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2 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

The Lonely Polygamist

by

The Lonely Polygamist Cover

ISBN13: 9780393062625
ISBN10: 0393062627
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Awards

Staff Pick

The Lonely Polygamist spotlights the fragile humanity of the title character, Golden Richards, and his extended family. Through masterful prose filled with palpable heartache — not to mention all manner of hi-jinks — Udall shows that love really can conquer all.
Recommended by Heidi Mager, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

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Publisher Comments:

Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart.

Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family's future.

Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging. Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family — with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy — pushed to its outer limits.

Review:

"A family drama with stinging turns of dark comedy, the latest from Udall (The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint) is a superb performance and as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic. Golden Richards is a polygamist Mormon with four wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business, and a few secrets. He tells his wives that the brothel he's building in Nevada is actually a senior center, and, more importantly, keeps hidden his burning infatuation with a woman he sees near the job site. Golden, perpetually on edge, has become increasingly isolated from his massive family — given the size of his brood, his solitude is heartbreaking — since the death of one of his children. Meanwhile, his newest and youngest wife, Trish, is wondering if there is more to life than the polygamist lifestyle, and one of his sons, Rusty, after getting the shaft on his birthday, hatches a revenge plot that will have dire consequences. With their world falling apart, will the family find a way to stay together? Udall's polished storytelling and sterling cast of perfectly realized and flawed characters make this a serious contender for Great American Novel status." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Lovers of good writing will find this a pleasure, period." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Brady Udall's new book is funny, touching and powerful. Its images tickle and glow, disturb and soothe. Sprawling, ambitious, and assured, Mr. Udall's first novel since his 2001 debut, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, bursts with language and originality....Read this. It's a sure bet for Great American Novel of 2010." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"A strength of the work is Udall's careful focus....Udall's prose is affectionate....A fair warning to the reader: The novel's prose and characters are addicting. Don't pick this one up unless you have the time to spend. It's original and lots of fun." The Denver Post

Review:

"The book reads easily, with much humor and occasional stabbing sorrow....I don't know how true to life this story may be. But it feels right, it reads beautifully and often hilariously, and I liked it an awful lot." The Oregonian

Review:

"Funny and wise, The Lonely Polygamist stands with other great family novels such as The Corrections and Middlesex, and sets Udall on the top shelf of America's writers." Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers

Review:

"The Lonely Polygamist is a hefty, eager, and bittersweet novel, and it is a page-turner. Brady Udall deals with familial chaos, reckless behavior, and alarming pyrotechnics with wit, grace, and tenderness. He's an enchanter who casts his spell with exquisite sentences and unerring, evocative details. Here is a writer of inordinate compassion and formidable intelligence. Read this remarkable novel, friend, live with it, and I promise you this, little Rusty Richards will haunt your dreams." John Dufresne, author of Love Warps the Mind a Little

Synopsis:

From a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large.

Synopsis:

[An] exceptional tale of an exceptional family.A profoundly satisfying read, written with a ferocious verve and authenticity.Uproarious . . . Udall’s storytelling [displays] ease and humor.An absorbing, moving entertaining novel that will transport the reader into Golden’s chaotic world.I don’t know how true to life this story may be. But it feels right, and it reads beautifully and often hilariously, and I liked it an awful lot.A brilliantly crafted mini-epic that is at turns hilarious, terrifying, and heartbreaking . . . Cinematic . . . A potential classic.Entertaining . . . very moving . . . Impressive.If you're looking for a big, funny, moving novel to read this spring, look no farther.A rich, poignant look at a family whose lifestyle may seem absolutely aberrant, but for whom life’s issues are wholeheartedly normal.One of the best novels I’ve read in a while . . . Golden Richards, middle-aged, 6-foot-6 polygamist with an overbite, is one of the most appealing, original, and brilliantly tragicomic protagonists to appear in American fiction in some time.Terrifically thought-provoking . . . a constantly shifting but marvelously controlled story.[A] compelling, rollicking story.How often does The Great American Novel truly come along?The Lonely Polygamistis a great American novel, perhaps the great American novel of the year.There's something cinematic about the way Udall presents this tale, with at least a handful of dramatic scenes that seem to beg for a big-screen treatment. Furthermore, Udall's poetic rendering of the Southwestern landscape brings to mind the lingering, panoramic shots of films like Brokeback Mountainand A River Runs Through It. But most of all it's Golden, Rusty and the novel's other complex characters that make The Lonely Polygamista potential classic. They remain with the reader after the last page is turned.

Video

About the Author

Brady Udall is the author of The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, Letting Loose the Hounds, and The Lonely Polygamist. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Playboy, and elsewhere. He lives in Boise, Idaho.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 22 comments:

