The prose is relentless and McBride's storytelling skills … “Deacon King Kong” begins with an attempted murder that takes place in front of 16 witnesses. James McBride’s last novel, “The Good Lord Bird,” won the National Book Award in 2013. James McBride's Deacon King Kong is a feverish love letter to New York City, people, and writing. He’s published other books since then, but now he returns with another big novel: “Deacon King Kong.”