MISS SUBWAYS by David Duchovny

MISS SUBWAYS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A woman stumbles into the realm of myth when a supernatural creature offers her a heartbreaking choice.

Fresh off a new season of the evergreen X-Files and a late-blooming music career, the multitalented Duchovny (Bucky F*cking Dent, 2016, etc.) offers a spooky domestic drama that is equal parts Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman. In this tale based on an ancient Irish legend about two star-crossed lovers, Duchovny transposes the story to present-day New York, a city he clearly loves. Emer Gunnels is a masterful second-grade teacher who still experiences fleeting visions from a childhood brain tumor. Her boyfriend is Cuchulain Constance “Con” Powers, an academic who is writing an obscure, right-wing treatise on pre-Christian deities and folklore—“J.K. Rowling meets Michael Lewis in a London pub, they fuck and have a baby that William Buckley raises,” more or less. Things go dark when Emer is confronted by Bean Sidhe, a wildly profane Celtic fairy, who offers her an impossible choice: Con (who has been canoodling with the scary spider goddess Anansi, by the way) may live, but the lovers must separate forever—or he dies right here, right now. After a glimpse of how each choice plays out, Emer makes her fateful decision. “The man lives. Love dies,” declares Sidhe. Duchovny finds a deft balance here between Emer’s domestic rituals and the machinations of actual gods and monsters. It’s also worth praising the novel’s upside-down love story in which Emer grows into the hero of her own story, not merely the object of a man’s quest. As happens, Emer and Con are drawn to each other over and over, while the old gods yearn to break their eternal cycle. With mythical embodiments scattered among the book’s surprisingly down-to-earth milieu—a trio of goddesses and a foulmouthed “mistress-dispeller” among them—Duchovny adroitly couches a Nora Ephron–esque romance in the sphere of Joseph Campbell.

An entertaining, postmodern fairy tale that tests the boundaries of love and fate.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-374-21040-3
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2018




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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