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The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

by

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780393080933
ISBN10: 0393080935
All Product Details

 

Awards

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:

"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

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

Synopsis:

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

Synopsis:

Golden Richards, a polygamist with four wives and 28 children has a midlife-crisis affair that threatens to destroy his family's future, in this tale of a dysfunctional American family from the author of Letting Loose the Hounds.

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 3 comments:

words917, October 13, 2011 (view all comments by words917)
No stranger to quirky stories that probe the depths of humanity, Udall has brought to bear every bit of the formidable strength he has been cultivating in his previous work. As a result, what he has given us is an exquisitely crafted novel whose 602 pages had me alternately laughing aloud and reading through tears.

While the story of a man with 4 wives, 28 children, a struggling construction business and a mid-life crisis that could destroy it all might seem not only unusual but implausibly far-fetched, the skill and compassion with which Udall draws each character makes them so painfully human that by the end of the story, they aren't at all unbelievable, but rather, an assemblage of every family you've ever known.

It is a story of failure and redemption, dreams and disappointment, about the threats that seep in from the most unlikely sources and the blessings that do the same. An epic tale of love and family and the deepest currents of what it means to be human, a novel that should be on everyone's bookshelf.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
YouCarrytheHeavyStuff, October 13, 2011 (view all comments by YouCarrytheHeavyStuff)
I adored this book; very good writer, funny, sad, poignant, turns a public view of polygamist on its head; the wives are hilarious; he's an accident backing into a crumbly shack on a cliff, and it was wonderfully done!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
kasoi, October 12, 2011 (view all comments by kasoi)
I wasn't so sure at first that I was going to get into this book, not that the writing didn't engage me, it's just that I wasn't sure I was going to like the characters enough to see if through. That said, soon enough, I couldn't put this book down. The Lonely Polygamist offers a really fascinating glimpse into pluralistic marriage and more than that, is a story about the hardships of life, no matter who you are. It is funny, and sad, and everything I could have asked for. I am looking forward to reading more of Brady Udall.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393080933
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
General
Author:
Udall, Brady
Author:
Brady Udall
Subject:
Family life
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Subject:
Pacific Northwest-Literature Folklore and Memoirs
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Fiction : Literary
Subject:
Fiction : Family Life
Publication Date:
May 2010
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages W. W. Norton - English 9780393080933 Reviews:
"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 , "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."
"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."
"Synopsis" by , From a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large.
"Synopsis" by , Golden Richards, a polygamist with four wives and 28 children has a midlife-crisis affair that threatens to destroy his family's future, in this tale of a dysfunctional American family from the author of Letting Loose the Hounds.
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