The Lonely Polygamist

The Lonely Polygamist From a luminous storyteller a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large Golden Richards husband to four wives father to twenty eight children is having the mother of all mi

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

  • ☆ The Lonely Polygamist ☆ Brady Udall
    263 Brady Udall
The Lonely Polygamist

  1. Brady Udall grew up in a large Mormon family in Arizona, where he worked on his grandfather s farm He graduated from Brigham Young University and later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop He was formerly a faculty member of Franklin Marshall College starting in 1998, then Southern Illinois University, and now teaches writing at Boise State University A collection of his short stories titled Letting Loose the Hounds was published in 1998 and his debut novel The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint was published in 2001 The Lonely Polygamist was published in May 2010.

763 Reply to “The Lonely Polygamist”

  1. Sometimes when I recommend a book that I ve enjoyed, I worry about talking it up too much, getting people s expectations impossibly high, but that s not something I worry about with Brady Udally s The Lonely Polygamist This book really knocked my socks off it was a book I couldn t put down while I was reading it, and can t stop thinking about now that I ve finished it.The novel is about a large polygamist family redundant circa 1978 that is spiraling out of control The narrative mainly focuses o [...]


  2. Onvan The Lonely Polygamist Nevisande Brady Udall ISBN 393339718 ISBN13 9780393339710 Dar 602 Safhe Saal e Chap 2010


  3. As I sit down to write this review, I find myself thinking there is no way that I can possibly describe this book the banalities I usually employuldn t put it downfeel so lame because this book was so good, but I ll try.I started out convinced that I would not like any of the characters the polygamist husband in particular, but also, the wives However, the author s painstaking portrayal of the complex emotions that animate each of the spouse s reasons for participating in this lifestyle made it [...]


  4. I picked up this novel because it was on a list of 10 best fiction novels of 2010 I hope that is not the case, here, or fiction is in a sad state The novel is okay its not great Udall works very hard to make Golden, his protagonist, a suffering hero with whom the reader should feel compassion But, the guy is really a wimp Yes, he takes responsiblity for his family of 4 wives and 25 children and, yes, he s grieving the loss of his disabled daughter who died on his watch buta lot of these situatio [...]


  5. Slightly grudgingly, just coz I hate bandwagons literary and otherwise I ll say that this book deserved all the hype it received Here are five things it did well that so many books crash and burn trying to do No 5 It surprised me overall I don t know what I was expecting of a book about polygamous marriage, but I m pretty sure it wasn t this and in the individual details There are a couple of twists in characters and plots that I really didn t see coming.No 4 It built character through scene and [...]


  6. I need to stop forcing myself to continue reading a book even though I m certain I don t like it By the time I stop reading the books unfinished, of course I m shocked by the amount of time I wasted reading something I don t enjoy.I found The Lonely Polygamist intensely boring I suppose I liked some of the characters I felt for Trish and Rusty, and Golden wasn t an entirely unenjoyable person to read about, but they were all so dull If any of these people were real, I don t think I could hold ha [...]


  7. I m always eager to read a book with local ties As the title of BYU graduate Brady Udall s most recent novel, The Lonely Polygamist, suggests, his critically acclaimed work most definitely has themes central to Utah history and culture I picked up this book wondering how successful Udall would be in making his central character, Golden Richards, a husband to four and father to twenty eight, who still manages time to develop an extra marital relationship, at all likeable Udall succeeds admirably [...]


  8. This book s strong points really stellar writing, vividly believable but out there characters, a set of perspectives that pops the story into three dimensions, nuclear blasts, an evil ostrich, a satisfying ending that isn t really a happy ending, great lists, shockingly accurate fundie plyg portraits think bolo ties , character archs for all, a carrot on a stick narrative structure that keeps us drooling along behind, trying to figure out where we ve been and where we re going, some serious goof [...]


  9. I finish train wreck novels like this and wonder why I do this to myself Unpleasant life events happening to unsympathetic people, utterly foreseeable and just as utterly impossible to avert I come away feeling slightly soiled, not exactly wanting those hours of my life back so much as reminded that I really am not part of mainstream literature s target audience The novel is well written, and I understand why it has gotten the reviews it has deservedly so But I didn t care for it, and am sad it [...]


