A former Wall Street veteran, quarantined by the coronavirus, becomes consumed with madness—or the fulfillment of his own mythic fate.
“Evocative, chilly prose that wouldn’t be out of place in a late Don DeLillo novel. Like his previous novels Bucky F*cking Dent and Miss Subways, it’s a love letter to Duchovny’s native New York. But it’s also a smart story about obsession. A slim, compelling tale of a man on the brink.”
“This swift and unnerving fever-dream of a novella, Duchovny's fifth work of fiction, is saturated with mythic and literary allusions and shaped by resonant riffs on Poe and Mann. At once philosophical and suspenseful, grandly imaginative and sharply funny, this mind-bending story of delusion and longing is a dark reflection of New York’s countless crimes and tragedies and much-tested resilience, emblematic of the suffering and tenacity of all of humanity.”
“This intelligent effort further burnishes Duchovny’s status as a gifted novelist.”
The Reservoir follows an unexceptional man in an exceptional time. We see our present-day pandemic world and New York City through the eyes of a former Wall Street veteran, Ridley, as he looks back upon his life in his enforced quarantine solitude, wondering what it all means and who he really is.
Sitting and brooding night after night, gazing out his huge picture window high above the Central Park Reservoir, Ridley spots a flashing light in an apartment across the park as if a lonely quarantined person is signaling him in Morse code. His determination to find out who this mystery woman is leads him on an epic quest that will ultimately tempt him with either delusional madness or the fulfillment of his own mythic fate.
Is he a dying man going mad or an everyman metamorphosing into a hero? Or both? We accompany Ridley as he leaves the safety of his apartment window to save the Fifth Avenue femme fatale and descends into a dangerous, increasingly surreal world of global conspiracies, madness, and sickness of this viral time. As Ridley’s actions grow more and more uncharacteristic, he realizes the key to all the mysteries of now, and even all of history, seem to lie deep beneath the freezing waters of the reservoir.
The Reservoir is a twisted rom-com for our distanced time, when the merest touch could kill and conspiracy theories propagate like viruses—a contemporary union of Death in Venice, Rear Window, and The Plague.
Additional praise for The Reservoir:
“This beautiful fever dream of a novella put me in mind of Gabriel García Márquez because of its sense of romance—and humor—in the midst of calamity. I’ll never look at Central Park the same way.”
“A heartbreaking story of the cloaked complexities of father-daughter love framed as a sort of virtuoso suicide note. In its depiction of the breakthrough longings that come with growing older, it also struck me, wonderfully, as a contemporary Death in Venice.”
—Walter Kirn, author of Blood Will Out
“Biting and funny, The Reservoir is also deep and reflective. A mystery wrapped in a fever dream. A tale for our infectious times.”
—Chris Carter, director/writer, creator of The X-Files
“Equal parts Rear Window and The Plague, David Duchovny’s new novella is a wildly imaginative morality tale for these confounding times. With the Central Park Reservoir as his canvas, Duchovny paints a protagonist as quixotic as he is unreliable (or is he?). I had no idea where this story was headed, but I was down for the ride on every page.”