scottymedog, September 30, 2011 (view all comments by scottymedog)
I'm a little late to the party on being entranced with this book, but I had to comment anyway...to convince those who haven't read it to give it a try. The main character is, as the title suggests, a lonely polygamist. Things are not going well in Golden Richards life, despite (or because of) his 4 wives and 26 children. Brady Udall is a brilliant writer; by the end of the book, you feel that you personally know each character and care deeply about all of them. Aside from the evocative sense of place, his descriptions of the logistics of being a polygamist are fascinating. My only problem is deciding whether The Lonely Polygamist or The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint is the better book - I'd have to say they are equally great!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Rick Borsten, September 25, 2011 (view all comments by Rick Borsten)
Though I loved the title, I started THE LONELY POLYGAMIST deeply doubting that I'd ever be able to relate to the protagonist, Golden Richards, a Mormon fundamentalist with four wives and twenty-eight children. A protagonist who, as it turns out--despite the four wives and twenty-eight children--is feeling lonely and isolated, ready, perhaps, to plunge into an affair. But only a few pages into the story, I found myself liking, even empathizing with, Golden. By the time I was a third of the way in, I flat out adored the guy. And when I finished the last page, I let the book drop onto my lap, stunned to realize that Brady Udall had somehow just told MY story. Not the specifics, but the wondrous and confounding experience of what it means to be human in this world. But then, this is precisely the magic of great literature. This is why those of us who love fiction open a new novel so eagerly and hungrily. With THE LONELY POLYGAMIST, Brady Udall affords us a rare opportunity to be put under that spell we've been longing for.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Matthew Yasuoka, August 1, 2011 (view all comments by Matthew Yasuoka)
The magic of this book stems from its lovable cast of characters. From Rusty to Trish to Golden and everyone in between, Udall deftly manages to craft a cast of characters who will enchant you with his literary spell, helping you to fall in love with them, making the tragic aspects of the novel even more so. In the end it is a novel about people, who while extremely different than the norm in terms of life style, are exactly like us at the end of the day, forming the perfect lattice work for a heart wrenching tragicomic tale that you will want to recommend to every single person you know.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 22 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393062625
Author:
Udall, Brady
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
General
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Publication Date:
20100531
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
602
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.5 x 1.7 in 2.125 lb

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The Lonely Polygamist Used Hardcover
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$10.50 In Stock
Product details 602 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393062625 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Lonely Polygamist spotlights the fragile humanity of the title character, Golden Richards, and his extended family. Through masterful prose filled with palpable heartache — not to mention all manner of hi-jinks — Udall shows that love really can conquer all.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A family drama with stinging turns of dark comedy, the latest from Udall (The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint) is a superb performance and as comic as it is sublimely catastrophic. Golden Richards is a polygamist Mormon with four wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business, and a few secrets. He tells his wives that the brothel he's building in Nevada is actually a senior center, and, more importantly, keeps hidden his burning infatuation with a woman he sees near the job site. Golden, perpetually on edge, has become increasingly isolated from his massive family — given the size of his brood, his solitude is heartbreaking — since the death of one of his children. Meanwhile, his newest and youngest wife, Trish, is wondering if there is more to life than the polygamist lifestyle, and one of his sons, Rusty, after getting the shaft on his birthday, hatches a revenge plot that will have dire consequences. With their world falling apart, will the family find a way to stay together? Udall's polished storytelling and sterling cast of perfectly realized and flawed characters make this a serious contender for Great American Novel status." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Lovers of good writing will find this a pleasure, period." (Starred Review)
"Review" by , "Brady Udall's new book is funny, touching and powerful. Its images tickle and glow, disturb and soothe. Sprawling, ambitious, and assured, Mr. Udall's first novel since his 2001 debut, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, bursts with language and originality....Read this. It's a sure bet for Great American Novel of 2010."
"Review" by , "A strength of the work is Udall's careful focus....Udall's prose is affectionate....A fair warning to the reader: The novel's prose and characters are addicting. Don't pick this one up unless you have the time to spend. It's original and lots of fun."
"Review" by , "The book reads easily, with much humor and occasional stabbing sorrow....I don't know how true to life this story may be. But it feels right, it reads beautifully and often hilariously, and I liked it an awful lot."
"Review" by , "Funny and wise, The Lonely Polygamist stands with other great family novels such as The Corrections and Middlesex, and sets Udall on the top shelf of America's writers."
"Review" by , "The Lonely Polygamist is a hefty, eager, and bittersweet novel, and it is a page-turner. Brady Udall deals with familial chaos, reckless behavior, and alarming pyrotechnics with wit, grace, and tenderness. He's an enchanter who casts his spell with exquisite sentences and unerring, evocative details. Here is a writer of inordinate compassion and formidable intelligence. Read this remarkable novel, friend, live with it, and I promise you this, little Rusty Richards will haunt your dreams."
"Synopsis" by , From a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large.
"Synopsis" by , [An] exceptional tale of an exceptional family.A profoundly satisfying read, written with a ferocious verve and authenticity.Uproarious . . . Udall’s storytelling [displays] ease and humor.An absorbing, moving entertaining novel that will transport the reader into Golden’s chaotic world.I don’t know how true to life this story may be. But it feels right, and it reads beautifully and often hilariously, and I liked it an awful lot.A brilliantly crafted mini-epic that is at turns hilarious, terrifying, and heartbreaking . . . Cinematic . . . A potential classic.Entertaining . . . very moving . . . Impressive.If you're looking for a big, funny, moving novel to read this spring, look no farther.A rich, poignant look at a family whose lifestyle may seem absolutely aberrant, but for whom life’s issues are wholeheartedly normal.One of the best novels I’ve read in a while . . . Golden Richards, middle-aged, 6-foot-6 polygamist with an overbite, is one of the most appealing, original, and brilliantly tragicomic protagonists to appear in American fiction in some time.Terrifically thought-provoking . . . a constantly shifting but marvelously controlled story.[A] compelling, rollicking story.How often does The Great American Novel truly come along?The Lonely Polygamistis a great American novel, perhaps the great American novel of the year.There's something cinematic about the way Udall presents this tale, with at least a handful of dramatic scenes that seem to beg for a big-screen treatment. Furthermore, Udall's poetic rendering of the Southwestern landscape brings to mind the lingering, panoramic shots of films like Brokeback Mountainand A River Runs Through It. But most of all it's Golden, Rusty and the novel's other complex characters that make The Lonely Polygamista potential classic. They remain with the reader after the last page is turned.
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