pleasantly surprised by a book in a while.' ***** 'I do believe I just finished one of my all time favorite books.' ***** 'This book was a balm for my soul' ***** 'Oh what an absolute treasure this book is!' ***** 'The ending was one of those where you clutch your heart and want to hug the book (or your Kindle).' ***** 'Magnetic, hilarious and mesmerising storytelling from a gifted author.' What reviewers are saying: 'Cracking...Terrific...Deeply felt, beautifully written, and profoundly humane.' New York Times Book Review cover 'The sheer volume of invention in Deacon King Kong commands awe.' The New Yorker 'Among the greatest American storytellers of our time.' Bookpage 'Sets a new standard for multidimensional fiction about people of color.' Booklist, starred review
McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by a shooting. 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
Paperback Deacon King Kong by Sandra Cole
Deacon King Kong is a crime novel centering around life in the projects in the 1960's New York City. What makes this novel such a standout achievement is not so much the action or plot so much as the writing which tells a whole life story in one paragraph If not in each sentence. Often the characters are revealed in poetic street raps about how they earned their nicknames and what's going on.
Kill Em And Leave by James McBride
“You won’t leave this hypnotic book without feeling that James Brown is still out there, howling.”—The Boston Globe ONE OF NPR’S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR • LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE FINALIST Kill ’Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown embodied the contradictions of American life: He was an unsettling symbol of the tensions between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. After receiving a tip that promises to uncover the man behind the myth, James McBride goes in search of the “real” James Brown. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history, illuminating not only our understanding of the immensely troubled, misunderstood, and complicated Godfather of Soul, but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Brown’s enduring legacy. Praise for Kill ’Em and Leave “A tour de force of cultural reportage.”—The Seattle Times “Thoughtful and probing.”—The New York Times Book Review “Masterly . . . powerful.”—Los Angeles Review of Books “McBride provides something lacking in most of the books about James Brown: an intimate feeling for the musician, a veracious if inchoate sense of what it was like to be touched by him. . . . It may be as close [to ‘the real James Brown’] as we’ll ever get.”—David Hajdu, The Nation “A feat of intrepid journalistic fortitude.”—USA Today “[McBride is] the biographer of James Brown we’ve all been waiting for. . . . McBride’s true subject is race and poverty in a country that doesn’t want to hear about it, unless compelled by a voice that demands to be heard.”—Boris Kachka, New York “Illuminating . . . engaging.”—The Washington Post “A gorgeously written piece of reportage that gives us glimpses of Brown’s genius and contradictions.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
Five Carat Soul by James McBride
One of The New York Times' 100 Notable Books of 2017 “A pinball machine zinging with sharp dialogue, breathtaking plot twists and naughty humor... McBride at his brave and joyous best.” —New York Times Book Review Exciting new fiction from James McBride, the first since his National Book Award–winning novel The Good Lord Bird. The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives. As McBride did in his National Book award-winning The Good Lord Bird and his bestselling The Color of Water, he writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don’t fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.
Song Yet Sung by James McBride
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate. Filled with rich, true details—much of the story is drawn from historical events—and told in McBride’s signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.
The Privileges by Jonathan Dee
BONUS: This edition contains a The Privileges discussion guide. Smart and socially gifted, Adam and Cynthia Morey are perfect for each other. With Adam’s rising career in the world of private equity, a beautiful home in Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful. But for the Moreys, their future of boundless privilege is not arriving fast enough. As Cynthia begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a choice that will test how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family’s happiness and to recapture the sense that the only acceptable life is one of infinite possibility. The Privileges is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other.
The Locals by Jonathan Dee
“Summons up a small American town at precisely the right moment in our history . . . a bold, vital, and view-expanding novel.”—George Saunders A rural working-class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this inspired novel for our times—fiction in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan. A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife, Karen, and their young daughter, Haley? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter. Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11 he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round “secure location” from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people’s money. The collision of these two men’s very different worlds—rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy—is the engine of Jonathan Dee’s powerful new novel. Inspired by Hadi, Mark looks around for a surefire investment: the mid-decade housing boom. Over Karen’s objections, and teaming up with his troubled brother, Gerry, Mark starts buying up local property with cheap debt. Then the town’s first selectman dies suddenly, and Hadi volunteers for office. He soon begins subtly transforming Howland in his image—with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family. Here are the dramas of twenty-first-century America—rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism—played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town. The Locals is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time. Praise for The Locals “After 9/11, New York hedge fund billionaire Philip Hadi retreats to his summer home in the Berkshires. In thrall to his new town, he runs for office to keep it sleepy, sweet and free from tax hikes. Is he benevolent, arrogant or both? No one gets off the moral hook in this propulsive, brilliantly observed study.”—People (Book of the Week) “Thoughtful . . . [Jonathan Dee’s] prescient sensitivity has never been more unnerving. . . . Amid the heat of today’s vicious political climate, The Locals is a smoke alarm. Listen up.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Miracle At St Anna by James McBride
Look out for McBride's new book, Five-Carat Soul From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. James McBride’s powerful memoir, The Color of Water, was a groundbreaking literary phenomenon that transcended racial and religious boundaries, garnering unprecedented acclaim and topping bestseller lists for more than two years. Now McBride turns his extraordinary gift for storytelling to fiction—in a universal tale of courage and redemption inspired by a little-known historic event. In Miracle at St. Anna, toward the end of World War II, four Buffalo Soldiers from the Army’s Negro 92nd Division find themselves separated from their unit and behind enemy lines. Risking their lives for a country in which they are treated with less respect than the enemy they are fighting, they discover humanity in the small Tuscan village of St. Anna di Stazzema—in the peasants who shelter them, in the unspoken affection of an orphaned child, in a newfound faith in fellow man. And even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, they—and we—learn to see the small miracles of life. This acclaimed novel is now a major motion picture directed by Spike Lee.