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Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Deacon King Kong (Riverhead Books Kong winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction starts out fast: a church deacon shoots a drug dealer in the book's first paragraph. Then there are about 100 very slow-going pages that introduce the main characters. And finally the book picks up the pace and the interest of readers before going in strange directions and through wonderous plot points before it ends with various characters dead and others rather miraculously ending up "happily ever-aftering" while you (the reader) are left to either re-read the book or go searching for another James McBride book at your library or bookstore.

Yeah, I know that this is a vague 'review.' The book is about a shooting. Yet, is also about so much more. I am not your traditional book reviewer. I don't want to tell you the entire story (with or without spoiler alerts) but to make you aware of books worth reading. Trust me Deacon King Kong is a book you should read. Struggle through the slow sections and you'll very much enjoy this book that is sad, comedic, and thoughtful by turns. Believe me it is worth your time.

If you do want to read (or listen to) an actual review by Maureen Corrigan--who teaches at Georgetown University (in Washington, DC) and reviews books for both NPR's Fresh Air and the Washington Post--then follow the link:

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