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The Lonely Polygamist: A Novelby Brady Udall
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
"Lovers of good writing will find this a pleasure, period." Kirkus Reviews (Starred 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
"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
"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
"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
"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
From a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large.
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.
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