Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.


Oprah’s Book Club pick and a New York Times bestseller!
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. As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters 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.


The first line of the Deacon King Kong is: “Deacon Cuffy Lambkin of Five Ends Baptist Church became a walking dead man on a cloudy September afternoon in 1969.” How did that opening strike you when you began reading? What do you think of it now that you’ve finished the novel?

Deacon King Kong is full of overlapping stories of a Brooklyn neighborhood in 1969. What parts of these characters’ lives struck you as memorable or surprising?

Cuffy “Sportcoat” Lambkin is at the center of Deacon King Kong, yet he’s not a completely likable character. How do Sportcoat’s flaws affect you? Do they make him more annoying than interesting?