BUCKY F*CKING DENT by David Duchovny


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A frustrated young writer discovers a surprising redemption when he moves back in with his dying father.

Duchovny (Holy Cow, 2015) follows up his whimsical debut with a far more substantive coming-of-age novel that started life over a decade ago as an unproduced screenplay centered on the infamous 1978 American League East tiebreaker between the Yankees and the Red Sox. Our introduction to this well-captured corner of Americana comes from Ted Fullilove, an Ivy League graduate who largely wastes his potential by smoking pot, tossing peanuts at Yankee Stadium, and puttering around with the Great American Novel. When Ted learns that his long-estranged father, Marty, is dying, he moves back in with the cantankerous old man. Marty is a throwback to another age, a former adman with a secretive past revealed when he asks his son to read the journals he wrote as a younger man. As Ted spends more time with his father, he develops a grudging respect for the profane Marty, whose belligerence belies a whip-smart mind and a deep love for the son he calls “Splinter.” Ted even gets surprised by his own romanticism when he falls for Mariana, a caretaker who warns Ted, “Death is not a story; it can’t be faked out. Death is real. You can’t really keep your father safe.” There’s a comic angle here, too. Marty’s health plummets whenever the Red Sox lose, so Ted mounts an ambitious campaign to fake a winning season with the help of Mariana and Marty’s elderly buddies. A truly funny moment comes later when Ted introduces Marty to the merits of marijuana. Readers who enjoy the story told here would be well-served by seeking out Duchovny’s 2004 directorial debut, House of D, which shares many of the same assets. Duchovny riffs heavily on familiar themes here but still deftly portrays bittersweet nostalgia without lapsing into saccharine theatricality.

A sentimental, staccato love letter to baseball, fatherhood, and the passage of time.

Pub Date: April 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-374-11042-0
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2016

Kirkus Interview
David Duchovny
author of HOLY COW
February 3, 2015

Elsie Bovary is a cow, and a pretty happy one at that—her long, lazy days are spent eating, napping, and chatting with her best friend, Mallory. One night, Elsie and Mallory sneak out of their pasture; but while Mallory is interested in flirting with the neighboring bulls, Elsie finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer’s family gathered around a bright Box God—and what the Box God reveals about something called an “industrial meat farm” shakes Elsie’s understanding of her world to its core. Holy Cow is actor David Duchovny’s first novel. “Between the book's sly humor, gently humanist (animalist?) message and wry illustrations by Natalya Balnova, this is a pseudo-children's book that smart adults should greatly enjoy,” our reviewer wrote in a starred review. View video >


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