Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny | Rating: ★★★★★
Can you, man, find the poetry to keep the sun from rising, like a
mountain, blocking its inevitable ascent for a few more moments? Can
you, who call yourself a writer, find the words that will have an actual
influence on the real and natural world? Magic passwords-shazzam, open
sesame, scoddy waddy doo dah–warriors lurking in the Trojan horse of
words. The implicit answer to Coleridge’s question was: Hell, no. If the
answer were yes, he would never have asked the question. The writer
will never make something happen in the real world. In fact, the act of
writing may be in itself the final admission that one is powerless in
reality. Shit, that would surely suck.
Bucky F*cking Dent is more than just an attention grabbing title. It is more than just a small novel about life, and its hits and misses. Most importantly, the novel introduces us to David Duchovny, novelist, instead of David Duchovny, actor. You may know David Duchovny from his many iconic roles throughout his career: Fox Mulder (The X-Files), Hank Moody (Californication) or currently Sam Hodiak (Aquarius) or the like. Or you may only know him in passing from his prolific career.
But what many people don't realize is that Duchovny is a skilled writer--a talent that is often unacknowledged.
With his previous fiction release Holy Cow, and a few scripts under his belt, Duchovny has proven time and time again that he knows how to tell a story. He is one of the most under appreciated novelists of our time and I cannot stress that enough. Bucky F*cking Dent proves this in every right--it's the best fiction release this year, hands down. He really fucking knows what he's doing, guys.
Poignant, beautiful crafted, heartfelt and downright hilarious, Bucky F*cking Dent tells us a story of everyday life. It will truly tug on your heartstrings just as often as it will make you chuckle. The best part? Its prose is so... perfect. It flows by quickly and deliciously, the ideal "quick but not lacking" read; providing the reader with such a detailed narration that you can all but hear someone reading it to you. You should note, as well, that highlighters and page tabs are the ultimate must-have for the person picking it up.
(Also a tissue box towards the end.)
2016 has been filled with a world of phenomenal releases but none have reached quite as high as Duchovny's latest. He is certainly at the tip top of the best-of list and I'm confident he has secured that title for the long haul. My copy has received a world of love and praise in its notes. I found myself capturing the moments with ease and tabbing a large chunk of the novel and really, I'm confident that my fellow readers will be doing the same.
A lot of hesitance is being portrayed when it comes to picking up the novel, but I cannot stress this enough: you don't have to be a fan of baseball to read and enjoy Bucky F*cking Dent. Indeed, you don't have to be a fan of David Duchovny's acting, either, because at the end of the day his story is something universal. He captured so much emotion in such a small frame of time that it was equal parts smooth and complex--simply put, it is now amongst my favorites in fiction.
I'm not sucking up because I admire David's career (although, I don't follow much about him personally, his presence is high in many things I've loved)--I'm simply trying to get my point across that it is a damn good novel, with a whole lot of heart and soul and reminded me what I love most about reading and writing. There was something about flipping that last page and looking over the many colourful tabs I'd marked: it made me feel. It made me want to go out there and write. It makes its reader feel alive because he breathed so much life into what he wrote.
That being said, the plot is simple. What makes it stand out is David's prose which, again, is stunning. He draws you in from the get go and doesn't loosen his grip. Our main character, Ted Fullilove, is an excellent character to know. David put forth a great deal of planning in his characteristics and this shows. It's not an easy task to paint a clear image of someone but from the start we feel like Ted is an old friend; an old stoner friend.
A great deal of the novel deals with Ted's life changing, or not changing, as he tries to mend a relationship with his dying father. Marty has never been a good father to Ted and now that he is in his final stages of life, battling lung cancer, the two have one more go at a relationship before it's too late.
During those final days, Ted attempts to bond with Marty and attempts to make the best of the remainder of his father's life possible for him, which includes creating a false series of Red Sox wins (his father's beloved team) with the help of an odd (but delightful) mix of characters. And then there's the tricky relationship Ted has with Marty's grief counselor Marianna.
My favorite scenes were those little glimpses into both Ted and Marty's writing. But I loved, loved, loved the back story and the scenes in which Ted tried to make things great for Marty. All the lies he told, all the searching he did, so on and so forth, felt just right to witness and in a way helped Ted come into his own a bit further. I loved that the characters were so flawed and obtainable and how they all just built into each other and had a spark that as a reader I can't always explain. It just all felt so right.
I loved seeing a sort of story within a story and I feel that Duchovny crafted each character, each flaw, each subplot, excellently and couldn't put the damned novel down. And then I found myself concentrating on what I'd read for the longest time afterwards. If you're looking for a novel that will give you a massive book hangover, this is one of the greats. Bucky F*cking Dent soars high and never comes down and readers will appreciate every moment spent.
Not only did it make me laugh, it made me cry and love. That's what writing is all about--the emotion of words and all that creation. David Duchovny's second novel is everything literature should be and then some--it's the ultimate must read for everyone this summer.
He is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to literature and I cannot wait to see what other novels he will, hopefully, produce in the years to come. David Duchovny is the voice you've been waiting for.