Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny
Wow... this book isn't perfect but it exceeded my expectations. I am not a die-hard Duchovny fan but I was intrigued by the title of this book when it crossed my desk at the library where I work. I do know who Bucky Dent is and in a job I had a long, long time ago I worked with a guy with disabilities who knew Red Sox baseball from the 70s down cold. This game in 1978 was one I had heard about repeatedly. I was 7 when it happened so my memory... not so great. So I went into this story curious.
Another reviewer mentioned Duchovny using autobiographical material for some of this book and I wondered about that. I wish I knew more of his personal story, or where to find it. I did look him up on Wikipedia but that didn't answer all my questions.
I felt like there were many layers with this book. Our narrator, Ted, is a well-educated guy who likes to get stoned so there's some big words and wanderings as he talks to us sometimes and the story gets a little wobbly. I've taken some classes in marketing and advertising so I understood the stuff that was mentioned here about the history of advertising in the 60s and 70s and whatnot. I got that. Then there's the baseball stuff. Some of the chapters start off with statistics and dates and I think baseball fans, especially Red Sox and Yankees fans, will groove that. There's also some sexually explicit stuff that definitely puts this into a not-for-kids category. This isn't a book for a 12 year old.
As Patrick (another reviewer on Goodreads) said “But he packs the novel with seemingly every random observation or quasi-humorous quip that entered his consciousness.
While it's overstuffed and at times frustrating, there's still much to admire in this tale of finding love amid life's disappointments. (less)”-- Patrick
That's a pretty good summary. "Meredith" said the audiobook was worth a read and I plan on getting that from another library to listen to in the car. I'm not big into audiobooks but I think it could be interesting to hear this in book in Duchovny's voice.
So yeah... well-educated white guy, named after some Red Sox stuff, with a degree from Columbia working at Yankee Stadium selling peanuts gets the call that his father is dying and goes home to help him out. Along the way he's getting stoned, listening to the Grateful Dead, and reciting poetry. Duchovny's got a team behind him obviously that helps him get several copyright clearances to include poetry, song lyrics, and other writings that another writer might not be able to include. It's all good. The ending kind of cheeses out but I don't think there was any other way.
On a side note I was impressed with Duchovny's ability to slide the plane crash from 1960 into the story as well as the Greek from 2004. I really meant to look up the Greek to see if he got it right. The trip to Sturbridge and Friendly's was nice. I know where that is. The Paul Revere Motor Lodge... well that's in New York state, but maybe in 1978 there was one in Massachusetts that has since changed names. I wonder if Duchovny knows the back roads from New York City to Boston. He might. His ex-wife's grandmother and other family members are from Massachusetts, and at the end of the book he gives credit to a scene that happened in New England where he got the inspiration for the book.
I have heard that some New Yorkers recognized their own neighborhoods in the stories too. Given that Duchovny is a New Yorker I guess that's not a surprise.
And now I've got "Box of Rain" stuck in my head.
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