—T Cooper, author of Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes
Praise for previous works by David Duchovny:
"[David Duchovny's] most complex novel is also the best of the batch, and makes a solid case for him as a real-deal novelist. It's a provocative, entertaining book that, much like [Tom] Wolfe did, exposes our collective foibles and makes everybody look a little cartoonish. But it persuades you that we deserve the caricature he's made of us." —Washington Post, on Truly Like Lightning
"This beguiling book crackles with energy and intelligence. It makes you laugh and then just when you think the ride is coming to an end . . . it delivers a right hook that leaves you aghast. It kind of broke my heart and I loved every minute of it." —Samantha Bee, on Truly Like Lightning
"Truly Like Lightning is an emotionally captivating tour de force from start to finish. David Duchovny fires on all cylinders in penning a modern-day fish out of water tale . . . A true must-read for 2021." —San Francisco Book Review
"Duchovny is best known for his idiosyncratic roles in The X-Files and Californication, and he has a wildly unpredictable voice as a writer. Here he offers a dramatic parable involving trespasses against others and the dire consequences that follow . . . Duchovny's characteristically nimble prose not only connects the various narratives, but exposes the complicated humanity of his multifarious cast. An engrossing story about a clash of cultures and the extremities of faith." —Kirkus Reviews, on Truly Like Lightning
"A bucking ride through the 21st-century American West . . . Duchovny's jam-packed page-turner is just waiting for someone to snap up the film rights." —Publishers Weekly, on Truly Like Lightning
"Novels written by celebrities can be risky reads, but not in the hands of David Duchovny . . . who has crafted a witty and profound showstopper about ancient myths, modern New York City, and the persistence—and magic—of love . . . Read Miss Subways as a wonderful fantasy, an exquisite love story, or a valentine to New York City, but you can also, like Emer, look deeper." —Caroline Leavitt, San Francisco Chronicle
"In [Duchovny's] third novel, Miss Subways, he demonstrates unequivocally that, to paraphrase the actor Chris Robinson who portrayed Dr. Rick Webber on General Hospital, he not only plays a novelist on TV, but is one . . . Even readers who aren't fans of the metaphysical will be captivated by the author's charming narrative and vivid exposition" —New York Times
"[Miss Subways is] rolling with zany characters and playful wit worthy of Tom Robbins and recent Thomas Pynchon. [Duchovny] writes Emer so genuinely that readers will either fall for her, or identify with her, or both . . . This is a rollicking underground ride." —USA Today
"Fresh off a new season of the evergreen X-Files and a late-blooming music career, the multitalented Duchovny offers a spooky domestic drama that is equal parts Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman . . . An entertaining, postmodern fairy tale that tests the boundaries of love and fate." —Kirkus Reviews, on Miss Subways
"Emer has a dreamy side, compounded by a benign brain tumor, that makes her, and the reader, wonder whether she is hallucinating or if her reality keeps changing as she wages a battle for her right to love. Duchovny's humor and fondness for New York City enliven every page. Give this to readers willing to go on a wild ride." —Booklist, on Miss Subways
Bucky F*cking Dent was a Time Out New York Best Book of the Year and a Booklist Editors' Choice Selection
"Hilarious and deeply touching . . . Not a baseball book any more than Field of Dreams is a baseball book, this moving, beautiful novel resonates with laughter and tears throughout." —USA Today, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"Like Bucky Dent himself, Duchovny hits an unexpected home run." —New York Times Book Review, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"If it's annoying that Mr. Duchovny, who's already a phenomenally successful and painfully good-looking actor is also a funny and natural writer—his last book, the animal allegory Holy Cow, also earned high praise from skeptical critics—then at least give him some points for self-awareness. Like his character in Californication, Mr. Duchovny knows how he comes off and doesn't mind if you resent him. He just wants a fair shake." —New York Observer, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"Duchovny has hit this one out of the park . . . he does a terrific job of blending quirky and emotional writing." —Associated Press, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"Duchovny finds the humor and poetry in life's lost causes." —Entertainment Weekly, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"Duchovny's hilarious new novel hits a home run . . . As fast as it is entertaining . . . Duchovny has a place in the lineup, kind of like a light-hitting shortstop who shines in key moments." —Washington Post, on Bucky F*cking Dent
"Even people who hate the Red Sox will love this book. David Duchovny knows his baseball, but more important, he loves his fathers and sons. A touching delight." —Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends
"[Duchovny's] debut novel is a charming fable about dignity and tolerance, complete with anthropomorphized animals and replete with puns, double-entendres and sophisticated humor . . . 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. An offbeat adventure that reads like Bill Willingham's Fables directed by Ralph Bakshi." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on Holy Cow
"Wide-eyed and playfully juvenile . . . [Holy Cow] is refreshing to read." —Matt Haig, Guardian
"[Duchovny's] zany, madcap first novel, Holy Cow . . . is a seriously entertaining fable that doesn't take itself too seriously . . . Duchovny is a witty writer, and he's especially good at conjuring these oddball voices." —Washington Post
"Who knew a cow's view of the world was so funny yet so honest and true? Holy Cow is silly and fun from the opening page." —Denver Post