For the past twenty years, Bronson Powers, former Hollywood stuntman and converted Mormon, has been homesteading deep in the uninhabited desert outside Joshua Tree with his three wives and ten children. Bronson and his wives, Yalulah, Mary, and Jackie, have been raising their family away from the corruption and evil of the modern world. Their insular existence--controversial, difficult, but Edenic--is upended when the ambitious young developer Maya Abbadessa stumbles upon their land. Hoping to make a profit, she crafts a wager with the family that sets in motion a deadly chain of events.
... 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. The culture clash played out in the book provides humor, heart as well as deep philosophical questions. A true must-read for 2021.
... a stab at a hefty, Tom Wolfe-style social novel that wrestles with big themes. But his 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 [...] 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 ... Good for Duchovny. He’s not playacting at fiction. But Truly Like Lightning also reveals a celebrity’s privilege: He’s had the opportunity to develop his voice across three novels before writing one that resonates, more leeway than what’s now afforded most emerging writers, who have to take off like a rocket or be all but banished. We could use more David Duchovny novels: funny, big-picture, irreverent. We could also use a literary culture that nurtures more writers the way it has Duchovny.
It’s a heady mix of philosophy, faith, family drama, and violence, but 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.