The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
A Novel

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Synopsis

A New York Times bestseller: from a luminous storyteller, a highly anticipated new novel about the American family writ large. “Udall masterfully portrays the hapless foibles and tragic yearnings of our fellow humans.”—San Francisco Chronicle


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.
 

About Brady Udall

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Brady Udall is the author of The Lonely Polygamist, a New York Times bestseller, and Letting Loose the Hounds. He teaches at Boise State University and lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and children.
 
Published May 3, 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company. 603 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lonely Polygamist

Kirkus Reviews

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“There’s hard things we have to do in this life,” says a wizened desert rat to an existentially confused Golden Richards, the protagonist.

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The New York Times

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In this novel, a man with four wives and several houses full of children fights his inner emptiness.

May 14 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Udall's dark comedy of polygamy and American anomie has as its protagonist, the overworked father and (polygamous) husband, Golden Richards.

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Book Reporter

At one point near the middle of THE LONELY POLYGAMIST, the narrator steps back to outline the “big picture” of the dilemmas besetting the title character, family man Golden Richards: “1.

Dec 30 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

The Washington Times

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Golden Richards lives in an isolated community where responsible churchmen are expected to take more than one wife. Golden is doing more than his bit with four wives, and 28 kids living in three houses.

May 28 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

AV Club

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While waiting for the next season of Big Love, fans can ease the pain with this novel about the complicated, sometimes funny life of a fundamentalist Mormon family.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

The Washington Post

He invites us to exult as Golden asserts his patriarchal authority, and Trish reaffirms her commitment to "the crowded life she had chosen .

May 18 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Dallas News

Golden Richards, the protagonist of Brady Udall's bighearted, funny novel The Lonely Polygamist, is in deep.

May 09 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

As Golden did as a kid, Rusty sits at the window waiting for his father to come home, and when he doesn't, he decides to take matters into his own hands - resulting in a denouement that brings Golden's midlife crisis to a screeching halt.

Jun 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Oregon Live

that the heart, in its infinite capacity -- even the confused and cheating heart of the man in front of her, even the paltry thing now clenched and faltering inside her own chest -- could open itself to all who would enter, like a house with windows and doors thrown wide, like the heart of God it...

May 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

David Loftus Boston Globe 1 of 5 Stars "Somehow, against reasonable expectations given the plot outline, Brady Udall has produced a novel about a giant of a man with four wives and 28 children that's devoid of passion, rudderless, and utterly lacking in surprise.

Apr 25 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

The New Yorker

Set in the nineteen-seventies, this expansive novel focusses on Golden, the patriarch of a four-wife, twenty-eight child, three-house family, part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in a small town in Utah.

May 17 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Fiction Writers Review

Hector Udall Visit Brady Udall’s website to read more about his two novels, The Lonely Polygamist and The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, and his debut story collection, Letting Loose the Hounds.

Sep 13 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Full Stop

that the heart, in its infinite capacity—even the confused and cheating heart of the man in front of her, even the paltry thing now clenched and faltering inside her own chest—could open itself to all who would enter, like a house with windows and doors thrown wide, like the heart of God itself, ...

Jan 12 2011 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

Chicago Tribune

One of the deepest pleasures of 'The Lonely Polygamist' is Udall’s skill in imagining the family dynamics and power politics that complicate life in a polygamous household: the constant jockeying for position amongst the wives, their internecine competitions for influence over domestic policy, th...

Apr 21 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

A Motley Vision

While those who read the book will probably understand the difference, and I’m sure Udall is using that difference as a device, the book will still have a wider cultural impact simply by linking Mormon and Polygamy together.

May 24 2010 | Read Full Review of The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel

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