Thursday, May 6, 2021

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 and Book Beginnings



It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an eBook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.

Today I'm featuring a book that has long been in my reading pile, Deacon King Kong by James McBride. The excerpts shared are from a copy in my reading collection.

Deacon King Kong

Beginning: Deacon Cuffy Lambkin of Five Ends Baptist Church became a walking dead man on a cloudy September afternoon in 1969.


Page 56: "Ah, but a fair-play mate he was. He never forgot a friend. A better man I never knew. He looked out for me in prison."


My thoughts:  I heard so many good things about this book--and it was an Oprah pick. I'm hoping that shining some attention on it now will move the book further to the top of my reading pile.


From GoodReads:  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.

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.


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution. 

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  1. It is on my reading list even though I didn't know what it was about. I think I will wait until I hear back as to what you think of it before I place a hold at the library. My book is The Girl with the Louding Voice

  2. I actually haven't heard of Deacon King Kong. It has an interesting premise. I hope you enjoy it once you get to it. :-)

  3. Interesting plot summary. I hope you enjoy the story. This week I am spotlighting A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver from my review stack. Happy reading!

  4. What intriguing excerpts, and I love that cover, too. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “THE NEXT WIFE”

  5. I hope you're enjoying it! Happy Friday!

  6. I'm curious for more! Happy weekend!

  7. This sounds like an interesting read and one I'm not familiar with. I hope you enjoy it!

  8. Definitely intriguing! I've never heard of this one, but I'm going to check it out now. Thanks for sharing!