  10. Done, done Finally done Am still processing how I feel about this one, but my gut reaction is it was okay At times it was fascinating the polygamist life seems so closed and taboo that you almost can t help but get drawn in by the idea of the story But for me, sticking with Udall through all 600 pages was an arduous journey Udall doesn t vilify polygamists he also doesn t embrace them And perhaps that is where I found much of the difficulty with The Lonely Polygamist there wasn t a strong pull e [...]


  11. This was the rare occasion when I basically skimmed the last 150 pages just to find out a few key plot points, rather than actually reading, because I was excruciatingly BORED while reading this book The hero, despite having 4 wives, is completely uninteresting a hulking cipher as blank as his improbably shut in childhood without friends or education If he had one wife, instead of 4, this tale of a middle aged schlemiel who has no will, no agency, no real yearnings other than to get with the cha [...]


  12. How does a shy, lonely boy from the backwaters of Louisiana become an apostle of God, the husband to four wives, the father to twenty eight children Easier than you think Golden Richards is a man who never quite takes charge of his life, and this is the result And THEN he has an affair My goodness, what next This is a captivating novel, funny, touching, and full of believable, all to human people Especially funny and moving is Rusty, the son of wife three Rose of Sharon, who secretly reads roman [...]


  13. I ve been interested in polygamy for a long time, way before popular Big Love hit the small screen I read quite a few books on the subject, mostly non fiction Escape, Under the Banner of Heaven, Shattered Dreams My Life as a Polygamist s Wife, etc and have a certain image of a polygamous man in my mind, specifically, he is a selfish, power hungry sexist pig who takes advantage of his women and neglects his children It seems Brady Udall s goal was to break this stereotype in his book and I guess [...]


  14. Finally I ve had this for several years and couldn t make it fit a challenge, so I was delighted to get to it I didn t choose this because of polygamist in the title, but because I read Udall s first novel The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint I thoroughly enjoyed it and had picked it up because it was included in a list of books with great opening lines Apparently Udall has a talent for great first lines To put it as simply as possible This is the story of a polygamist who has an affair.I wasn t very [...]


  15. Golden Richards has four wives, twenty eight children, three homes and a failing construction business He takes a job in Nevada, building a brothel and telling his wives that he is constructing a senior citizen center Golden, who had a very lonely and isolated childhood, is now separated from his family and sinking into confusion He develops an attraction for a woman that he sees near the construction site and this complicates an already complicated life even further.Meanwhile, his family is gra [...]


  16. Brady Udall has proved to me his ability to draw real and multi dimensional characters who pulse with courage, fear, doubt, and all the flaws that make our heroes humans While I m not completely seduced by the entire package, Udall s strengths as an empathetic observer of the human condition outweigh the book s technical complaints First off, I wasn t really excited to pick up another book about polygamy Why is this topic so popular right now Can I blame reality tv Fortunately, this book doesn t [...]


  17. It started off so well I was really enjoying the writing style Then I got busy and the book was due at the library and I forgot about it Then I bought it at the airport The cashier at Powells was giggling as rang it up, she thought it was so funny the book, not me Although I was wearing my yellow glasses.I get it, there are some odd characters and an ostrich and way too many children I didn t like any of the characters Golden seems mildly retarded and I am appalled that he had 28 children Some p [...]


  18. This book was a HUGE disappointment It got rave reviews in Newsweek, which prompted me to buy it It was way too long, it dragged and there was just nothing interesting about it.The main character, Golden, is a loser No two ways about it Worse, there s nothing sympathetic about him.There s a lot of dishonesty, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, abandonment, anxiety, adultery, mental health issues, jealousy, and just plain anger and negativity.The reviewer said this book was darkly humorous I chuckled [...]


  19. As hard as it may be to believe, Golden Richards is lonely Golden has four wives and 28 children, but he s never been lonelier in his life He is mired in a controversial construction job that, if discovered, could bring disgrace to him and his family he knows his wives and children are looking to him and for guidance but he can t avoid them quickly enough he is still mourning the loss of one of his daughters several years ago and he has begun a tantalizing flirtation with Huila, a Guatemalan w [...]


