Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $39.50

Buy Now for $39.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Chosen by Barack Obama as a favourite read of 2020.

The New York Times best seller and Oprah's Book Club Pick.

From the winner of a National Book Award and author of 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 Sportscoat 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 Sportscoat'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 best seller shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, and that the communities we build are fragile but vital.

©2020 James McBride (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

"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)

What listeners say about Deacon King Kong

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    13
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tuptim
  • Tuptim
  • 05-08-2020

Everything wonderful but...

It’s a shame that no-one took a moment to re-think the Irish accents in the performance. They were a grim weakness in an otherwise stellar narration.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amy Joanne Thomson
  • Amy Joanne Thomson
  • 08-11-2020

A slow burner with incredible detail

I just couldn't get into this story at first I found it slightly slow paced and overly detailed but then all of a sudden I felt as if I knew the characters as if they were my own friends and couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

A really heartwarming tale with intricacies and character depth that not many people write with. Not a whole lot happens but I loved it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ClareR
  • ClareR
  • 27-10-2021

An outstanding listen.

Deacon King Kong is a wonderful book, revolving around the alcoholic Deacon Cuffy Lambkin, aka Sportcoat, and how in an alcohol fuelled haze, he shoots the ear of the local drug dealer. His community pulls together and tries to protect him from the inevitable retribution. And so we are introduced to and learn about the different people who, in some way, touch Sportcoats life: from his blind son and dead wife (who, thanks to the alcohol he drinks, he speaks to regularly), to the women who run the church, to the police officers connected to the case, the drug ring, the local Italian crime boss and his elderly mother, and Sportcoats best friend, Hot Sausage.

They’re all such well-rounded, well-written, real characters, and it all played out in my head like a film (has this been optioned yet?!). I love it when a book does that.
They all seemed to be genuinely nice characters who are getting by as best they can in a culture where drugs are King and poor boys and men of colour are rarely given a chance in life.

Honestly, you should listen to it. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for annette
  • annette
  • 25-04-2021

A twisting and turning story..loved it

It took me a little while to settle into the story, as thought it might be all doom and gloom...
However the humour and sadness of the complex lives of the people was weaved together extremely well to tie up all the different story lines. I loved the narrators depictions of the characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Justin M
  • Justin M
  • 16-04-2021

Entertaining throughout!

Great story, some good laughs too. Narration was perfect. Good work all round! Bravo to all!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Kelleher
  • John Kelleher
  • 05-02-2021

A hugely enjoyable read

This wonderful book is bursting with colourful characters humour and humanity. I didn't want it to end..

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.