  20. This book was undoubtedly an interesting portrait of a dysfunctional family, but the whole subject of polygamy was rather strange The main character seemed to be concerned with keeping the family together than he was about how his quadruple marriages affected the well being of his children.


  21. Brady Udall s novel The Lonely Polygamist is one of those pieces of fiction where you stare at the jacket summary and think Okay, Big Shot You mean to tell me that you have written a story about a man, his four wives, 28 children and mistress I dare you to pull off this circus stunt without burying me beneath a 2 ton clown car filled with the note cards I ll be forced to keep to differentiate these characters Friends, he succeeds First Udall weeds the crops, probably realizing that managing the [...]


  22. It always amazes when a book is populated with characters that I find annoying or distasteful, yet I m satisfied with my reading experience by the time I finish I like a book with colorful characters with a few flaws, but I usually would like to root for at least one of them In The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udell, I found myself wanting to to line up every character, every single character, and just do a running slap until I ran out of faces Still, I don t regret a minute of the reading experie [...]


  23. During the first couple of chapters, I laughed with delight at the wit of the writing But then that wit either disappeared or was overshadowed by a lot of things that bugged me The history of Golden doesn t match up at all with who he is during the present action of the book I just couldn t see him as a believable character after that I don t know a lot about polygamist fundamentalists, but it seemed like the tobacco, alcohol, and swearing don t match up I also didn t find the common assumptions [...]


  24. I have gotten in the habit of not reading reviews or even the blurbs on the book jacket because I like for the story to unfold without my brain saying, But when is that going to happen 300 pages into this book, I thought that all of those reviews and blurbs that I didn t read must say this book is about a lonely polygamist Nothing , nothing less When I got to page 602 the end , I thought, Wow That book was named well but I could have just stopped at the title Because that is it The book is about [...]


  25. A family drama, laced with comedy, but still heartbreaking I found The Lonely Polygamist a most pleasant surprise Golden Richards is the Lonely Polygamist and as he stumbles about trying to do right by his family 4 wives, 28 children , his struggles do not seem that different from anyone else s While they may not be different, they are compelling You will find yourself flying to the end of this book it is a big one 600 pages just to find out what happens to all the characters Udall does a great [...]


  26. The first thing that catches your eye is the title The Lonely Polygamist Talk about an oxymoron But it s actually a perfectly succinct way to describe one man s rise and fall or is it fall and rise within a small community of polygamist Mormons And it s a very powerful, literary read.Brady Udall s novel focuses on three characters and thank goodness, since the cast encompasses nearly 30 people Golden, husband to four wives and the lonely polygamist of the title Trish, Golden s fourth and younges [...]


  27. The Lonely Polygamist is one of the longest books I have read in quite some time I have a theory that when I am wanting to read really long books, I am trying to fight off my inevidable death How can someone die while in the middle of a book This in nonsense, and I know it, but most of the time I avoid reading anything this long The 600 pages breeze by, and the story, though a little underwelming, is quite an intersting cache of characters You have four wives and 20 kids, you have a fireworks ma [...]


  28. From the start, I figured I d probably hate this 600 pages of what seemed to probably be a Big Love knock off, a mopey Mormon philander y tale Brady Udall s book, though, made me a believer of his talent, anyway it was a breezy, incredibly warm and poignant story of love and loss and familial dysfunction and reconciliation that had me alternately laughing uproariously and weeping uncontrollably.The title is slightly misleading The Lonely Polygamist implies it s primarily about one lonely head of [...]


  29. I was curious to see how Udall, who I could tell was a Mormon based solely from his last name is that bad of me oh well , would handle a novel about Mormon fundamentalist polygamists I grew up a Utah Mormon, and my recollection of the polygamists is.well, I didn t have much of a recollection beyond that they were kind of like the oddball, embarrassing cousins everyone tried to pretend were not related to us Mainstream Mormons are not the most upfront about acknowledging the existence of the poly [...]


  30. Meh It was an interesting premise sure, I m pretty curious about what it might be like to live in a polygamous family and how those dynamics might play out But without any complex characters driving the story what story was there a story here , my initial eagerness ebbed and I eventually returned the book to the library unfinished.Golden Richards, the lonely polygamist of the story, is a pretty boring and wimpy guy married to four wives, a father of 28 children, who develops an interest in anoth [...]


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